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In the early 1950s, an elite unit of the French Navy, responsible for their own diving equipment and not satisfied with any of the current diving watches on the market, set out to make their own watch that they deemed suitable for diving, known as the “Frogmen”. The result was an inevitable partnership with Blancpain for the creation of the watch we know as the Fifty Fathoms. The example offered here today is a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, retailed by the dive equipment outlet, “Aqualung”. The watch is fitted with the popular “3-6-9-12” dial layout.
The watch itself is in great vintage condition. The case has never been polished, and retains its original finish. The dial shows normal aging, namely some light “matting”/patina to the clear-coat lacquer, likely from years of sitting mixed with aging often caused by the radium. As such, the original radium lume is present on the dial and hands, aged to a golden yellow. The bakelite bezel has a very attractive and unique look, obviously used and aged as intended, and has only one crack in the triangle (common on these bezels), overall very well-preserved for these bakelite bezels.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Diver