Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Mokarran Limited Edition
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Mokarran Limited Edition upholds the prestigious Maison’s links with the subaquatic world. This model features a becoming tropical green dial, 43.6mm black ceramic case, unidirectional rotating bezel with green ceramic insert and, of course, a Manufacture movement executed to a peerless standard.
Blancpain, the esteemed ‘Manufacture de la Haute Horlogerie’, is synonymous with making divers’ watches. Indeed, the brand from the Vallée de Joux created ‘the first modern diving watch’ in 1953 with the advent of the now-famous Fifty Fathoms. The Swiss watch brand worked closely with the French Naval Diving Corps, ‘Les Nageurs de Combat’ creating robust divers’ watches for military use.
Over the years, Blancpain has continued to release new versions of the Fifty Fathoms proffering superior water-resistance as well as encompassing new materials. The brand has also created its famous model in noble metals with various complications, including chronographs and even a tourbillon. Today’s movements, such as the Calibre 1315, embrace cutting-edge silicon hairsprings, demonstrating the brand has chosen not to rest on its laurels.
The Bathyscaphe can also trace its origins to the 1950s. At the time it was a distinct model in its own right. The name ‘Bathyscaphe’ was named after the world’s deepest diving vessel at the time the inaugural model was unveiled. In 2013, Blancpain applied the Bathyscaphe name to a new sub-collection of the Fifty-Fathoms range. Early versions measured 43mm in diameter, but with the passage of time, the Swiss marque unveiled smaller case sizes, including ladies’ models.
Now, the brand has created a limited edition version of the legendary diver’s watch, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Mokarran Limited Edition. This model has been released as part of the brand’s charitable initiative to help protect the great hammerhead shark. Housed in a 43.6mm black ceramic case, it features a gorgeous tropical green dial, deliberately intended to engage with light and a unidirectional rotating bezel with a green ceramic insert. With only 50 pieces planned, demand will inevitably outstrip supply.
The brand’s press release
In January 2020, Blancpain President & CEO Marc A. Hayek travelled to Rangiroa, French Polynesia, where he took part as a volunteer underwater videographer in a scientific expedition dedicated to the study of the seabed and particularly the great hammerhead shark, Sphyrna mokarran. Set up in collaboration with the Mokarran Protection Society environmental association, this first mission was intended to observe the behaviour of this large predator in the wild in order to identify and count its population in Polynesian waters. Despite being a protected species in French Polynesia, the great hammerhead shark remains vulnerable in international and foreign waters. Determining the origin of these individuals and their migratory routes will eventually make it possible to initiate protocols to prevent the extinction of this animal. This mission to Rangiroa Atoll follows several explorations conducted in French Polynesia since 2014 by diver, photographer and scientist Laurent Ballesta, under the aegis of Marc A. Hayek and with Blancpain’s support.
In addition to its commitment to the Mokarran Protection Society, Blancpain is now unveiling a special diver’s watch dedicated to the protection of the great hammerhead shark. A three-hand version of the Bathyscaphe model, the Mokarran Limited Edition marks the introduction of a new colour to the Fifty Fathoms watch collection. The tropical green dial of this exclusive timepiece catches the light and reveals its chromatic reflections thanks to a sunburst finish. This vibrant hue enhances the iconic aesthetic elements of the Bathyscaphe, such as its baton- type hands and geometric hour-markers coated in luminescent material. The unidirectional rotating bezel incorporates a green ceramic insert matching the dial. Made of satin-finished black ceramic, the 43.6 mm-diameter case is water-resistant to 30 bar (approximately 300 m).
A sapphire caseback provides a chance to admire Calibre 1318, a non-date variant of the 1315. Characterized by its precision, performance and beauty, the latter self-winding movement was specially developed and produced by Blancpain for its sports watches. It notably features a balance equipped with a silicon balance-spring and three barrels providing a five-day power reserve. Its solid gold oscillating weight is NAC-coated and engraved with the effigy of the great hammerhead shark, Sphyrna mokarran.
Available exclusively from Blancpain boutiques in New York and Las Vegas, the 50 timepieces composing this special edition are individually numbered. With his or her watch, each purchaser receives a certificate of donation, a framed underwater photograph from the January 2020 mission, along with a personal code giving access to the Blancpain Ocean Commitment Circle. This private area of the BOC website offers exclusive benefits such as sneak-preview information on the brand’s partners, opportunities to meet them, as well as invitations to previews of documentaries related to scientific expeditions supported by Blancpain.