Watch of the Week: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date

This timepiece combines the best of classic watch-making and a rugged design that can go anywhere

To survive in the most extreme places in the world, you need to deploy some extreme thinking. So when Blancpain CEO and avid diver Jean-Jacques Fiechter set out to make a watch that could keep up with the rigours of a raging ocean that would devastate any standard watch, he was forced to think outside the box.

In 1953, the Fifty Fathoms was born. With the distinctive chunky bezel that divers around the globe have grown to know and love, the design is leavened by a heavy dose of lume to help in those low-light situations near the sea bed — utility and function in happy collaboration.

Watch of the Week: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date

Now, after 65 years of tweaking and updating, the design remains familiar, but brings a few modern perks to boot. With a depth rating of 300m, a case made from lightweight titanium and a super scratch resistant sapphire crystal, the watch is a benchmark for modern adventure timekeeping.

These features now all come as standard across the Fifty Fathoms range, but the standout feature on this model is the large date apertures.

Having a large date window at 6 o’clock adds a unique aspect to the segmented dial and keeps alive the Fifty Fathoms’ tradition of putting functionality above everything else. In many ways, it’s the perfect holiday timepiece — a watch built for the extremes that works just as brilliantly at the poolside.

The instant-change large date function is one of Blancpain’s signature complications, while the second hand is red-tipped to give extra legibility. The crown, meanwhile has specially designed guards to protect it against bumps and scrapes while deep sea diving.

The vital stats

  • Water Resistance: 300m/30 bar
  • Case diameter: 45mm
  • Case thickness: 16.27mm
  • Case material: Titanium
  • Date: 6 o’clock
  • Strap material: Canvas
Watch of the Week: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Grande Date


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Further Reading