Timepiece Chronicle

In-depth, passionate and entertaining articles that explore the stories behind great watches

The Craziest Fifty Fathoms Blancpain Ever Made: The X-Fathoms

The Craziest Fifty Fathoms Blancpain Ever Made: The X-Fathoms

Blancpain 500 Fathoms.jpg

Last week I wrote about the history of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, now let's look at the wildest modern Fifty Fathoms

The X-Fathoms is a mechanical leviathan attempting to wrest control of the seas from a smaller, more efficient and technologically superior opponent, the dive computer. The 55.65mm beast is superior to nearly all mechanical dive watches yet is completely superfluous against even the most basic digital dive computer, but that doesn't stop it from trying.

It has three independent mechanical depth gauges; a large fifteen meter gauge in blue running around the edge of the dial, a smaller ninety meter gauge in yellow towards the center of the dial and a seperate hand that tracks the deepest point of the dive so far. Water floods into the watch through special grills on the side and on the caseback and as the diver goes deeper, the increased water pressure pushes harder against a membrane which displays the pressure on the gauges.

At 11 o'clock there is a five minute retrograde counter to show divers when to ascend safely and the articulated rubber strap is meant to perfectly contour to a wrist yet allow water to enter to grills on the side and caseback to activate the depth gauges.It's utter madness because no-one is going to take a $38,700 watch diving, but I have to admire Blancpain's technical achievements even if it's totally, 100% unnecessary. 

There types of mechanical watches from luxury brands are never going to compete against the run-of-the-mill equipment purchasable on Amazon or at your dive shop and Blancpain knows this. It's admirable though that even though that they made it and if they hadn't then we wouldn't have seen this wonderful launch trailer which is easily the best/worst use of CGI in a watch advert I've ever seen.

Welcome to the New Timepiece Chronicle

Welcome to the New Timepiece Chronicle

On the Origin of the Species: Made in Germany

On the Origin of the Species: Made in Germany

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