Swatch has once again broken the rules. The watchmaking firm that in its day saved the Swiss watchmaking industry (during the crisis caused by Japanese quartz watches, this firm activated mechanical watchmaking by promoting its fun colored watches) and nothing surprised with its Omega x Swatch, returns to pay homage to an icon of Swiss watchmaking. It’s Blancpain’s turn. Specifically one of its great icons, the Fifty Fathoms, born exactly seventy years ago, which revolutionized the world of watchmaking for being the first watch designed especially for scuba diving.
That is why a scuba diver was behind the design and manufacture of this very special piece launched in 1953 that sought to satisfy all their needs in their underwater explorations.
Since then this iconic Blancpain has become the pioneering professional timekeeping tool for Marine Corps and professional (or not) divers around the world.
The new collaboration, as unexpected as it is applauded (there is already a queue at Swatch stores around the world) celebrates the seventieth anniversary of this diving tool through five models in which color and the Swatch touch (cheerful, always young and always fun) are more than evident.
They are watches that can submerge up to 91 meters or 50 strokes, that is, fifty fathoms
It is a much desired but not limited collection that has been named Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms in reference to Swatch’s Scuba diving watches in which all the specific characteristics of the original Fifty Fathoms can be perfectly identified.
Therefore, superior water resistance, exceptional legibility, a mechanical movement, a safe rotating bezel and antimagnetic protection are not lacking in any of these five Swatch models that come with very special names, all alluding to our planet’s oceans. They are the Pacific, Arctic, Atlantic, Indian and Antarctic Ocean which, like all Blancpain Scuba can dive in deep water up to 91 meters. And also the 91 is a nod from Swatch to Blancpain. It refers to the fifty strokes (fifty fathoms, in English) which is equivalent to 91 meters or 300 feet (historical measure of depth used in the Anglo-Saxon world).
A story told on all the backs of these collector’s watches
The back of each of these very special Swatch features a magnificent and colorful animal that lives in our five oceans: the nudibranch (scientific name: Nudibranchia). These animals are digitally printed on the movement’s rotor, the part that automatically winds the watch when you move your wrist. In the Arctic Ocean watch we find the Dendronotus Frondosus nudibranch, with soft and subtle shapes.
In the Pacific Ocean the Chromodoris Kuiteri is shown, which with its bright colors like the sun, evokes the warm and azure waters of the ocean in which it is found.
The Atlantic Ocean features a Glaucus Atlanticus, whose dark blue colors pay homage to wild seas. But… don’t be fooled! While purporting to embody the fragility of marine life, this species is venomous and is nicknamed the “blue dragon.”
The Indian Ocean, with its Nembrotha Kubaryana, suggests the mesmerizing colors of the corals, as well as those of its ocean waters, as exuberant as they are dazzling. Lastly, the Antarctic Ocean displays a Tritoniella Belli, whose storm-battered iceberg appearance emulates the mystery and allure of frigid polar waters. In addition to these nudibranchs, —which actually live in the oceans that give their names to the different models—, each watch has a representation of the ocean on the back of which it is inspired.