Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantieme Complement Phase de Lune: Price, specifications, availability

Date:

You could be forgiven for assuming that when it comes to mechanical watches, the movement is the hard part to make, and everything else just fits into place. Sometimes that may be true – and Swiss brands certainly put a lot of emphasis on the rotating set of wheels and springs that tell the time.

But when you have to expect the same level of quality from the rest of the watch, getting even the most superficially simple components right can be surprisingly complex, as Blancpain found when it began developing a ceramic bracelet for its Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe.

Blancpain 2024 New Fifty Fathoms

Photo: Blancpain

After years of hard work, today this bracelet makes its first appearance in a new collection of Bathyscaphe dive watches called the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantieme Complement Phase de Lune – this is a full calendar including the phases of the moon, meaning the watch displays the day, date, month and lunar cycle, but still needs to be manually adjusted at the end of each month.

It’s an excellent watch in its own right, with a silicon escapement, a three-day power reserve, and a distinctive dive bezel with “liquidmetal” inlay for the text.

But what Blancpain is really excited about is that for the first time, the Bathyscaphe – which has been available with a ceramic case since 2015 – will now also be available with a matching bracelet.

This could have happened years ago; Blancpain’s parent company Swatch Group owns a specialist company, Comadur SA, which makes ceramic bracelets for sister brands such as Omega and Rado. But as one of the group’s most prestigious names, Blancpain’s checklist was very particular, and this led to the development of a completely custom bracelet, including two new patents.

Top of the list was a bracelet that was as durable and flexible as a high-end dive watch. The zirconium oxide used is known for its surface hardness (7.5 points on the Mohs scale, below diamond, at 10, and above titanium, at 6) and its superior strength-to-weight ratio—but it can be brittle.

Man's hand using machinery on a Blancpain watch

The ceramic bracelet is made of several links joined together by pins. The pins of the Blancpain bracelet have a patented shape to increase flexibility and prevent over-bending.

Photo: Blancpain

Blancpain Watch Parts

The bracelet links are then prepared for a heating process called “sintering,” during which the pieces can shrink by about 25 percent.

Photo: Blancpain

The Blancpain team points out that multi-link bracelet designs are prone to failure if the distance between links is too small and parts are allowed to rub against one another. But make them too loose, and not only will the bracelet feel cheap and less secure, but its links will collide in other ways.

The answer was a complex system of links held together by titanium bars, each held in position by screwing by hand. Within the bracelet, each bar has a patented cam-shaped section that sits within a flared recess on the side of the center link. As the bracelet flexes, the titanium cam is able to move within its recess, but no further, meaning the bracelet is flexible within a controlled range.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe

spot_imgspot_img

Popular

More like this
Related