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Chapter 0

Welcome to Issue 18

For a story genuinely to qualify as a legend, it should unfold in many chapters.

Welcome to Issue 18
Issue 18 Chapter 0

Dear fellow watch connoisseurs
Welcome to Issue 18

For a story genuinely to qualify as a legend, it should unfold in many chapters. Certainly that holds true for the legend of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. Recall the chapters of then Blancpain CEO, Jean-Jacques Fiechter’s adventures with his diving club and his inventiveness in the conception of the world’s first modern diving watch; the adoption by the French Navy’s combat divers; Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s selection of the Fifty for his dives; the creation of the Bathyscaphe and more. In this Issue we focus on one of the most celebrated chapters of this seventy-year saga, the MIL-SPEC 1 and MIL-SPEC 2 Fifties that were the chosen diving watches for the United States Navy. We trace the story through not only the recollections of Jean-Jacques Fiechter, but as well the memories of the two sons of Blancpain’s then US importer Allen V. Tornek. Fortunately, in addition, we have accessed formerly classified reports of the Navy’s testing program. The events of this chapter span nearly two decades beginning in 1953 and running through the 1960s. Fast forward to the present with our modern homage to this important chapter with the Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC, one of our highlights at Baselworld 2017. 

There are many dimensions to our in-house métiers d’art savoir faire. Previously we have introduced our readers to our timepieces showcasing fine engraving, damascening, and shakudō. In this Issue, we focus upon the creative and original forms of enamel painting taking place in Blancpain’s Le Brassus studio.


Enjoy Issue 18!

Marc A. Hayek
President and CEO Blancpain

Chapter 01

Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

The now iconic Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC was selected as the US Navy dive watch. The Tribute pays homage to its history.

Chapter authors

Tribute to  Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC
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