Considering that the moisture indicator has no connection with the inner workings of the watch (unlike Sinn’s Ar-capsule technologies which functions as an active dehumidifier for the movement), Blancpain’s Caliber 1150 has been allowed to carry out as-is. Considering that the smaller profile of the case, Blancpain Indonesia was wise to pick a thinner movement, rather than utilize the 1315 found on additional Fifty Fathoms editions such as the Bathyscaphe. Therefore, the power book drops from 120 hours to 96 — that remains a generous amount, as a result of its twin-barrel design. The watch is finished with a display caseback, granting a view of the platinum alloy-coated gold rotor — an extravagant detail for a watch with this kind of humble beginnings, but a pleasant one to look at, nonetheless.The Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms Mil-Spec can be obtained on one of three options: Blancpain’s now-familiar rubber-backed sailcloth, a stainless steel bracelet, or a black NATO strap — the latter of which seems to greatest disguise the cost point and match the watch’s UDT trappings most efficiently between the three. It’s not necessary to create a unique watch to celebrate men, because most mechanical timepieces are already geared to male aficionados. Blancpain, nevertheless, thoughtfully singles out women once annually for a special-edition watch designed to be gifted to some woman on St. Valentine’s Day. Blancpain, the maker of such tough-guy timepieces as the Fifty Fathoms and sophisticated complications such as the Tourbillon Carrousel, has been producing ladies watches since 1930, and lays claim to having made the very first automatic watch for ladies.
In late April auctioneers Monaco Legends and Antiquorum revealed its upcoming July auction in Monte Carlo would include a Patek Philippe ref. 5208P – a million dollar grand complication – with “Vladimir Vladimirovic Putin” printed on the certificate. Earlier this month American watch blog Hodinkee picked up the news, which led to a denial from the Kremlin that the watch belongs to the Russian head of state.
Putin, however, is the owner of a IWC Mark XVII, which costs US$5000 or so. The wristwatch features prominently in the final episode of The Putin Interviews, a four part series covering a string of interviews director Oliver Stone had with the Russian President over two years. Putin is spotted with the IWC during the final session with Stone that took place in February 2017.
Over the years Putin has been spotted with a variety of other pricier watches, including examples from A. Lange & Söhne, Breguet, F.P. Journe and Patek Philippe, though not with the infamous Patek Philippe ref. 5208P or anything quite as expensive – which seems like a prudent move by a politician no matter how well-off he is.
The most famous Putin wristwatch, however, is the one he is spotted the most often with: the Blancpain 1150 Movement Aqua Lung Grande Date. He has given away examples of the Blancpain twice and thrown one into freshly poured cement once, while all the official portraits of Putin that show a wristwatch are of the Blancpain, which is reputedly known as the “Putin Blancpain” in Russia.
Screenshots credit The Putin Interviews