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Blancpain. A Rare Stainless Steel Automatic Anti-Magnetic Diver's Wristwatch with Center Seconds, Made for the German Military
Blancpain. A Rare Stainless Steel Automatic Anti-Magnetic Diver's Wristwatch with Center Seconds, Made for the German Military

SIGNED BLANCPAIN, FIFTY FATHOMS, REF. RPG 1, BUNDESWHER, 6645-12-149-5012, CASE NO. 208'148, CIRCA 1965

Details
Blancpain. A Rare Stainless Steel Automatic Anti-Magnetic Diver's Wristwatch with Center Seconds, Made for the German Military
Signed Blancpain, Fifty Fathoms, Ref. RPG 1, BUNDESWHER, 6645-12-149-5012, Case No. 208'148, Circa 1965
Movement: Automatic, Cal. A.S. 1700
Dial: Black, luminous numerals, luminous hands, center seconds. 'No Radiations' symbol at 6 o'clock
Case: Stainless steel, black bezel, engraved screw back, 41mm diam.
Strap/Buckle: Associated leather strap, associated stainless steel buckle
Accompanied By: A Blancpain quote for service dated October 23, 2007, product literature, an original Blancpain presentation box and Blancpain zipped pouch

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Lot Essay

In 1953, the first Fifty Fathoms watch was released, notably a dive watch that preceded that of Rolex’s Submariner which debuted later in 1954. Beginning with the French Combat Diving School who helped with the design elements with their know-how of actual diving requirements, Blancpain made the first dive watch that was favored by divers and soon it was deemed ready for military use. These watches included a large and legible bezel that could time initial descent, luminous markings to see underwater, and of course the case was waterproof to great depths.

In addition to regular military use, the general population caught on to this good-looking dive watch. Blancpain already issued to various military in many countries, but recreational divers were also interested. In response, Blancpain decided to add a feature to their watches that would set them apart from the military issued watches. A bright yellow and red ‘No Radiations’ mark was placed in large format at 6 o’clock. This would also ensure the public that no harmful coatings were used in the making of their timepiece, further noted in the presence of the marking T < 25 MC. to the outside of the dial, highlighting that the tritium used is less than 25 mC.

The present watch was produced at the very beginning of this production, seen by the lack of date as well as 60 minute bezel. In 1971, the German Bundeswher ordered these watches for their dive units. It was therefore the only army that used the watch with ‘no date’ and ‘no radiations’ dial. With military engravings to the case back, the present watch is a model which is embedded in the early history of Blancpain’s dive watches.

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