Blancpain, who has been supporting the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy since its creation in 2001, renews its participation to the charity auction Only Watch. The Maison has chosen to dedicate a one-of-a-kind, Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad model, to this noble cause. This exclusive timepiece inspired by an iconic Blancpain historical timing instrument joins the ranks of the rare and highly prized “No Rad” collector’s items, coveted by watch enthusiasts. This unique iteration will be awarded to the highest bidder, in Geneva, on November 6th 2021.
The Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad watch revisits a Blancpain diving instrument from the mid-60s, which was notably used by the German Navy’s Combat Swimmers. The latter has the characteristic feature of a stamp on the dial with a “no radiations” logo indicating that Blancpain did not use luminescent materials composed of radium – a highly radioactive element declared harmful to health. This distinctive symbol has forged the success of this timepiece, which has become one of the most sought-after Fifty Fathoms watches among collectors.
The Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad model created for Only Watch is characterised by a matt black dial punctuated by the traditional geometrical hour-markers combining round dots, rectangles and a diamond-shaped mark at 12 o’clock. The chapter ring, the hands and the time scale on the bezel all feature orange-coloured Super-LumiNova®. Bespoke to this special piece, this acidulous shade refers to the colour representing the 2021 edition of Only Watch. The dominant element on the dial remains the “no radiations” logo, whose original yellow and red colours have been replaced by orange and yellow, respectively. The unidirectional rotating bezel, featuring a graduation typical of the initial Fifty Fathoms models, is fitted with a sapphire insert, a distinctive feature of the contemporary collection. Its domed profile contributes to the depth effect of the watch face, already enhanced by the use of a glassbox-type sapphire crystal. Water-resistant to 30 bar (approx. 300 metres), the steel case measures 40.3 mm, a diameter exclusive to limited-edition Fifty Fathoms watches.
It houses Blancpain Calibre 1154, a finely finished self-winding movement equipped with a silicon balance spring and endowed with a four-day power reserve. Its two barrels wind by means of a rotor in solid gold bearing a special “Only Watch” inscription. A black NAC coating and a cartouche-shaped aperture, a detail observed on some of the historic timepieces in the collection, including the very first Fifty Fathoms, also distinguish this horological offering. This now atypical attribute formerly was in place to increase the suppleness of the oscillating weight in order to safeguard the movement in the event of impacts. The watch comes with a strap in “Tropic”-type rubber, a material very popular with divers in bygone days because of its durability and wearer comfort.