The brand offers two versions of this Blancpain Monaco Yacht Limited Edition Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II on either a grey textile/canvas strap, or this high-end NATO-style strap with grey titanium hardware. It’s a damn nice NATO-style strap, however it will come in a 23mm wide dimensions, and it also feels a bit odd on such a luxury watch (even if it looks cool). The best way to think about this Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph is as an extremely well-detailed instrument watch. It seems nice, performs well, and has an extremely handsome traditional look to it. Most significant, of course, is that it’s comfortable to wear and easy to read. Those elements together actually set it into a league with not that a number of other watches, and help solidify Blancpain as one of the greatest producers of high-end “luxury” sport watches. The mention 5200-0310-G52 A (canvas strap) or reference 5200-0310-NAG A (NATO-style strap) Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II watch is priced at $20,100. Blancpain continues to be a strong supplier of unique and intriguing movements in what often feels like a sea of mechanical genericism, even at the luxury watch market. Look closely and you’ll find in Blancpain watches genuinely innovative efforts that are creating new assortments of present ideas, in addition to some novel ones. Now, I’d like to check out the Blancpain Villeret Quantieme Annuel GMT watch that we first covered here. It comes in 18k white gold, 18k rose gold, as well as in steel – all with different dial styles. It is upgraded for 2016 according to a movement which launched in 2011.
The Blancpain 1735 Grande Complication Bathyscaphe is the Fifty Fathom’s smaller brother. One of the readers of our sire suggested we compare the two, so here we stack them up for a face-off.
Just launched at Baselworld 2013, the Blancpain Bathyscaphe joins the Fifty Fathoms dive watch in the brand’s sport watch line-up, which is also called the Fifty Fathoms. In fact the Bathyscaphe is also labelled “Fifty Fathoms” on the dial, indicating it’s provenance.
The Bathyscaphe is smaller, slimmer and more vintage-ish than the Fifty Fathoms. It is 2 mm smaller at 43 mm, though it feels slightly smaller, probably due to the brushed case finish.
In contrast the Fifty Fathoms feels like the 45 mm it is, with its entirely polished case finish. And the Fifty Fathoms has the unsightly “Blancpain” logo embossed on its case side.
Whereas the Bathyscaphe is mostly matte and subdued, the Fifty Fathoms is entirely glossy, an effect enhanced by the wide, domed and very shiny sapphire-covered bezel. Because of its matte finish and bevelled lugs, the Bathyscaphe case appears slightly more refined.
Both watches have the same cal. 1315 movement inside, but the Bathyscaphe has a display back while the Fifty Fathoms has a solid back.
With its size and appearance, the Fifty Fathoms looks like a luxury sports watch. In contrast the Bathyscaphe is more restrained. Overall the fit and finish of both watches is equivalent.
The Fifty Fathoms, which is only available in steel, retails for about a quarter more than the steel Bathyscaphe, and a fifth more than the titanium Bathyscaphe.
For a more detailed look at the Bathyscaphe, don’t forget to check out my photo essay.