Blancpain adds new models to its Fifty Fathoms Automatique collection, which the manufacture first launched in its new 42.3mm by 14.2mm size last year as a limited edition in steel.

The newest models of this famed dive watch, which debuted in 1953 to usher in the modern dive watch era, now include Automatique series examples in red gold and titanium in addition to the steel-cased version now included within the ongoing Fifty Fathoms Automatique collection. 

Caliber 1315

You might recall that in 2007 Blancpain launched the first 45mm Fifty Fathoms Automatique, which was equipped with specially developed Caliber 1315 with a five-day power reserve.

The newest Fifty Fathoms series adds the smaller diameter option to the full collection and makes it  available in three case metals.

In red gold, the watches are a bit more luxurious than a standard dive model, but equally functional and still highly legible.

In Grade 23 titanium, the watches are sportier looking, with the added bonus of offering a lightweight and highly scratch-resistant case, as well as superior anti-corrosion and anti-allergenic attributes.

All retain the collection’s characteristic sapphire-topped bezel and serious dive-ready specifications (including 300-meters of water resistance.) 

Available with a blue or black dial, the new red gold and titanium models are offered with an alluring choice of color-matched straps, including sail-canvas, NATO straps and textured rubber iteration inspired by the first model from 1953. For the titanium debut, Blancpain also offers a sharp-looking titanium bracelet.

Prices start at $15,700 in steel and $17,000 in titanium. Red gold model starts at $34,100. 

Blancpain adds small seconds and moon phase functions to its Ladybird collection of jeweled watches. Dubbed Ladybird Colors, the collection offers new hues as well, with models sporting summer-ready midnight blue, peacock green, forest green, lilac or turquoise numerals on textured mother-of-pearl dials.

One of two new models in the new Blancpain Ladybird Colors collection. A second model features a small seconds display.

In addition to their new, colorful dials, each Ladybird Colors watch is set with seventy diamonds on the bezel and lugs.

Offered in either red gold or white gold 34.9mm cases, each watch in the series offers leather straps colored to match the new dial accents.

Note that the numerals on the Ladybird Colors dials are asymmetrical, a style also seen on the tapering diamond-setting around the small seconds and moon-phase indicators.

As these are Blancpain watches, all are powered by a mechanical movement, namely automatic Calibre 1163 for the small seconds version and automatic Calibre 1163L for the moon-phase model.

The caseback of the green Ladybird Colors Small Seconds in a red gold case, showing automatic Caliber 1163, with its open-work rotor.

Each movement offers a four-day power reserve and a silicon balance spring. 

Blancpain nicely finishes the movement, including an open-work gold oscillating weight in the gold color that matches case metal. 

Prices: $34,100 (moon phase) and $32,000 (small seconds). 

On the seventieth anniversary of its groundbreaking Fifty Fathoms dive watch, Blancpain unveils the Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa, a new dive watch with a bezel that makes it possible to measure immersion times of up to three hours.

The new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa.

The bezel, and an accompanying hand that completes one revolution in three hours, combine to form an innovative new dive watch tool. Blancpain CEO Marc A. Hayek and diver and photographer Laurent Bellesta have filed for a patent for the mechanism at the heart of the new watch, which Blancpain first began to develop in 2019.

Blancpain launches the new watch as it also celebrates the tenth anniversary of Gombessa , an undersea research initiative that Bellesta and Blancpain helped create in 2013. The Tech Gombessa also marks the launch of a new line in Blancpain’s dive watch collection. 

Longer immersions

Bancpain explains that since the first Fifty Fathoms diver immersion times have notably extended, with the most experienced divers now capable of spending several hours underwater. Hayek and Ballesta devised the new three-hour timing mechanism to “meet the needs of all extreme divers, starting with the members of the Gombessa Expeditions whose research work involves long- duration deep dives.”

With an exterior that fits within the existing Fifty Fathoms family, the Tech Gombessa is nonetheless loaded with technical tweaks. 

Inside the 47 mm Grade 23 titanium case demonstrating 300 meters of water resistance, Blancpain fits a new movement, automatic Caliber 13P8 with an impressive five-day power reserve. In addition, Blancpain created a black ceramic bezel inlay instead of the traditional sapphire, which has been given a stronger curve and tilt (towards the dial).

Blancpain has also endowed the Tech Gombessa dial with a new ‘absolute black’ finish said to capture almost 97% of the light. The watch’s hour-markers luminescent block-shaped orange appliques with blue luminescence, colors that differentiate between time-related information and diving times. 

As with all Fifty Fathoms timepieces, the crown is screwed down, though here it is protected by a new crown guard with a trapeze-shaped design to match the watch’s new lug shape.

