After the polarising launch of the Swatch MoonSwatch partnership with Omega, the world’s largest watch company is back at it again with yet another collaboration with a Swatch sister brand, this time with Blancpain. Dubbed the Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms, both brands come together to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms — the world’s first true diver’s watch which made watchmaking history with its release in 1953. Rumours first surfaced at the start of September with a video on Hodinkee giving clues to the launch before another official teaser confirmed the Swatch-Blancpain partnership only a few days later.
Referencing the Swatch Scuba lineup, the non-limited collection faithfully captures the hallmarks of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms: superior water resistance, outstanding legibility, mechanical movement, secured rotating bezel and anti-magnetic protection. As with the Swatch MoonSwatch, the collection’s case, bezel and crown are made from Swatch’s proprietary Bioceramic material, all coming together to house the automatic Sistem51 calibre. The special collection features another nod to the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms with fifty fathoms (91m or 300ft) of water resistance.
As an ode to the dive watch’s symbiotic relationship with the ocean, five iterations of the Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms have been announced, each inspired by one of Earth’s five oceans. Flipping the watch over reveals an illustration of a species of the nudibranch, a magnificent, colourful animal, on the Sistem51 components. Each watch is paired with a NATO strap made from recycled fishing nets removed from the sea.
Perhaps the standout piece from the collection, the Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Arctic Ocean features the red trefoil, yellow background “NO RADIATION” logo on the dial, referencing the highly coveted Blancpain Fifty Fathoms No Rad. The watch features a beige case, crown and dial, accented with an orange bezel and NATO strap with an illustration of the Arctic Ocean and the Dendronotus Frondosus nudibranch on the case back.
The Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Pacific Ocean features the most graphic colour way of the lot with its yellow-orange case and crown contrasted by a black bezel insert and NATO strap that is offset with a gradient white dial with black elements. Flipping the watch over reveals an illustration of the Pacific Ocean and the Chromodoris Kuiteri nudibranch on the case back.
Various shades of blue come together for the Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Atlantic Ocean. Fans of the Swatch MoonSwatch will be quick to note the uncanny resemblance to the ultra-popular Swatch MoonSwatch Neptune. Flipping the watch over reveals an illustration of the Atlantic Ocean and the Glaucus Atlanticus nudibranch.
Tints of green reminiscent of the Indian Ocean are captured in the case of the Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Indian Ocean. Hints of orange together with a black bezel insert balances the unconventional colourway. Flipping the watch over reveals an illustration of the Indian Ocean and the Nembrotha Kubaryana nudibranch.
Noteworthy as well is the “MIL-SPEC” treatment given to the Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Antarctic Ocean with the bi-colour logo on the dial. This particular feature first appeared in 1954 when Blancpain used it to detect moisture seeping into the watch which caused the sensor to change colour. The watch features a tonal ice white case and crown complemented by a grey dial and bezel. Flipping the watch over reveals an illustration of the Antarctic Ocean and the Tritoniella Belli nudibranch.
This story was first published on MENS’ FOLIO Singapore.
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