A watch for Wolverine : Blancpain X Fathoms


Blancpain X FathomsHow many truly iconic divers can you name off the top of your head? I won’t break any news when I say there has been a surge in popularity in this segment the last decade or so, (so much so in fact that you might think that oceans are being crowded with all those avid diving enthusiasts), but was there any new model actually that particularly stood out in the crowd? It seems that all those brands that got famous by inventing the diving watch in the first place are being content with just producing slightly altered and updated versions of their flagship models. There is Panerai’s Radiomir, Omega’s Seamaster and the most famous of them all – His Royal Highness Rolex Submariner, which spawned a completely new style in watch design.

Blancpain X Fathoms in Dubai Aquarium

Blancpain X Fathoms in Dubai Aquarium

However, there is one legendary model which often gets undeservedly overlooked because of its more flashy brethren - Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. The irony is almost palpable, because this is your eponymous diver watch. 100 yards premiered in 1953 under the specifications for French frogmen (ha!), it swiftly achieved the cult status among divers. The United States Navy choosing Fifty Fathoms as their official diver helped, as well as being worn by the grandaddy of all divers, the legendary Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Blancpain X Fathoms

Blancpain X Fathoms

Fifty-eight years later, Blancpain decided it was time this legend gets an upgraded. The brand which boasts the oldest inception date in existence showed its better-known peers how it should be done. A couple of days ago, in the spectacular surroundings of the world’s largest aquarium in the world, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in the Dubai Mall (I could write an entire text just about that), Blancpain revealed X Fathoms, the spiritual and technical successor to the mythical veteran. And what a successor it is. Bursting with world’s first technical innovations, X Fathoms is one behemoth of a watch. Or should we say a leviathan. We covered our fair share of divers, here at WatchAllure, and so far Hublot’s monster Oceanographic 4000 held a top spot when it comes to size with a diameter of impressive 48 mm. X Fathoms measures almost ridiculous 55.65 mm. In this case, the dimensions are well justified with the amount of functions crammed into this substantial bulk. Bear in mind that this is a mechanical watch which features a mechanical depth gauge, with a depth indication in two scales (one for up to 90 meters and second, more precise for 15 meters), maximum depth memory with secured reset pusher and a retrograde 5-minute counter (for decompression stops). Awesome, no?

Blancpain X Fathoms

Blancpain X Fathoms

Case is made of satin-brushed titanium, and it’s water-resistance is limited to realistic 300 meters. Powered by the calibre 9918B, an impressive automatic movement based on in-house Calibre 1315 (used and tested inside of few earlier Fifty Fathoms), with five-day power reserve and silicon balance-spring to defy magnetic disturbances. Add to it now standard helium decompression valve for saturation diving and the unidirectional rotating bezel and you got yourself one of the best mechanical diver watches in existence. Oh wait, it also features the most complex injected rubber strap ever imagined, consisting of 14 parts.

Blancpain X Fathoms back

A view at Blancpain X Fathoms articulated strap and honeycombed openings which allow water to come in contact with the amorphous metal membrane

The price is not yet announced, but considering that ordinary Fifty Fathoms cost anywhere between 5k and 20k dollars, it is not hard to imagine X Fathoms falling above latter range.

Night shot of Blancpain X Fathoms dial

Night shot of Blancpain X Fathoms dial

X Fathoms functions schematic

X Fathoms functions schematic

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