From the back, the wearer can see the new movement’s anthracite-colored oscillating weight, stamped with the Gombessa Expeditions logo, and which itself is given three large openings to better spy the movement. 

Finally, Blancpain will supply the Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa with a black rubber strap screwed to the back of the lugs. The strap is reinforced with titanium and is teamed with an extension for wearing the watch over a diving suit.

Owners will also receive the watch in a special water-tight presentation box that houses a rest for the watch, the strap extension, a travel pouch, a magnifying glass, as well as a set of dividers and cutting tools.

Price: $28,000.

Specifications: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa

Case: 47mm grade 23 titanium, helium valve, central lugs attached from the inside of the case middle.

Dial: Absolute black, luminescent orange block-shaped appliques with blue emission, unidirectional 3-hour scale bezel with black ceramic inlay tilted towards the dial with white luminescent green markers, 3-hour dive-time hand.

Movement: Caliber 13P8, self-winding with 5-day power reserve.

Bracelet: Integrated black rubber strap with extension.



The 2022 Ocean Photographer of the Year (OPY) competition has drawn to a close with some stunning undersea images taken across the planet by dozens of talented photographers. Blancpain and Oceanographic Magazine revealed the names of the winners in all categories of the competition, including for the Female Fifty Fathoms prize awarded by Blancpain.

Ben Thouard of France wins Ocean-Photographer-of-the-Year 2022 with this surfer image.

The winning photographers were, in order, Rafael Fernandez Caballero (Spain), Mike Spencer (UK), Nicolas Remy (France/Australia), Simon Lorenz (Germany), Tom St George (UK/Mexico), Matty Smith (UK/Australia), Ryuta Ogawa (Japan/UK) and Steve Woods (UK/Canada).

The competition’s grand prix was awarded to Ben Thouard (France), along with the accolade of Ocean Photographer of the Year 2022. Based in French Polynesia, Ben Thouard was unanimously chosen for his breathtaking image of a surfer riding one of the world’s largest and most famous waves, Teahupo’o.

The second Female Fifty Fathoms Award (FFF) was won by Australian photographer Brooke Pyke.

The second Female Fifty Fathoms Award (FFF) was won by Australian photographer Brooke Pyke.

This announcement coincided with the opening of an outdoor exhibition of the winning photographs taking place along the banks of the Thames (The Queen’s Walk, London) from 5 to 27 October 2022.

The partnership between Blancpain and OPY is part of the Blancpain Ocean Commitment, which brings together all the Brand’s initiatives to protect the ocean. The programme comprises three separate but interrelated parts: raising awareness of the beauty of the oceans, scientific research into ecosystems and undersea phenomena, and introducing tangible initiatives for conservation, such as the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Photo by Brooke Pyke.

Through the OPY competition, Blancpain and Oceanographic Magazine – the competition’s organiser – aim to reveal the splendour and fragility of the oceans to a wide audience. A powerful medium for conveying emotions, undersea photography has been an integral part of Blancpain’s ocean initiatives for nearly 20 years.

Source: Blancpain

We continue to highlight a few of our favorite watches from among the more than fifty watchmakers that have created timepieces for the Only Watch charity auction, which commences Saturday, November 6, in Geneva. Christie’s will auction these incredible watches to raise funds that benefit research in the battle against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

While you may have seen a few of the watches set for auction earlier this year when Only Watch announced them, we thought you’d enjoy seeing many of these inspired designed again just ahead of the event.

The watches will tour the globe starting September 22 in Monaco, and can then be seen in exhibitions in Dubai (September 30 to October 3), Tokyo (October 8 to 10), Singapore (October 15 to 20), Hong Kong (October 25 to 27), Macau (October 28) and finally back in Geneva on November 4-6. Click here for details about the Only Watch world tour.

Today, we highlight the offering from Blancpain, which created an Only Watch version of its highly collectible Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad watch. The mid-1960s series is characterized with a stamp on the dial with a “no radiations” logo indicating that Blancpain did not use luminescent radium.

Here, the logo remains the dial’s highlight, but the logo’s original yellow and red colors have been replaced by Only Watch orange and yellow. Blancpain fits the watch’s unidirectional rotating bezel with a sapphire insert, direct from the current collection.

And while it may not always come across in images, the domed glassbox-type sapphire crystal Blancpain attaches here is outstanding. It quite effectively contributes to the multi-level effect of the dial. From the back, you’ll see a black rotor in solid gold bearing a special “Only Watch” inscription.

Only Watch auction estimate: CHF 12,000 to CHF 18,000.