News: Presenting the (totally unexpected) Swatch x Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Scuba
After last year’s Moonswatch release, a collaboration between Omega and Swatch that got everyone in a tizzy, we’ve been wondering what other brand mash-ups the Swatch Group would concoct.
Eighteen months later, we have our answer—and it’s one few people could have predicted. After a few days of social-media teasers, the Swatch X Blancpain Scuba Fifty Fathoms has been unveiled.
The Fifty Fathoms celebrates it’s 70th anniversary this year and this is its gift: a sort of tribute watch in Bioceramic (like the Moonswatch) that has all the design hallmarks of the early generation Fifty Fathoms, such as that rather prominent bezel and the mil-spec “sword” hands.
There are five models in total, three of which are identical besides colour, and feature a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. The other two are pretty special. This date-free pair—the orange “Arctic” model (below) and the grey “Antarctic” model—reference two classic Blancpain models from the past with their circular detail above 6 o’clock.
In the run-up to the release, much was made of Blancpain’s famous declaration in the 1980s (made by its then co-owner Jean-Claude Biver) that hell would freeze over before it made a quartz watch (we’re paraphrasing slightly). Was this release going to ruin Blancpain’s quartz-free history?
Well, it turns out that these watches run on Swatch’s Sistem51 self-winding movement, which may come as a relief to traditional Blancpain fans.
The power reserve of these movements is a huge 90 hours, while all five watches have a water resistance of 300 feet (the equivalent of 50 fathoms), like the original legendary model from 1953.
Of course, this having an automatic movement means it’s more expensive than the Moonswatch, but only by $140.
Sustainability is big in the watch industry right now and these watch feature a striped NATO-style strap fashioned from recycled fishing nets, as well as the Bioceramic case of course, which is sourced from castor-plant oil.
What Swatch Group brand, we wonder, is next in line for such a collaboration?
Case | Bioceramic material
Dimensions | 42.3mm
Dial | Blue, yellow, green, beige, white
Crystal | Biosourced material treated with anti-scratch coating
Water-resistance | 91m
Movement | Swatch movement SISTEM51, automatic
Power Reserve | 90 hours
Frequency | 21,600vph
Strap | NATO strap in corresponding colours
Functions | Hours, minutes, seconds, date
RRP | £340