Dive the world
text size

Dive the world

Groundbreaking Blancpain x Swatch collab highlights the 5 oceans and their amazing marine life

Tritoniella belli resembles an iceberg battered by storm waves.
Tritoniella belli resembles an iceberg battered by storm waves.

Making a splash as part of the Fifty Fathoms 70th anniversary celebrations, the Blancpain x Swatch collaboration unveils five watches in colours inspired by nudibranch molluscs.

The resulting Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Collection expresses Blancpain's dedication to marine conservation.

The Swiss watchmaker is founding partner of numerous environmental initiatives, such as Pristine Seas expeditions, which enabled the creation of new marine protected areas covering more than 4 million square kilometres around the world.

Through its Blancpain Ocean Commitment programme, the company has co-financed more than 20 major scientific expeditions and helped double the surface area of protected marine areas.

The collab pays tribute to the Arctic, Antartic, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans through playful versions of the Fifty Fathoms while referencing Swatch's own diving watch line, the Scuba.

Born in 1735, Blancpain is the world's oldest watch brand now based in the Vallée de Joux while Swatch has been making funky models in Bienne since 1983.

The heritage and expertise of the two Swatch Group brands have been combined for the Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms.

The 42.3mm case, bezel and crown as well as a pin buckle and loops are made from Swatch's Bioceramic, a hybrid of two thirds ceramic and one third biosourced material derived from castor oil.

Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Indian Ocean and Blancpain's iconic diver's watch.

With a silky-matte finish, the durable, scratch-resistant material comes in various colours used for the collaboration with Blancpain.

The new watches echo the Fifty Fathoms in the typical case, unidirectional rotating bezel as well as the anti-magnetic self-winding movement.

They are powered by Swatch's mechanical movement SISTEM51, which is fully anti-magnetic thanks to the Nivachron hairspring.

"Swatch has brilliantly reinterpreted our iconic model, in its own way, with its own vision. As a keen diver myself, I really appreciate the attention to detail in this collection and the many references to the Fifty Fathoms. The fact that it is water-resistant to a depth of 91m -- corresponding to exactly 50 fathoms, a nautical unit of depth -- is a fantastic nod," said Blancpain president and CEO Marc A. Hayek.

Back in 1953, Blancpain's co-CEO Jean-Jacques Fiechter was also an avid scuba diver and brainchild of the Fifty Fathoms, which further met specifications of the French Navy seeking to equip its new combat diving corps with a rugged and waterproof diving instrument.

Arctic Ocean model with the 'NO RADIATIONS' symbol and illustration of Dendronotus frondosus.

Professional and amateur divers alike adopted the modern diver's watch with a patented double O ring crown system and rotating bezel that allowed calculation of time underwater.

By enhancing diving safety, the Fifty Fathoms spurred the development of scuba diving and discovery of the oceans.

Icy waters of the Earth's smallest ocean are celebrated by the Arctic Ocean model, whose soft beige-coloured dial has a symbol comprising a red trefoil on a yellow background with a white cross cutting through it. The words "NO RADIATIONS" recalls how Blancpain engineered the world's first diver's watch without radium.

The beige Bioceramic case is contrasted by the bezel with an anti-scratch coating insert in orange.

On the caseback, the transparent sapphire glass showcases the movement and illustration of the Arctic Ocean along with a Dendronotus frondosus, or bushy backed nudibranch, in digital print on the rotor.

Likewise, the other four models portray the respective ocean and native nudibranch, whose name refers to naked gills.

Antarctic Ocean watch with a bicolour water contact indicator.

"These sea animals are pure marvels of nature. With their unlikely shapes and often shimmering colours, they are an immense pleasure to observe in their element during a dive. They create a serene and calming effect," said Hayek.

Harmonising with the frozen ocean, the Tritoniella belli nudibranch resembles an iceberg battered by storm waves.

Its muted hues inspire the ice-white colour of the Antarctic Ocean model, which distinctly has a bicolour water contact indicator at 6 o'clock. Detecting the presence of water, this sensor is an important feature in military diving watches.

The gradient metal dials of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific versions differ with a date window between 4 and 5 o'clock.

The largest and deepest of the five oceans, the Pacific is home to Chromodoris kuiteri, depicted on the third model housed in a bright yellow-orange Bioceramic case.

Blue shades of the Atlantic Ocean timepiece reflect its stormy seas and raging waves as well as Glaucus atlanticus, commonly known as the blue dragon.

Atlantic Ocean version with the case in Bioceramic and Nato strap made from recycled fishing nets.

Evoking coral reefs, Nembrotha kubaryana in mesmerising colours appear on the rotor of the Indian Ocean model in a vibrant green case.

The collaboration is marked by the Blancpain x Swatch logo on the dial and crown while Swatch is inscribed on the case's outer left side.

The caseback further features five inspirational inscriptions: PASSION FOR DIVING – LICENCE TO EXPLORE – OCEAN BREATH – PROTECT WHAT YOU LOVE and IMMERSE YOURSELF. Sustainable watchmaking is represented by Nato straps made from recycled fishing nets removed from the sea.

Glaucus atlanticus, or the blue dragon, can be found drifting on the surface of the Atlantic.

The colours of Chromodoris kuiteri inspire the palette for the Pacific Ocean variation.

Do you like the content of this article?