Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 'No Radiations Technisub'

A fathom is a unit of length used to measure the depth in water.

Museum Piece
BlancpainBlancpain was founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain in small and picturesque Villeret, Switzerland.

Introduction

A fathom is a unit of length used to measure the depth in water. Fifty fathoms is 91.44 meters deep.In 1953, the introduction of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, marked the beginning of a new era. 1950 was a decade that stood for discoveries and explorations. Mankind explored the highest summits in the world but also the deepest parts of the ocean. These men needed proper tool watches. The French commando frogmen asked several watch brands to make them a dive watch. None of the brands took interest to actually produce such a watch except for one brand. Blancpain created the first dive watch commissioned by the frogmen. When this watch finally hit the market, not only the frogmen, but also many other divers, underwater scientists and photographers who explored the beauty of the oceans, adopted this watch as one of their necessary tools. Blancpain put itself on the map with this waterproof - which is quite normal nowadays, but was actually quite special then - automatic wrist watch named the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms.Its design is simple. Function over fashion. The watch, which is powered by caliber AS 1700/1701, measures 42 mm. in diameter and has a rotatable, ribbed bezel with a bakelite insert and clear Arabic quarters and hour markers. When it comes to the dial, there were various versions: the first batches had a humidity indicator above the 6-hour position. The one we have dates back to 1965 and has a black-lacquered 'No Radiations' dial. Basically, this is a symbol above the 6-hour position that, obviously, indicates that the lume on the watch is not radioactive. Furthermore, the word 'Technisub' is displayed in white below the 12-hour position. Technisub was a distributor of diving equipment and for this company Blancpain made a small batch of watches featuring 'Technisub' on the dial.

Description

BlancpainBlancpain was founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain in small and picturesque Villeret, Switzerland. Jehan-Jacques was born in 1693 and transformed the upper floor of his farmhouse in a watchmaking atelier. He has always been a busy man because he did not only work as a watchmaker, but also kept working as a cattle farmer, a school teacher and later in his life he even became the mayor of Villeret. In 1797, due to the French invasion, the young men in the Blancpain family had to go to the front and this affected their watchmaking ventures. After Napoleon's defeat, Blancpain's grandson industrialized the watchmaking process using hydraulic power to supply electricity. The company struggled but survived the rough times of the industrial revolution.In 1926, Blancpain started producing automatic wristwatches and in 1930, they created the first automatic watch for women. In 1953, Blancpain created the Fifty Fathoms for the French navy. This watch even became the favourite watch of world-famous naval officer, diver, filmmaker, explorer and scientist Jacques-Yves Cousteau. During the '70s and '80s, Blancpain almost collapsed due to the quartz recession. In 1983, however, under the leadership of Biver, Blancpain experiences a successful transition focusing on grand complications. Within a decade, Blancpain was bought by SIHH. Nowadays, it is the oldest registered watch company in the world that still is in operation.