• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1353

    Important Pocketwatches and Wristwatches

    12 May 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 10

    Blancpain. An unusual stainless steel self-winding water-resistant anti-magnetic diver's wristwatch with sweep centre seconds

    SIGNED BLANCPAIN, FIFTY FATHOMS, AQUA-LUNG, NO. 3380, CIRCA 1965

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Blancpain. An unusual stainless steel self-winding water-resistant anti-magnetic diver's wristwatch with sweep centre seconds
    Signed Blancpain, Fifty Fathoms, Aqua-Lung, No. 3380, circa 1965
    With nickel-finished lever movement, 17 jewels, soft iron anti-magnetic inner case, metal dust cap, the black dial with luminous baton and dot numerals, hands and sweep centre seconds, circular radioactivity indicator to the lower half, in tonneau-shaped water-resistant type case with bi-directional revolving black bezel with luminous 60 units indication, screw back and screw down crown, case, dial and movement signed
    41 mm. diam.


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    Accompanied by photocopy of Blancpain invoice dated 3 May 2000 for the overhaul of this watch.

    Debuted in 1953, Blancpain's celebrated "Fifty Fathoms" model was presented as the first true modern diving wristwatch. The idea for the model arose when two captains of the French navy, Commander Maloubier and Lieutenant Riffand, requested a practical solution for a watch to be used by a new unit of military combat swimmers.

    Upon finding no existing watch capable of withstanding the extreme conditions of underwater missions, the two officers approached Blancpain with a very specific set of technical specifications, including the revolutionary unidirectional bezel. The watch developed following these requests is considered the archetype of the diver's watch, its name derived from the water resistance guaranteed to a depth of 50 fathoms or 91.45 meters.