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Blancpain “Demo MilSpec 1” Fifty Fathoms



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.

Offered here, however, is no ordinary Milspec Blancpain — this is a “demolition watch”, or civilian version, made by Blancpain for retail sale.  As very few of these were produced, the civilian-made Milspec is actually rarer and harder to find than its original Milspec issue counterpart.  The name “Demolition Watch” originates from an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog from the late 1960s/early 1970s, where it was advertised.  The Demo Milspec noticeably differs from the earlier version, using a two-piece and sandblasted case, using a different bakelite bezel, and tritium luminous material.

The Blancpain “Demo” MilSpec Fifty Fathoms we offer today is in amazing condition. The case is unpolished and sharp, with original beveled edges still prevalent.  Further, the dial shows no damage whatsoever, still glossy, and the original tritium lume is still present on both hands and dial, aged to a golden yellow color.  The bakelite bezel is very well-preserved, with no cracks.

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