Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
Blancpain, the esteemed Swiss manufacture that opened its doors way back in 1735, is known worldwide for crafting some of the most elegant pocket and dress wristwatches in history. Many of these pieces are brilliant works of horological art, and as a category are worthy of in-depth study and analysis. But today we want to talk about Blancpain's other genius - their entrant into the world of purpose built tool watches, and the industry's prototypical modern diver's watch, the legendary Fifty Fathoms.
Alongside the Rolex Submariner and DOXA Sub 300 Series, the Fifty Fathoms is without question one of the most important dive watch designs in history, and is often credited with being the first purpose-built timepiece with sub-aquatic usage in mind. Conceptualized alongside the Fifty Fathoms was a smaller, simpler timepiece called the Bathyscaphe, a short-lived model that has recently been re-born in the modern collection.
The Bathyscaphe shares a number of design cues with its larger sibling, and like the Fifty, was also licensed and sold under a few different brand names, including Waltham here in the United States. The most desirable, of course, are those with the Blancpain name on the dial, and that is exactly what we have here!
This particular Bathyscaphe is a 34mm non-date model, and is fitted with the Calibre 1187 manual-winding movement, discontinued in 1967. With classic styling cues including a sharply angled steel case, rotating bakelite bezel and glossy gilt dial with applied luminescent markers (radium!), there is little question that this watch was originally purchased by someone who intended to use it in the manner for which it was destined.
When we originally obtained this watch, the crystal was so scuffed and marred from use that we had almost no idea what the dial looked like. After a full spa restoration by our friends at Central Watch, we were delighted to see the absolutely stunning time capsule dial that lay beneath! With a nearly flawless gilt dial, plongeur-style hands and a hard-to-find un-cracked bezel, this is one of the nicest vintage Bathys we have ever come across. The magicians over at Central were even able to save the original acrylic crystal, which aside from a light crazing is now as clean as new!Perfectly sized for smaller wrists, the 34mm Bathyscaphe is svelte, but there is no chance it will go unnoticed - the glossy dial positively gleams in the sunlight, and the bold depth ratings on the Bakelite bezel stand out, calling you to slip on a wetsuit, buckle up the Swiss-Made Tropic strap, and descend into the depths.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.