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Blancpain “MilSpec 1” Fifty Fathoms


1 in stock


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.  Although initially created for the French Navy, these military specification (“Milspec”) watches were ordered by other militaries, such as the German, British, Spanish, and even the US Navy.  For a great write-up on these historic watches, head on over to The Spring Bar, here.

The Blancpain MilSpec Fifty Fathoms we offer today is in amazing condition.  First, the case remains unpolished and sharp, with original bevels still present. The original radium dial is in great shape, remaining glossy as from factory, with some normal wear/aging to the moisture indicator, as is common for this model; pictures of the dial removed from the case is available on request. The original radium luminous is still present on both dial and hands, aged to a lovely orange color and with no loss or cracking.  The bakelite bezel is very well-preserved, with no cracks.  Finally, the watch remains on what appears to be its original strap!

However, the story does not end here! This watch comes from the estate of the original owner, a gentleman named Howard (nicknamed “Fuzzy”), who was a radioman in the US Coast Guard.  According to information provided to us, he was stationed briefly overseas in Europe in the early-mid 1960s and traveled to many different countries, where he presumably was issued this watch for use.  Included in the sale are pictures of Howard in service and on various boats, postcards from his time abroad, various patches, and his United States Coast Guard recruit training certificate from 1963!

Additional information


AS 1700


Stainless Steel






Blancpain Fifty Fathoms MilSpec 1