1953 Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (Ref. 2462) Aqualung 1000FT
(Capt. Bob Maloubier wearing a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms)
The Blancpain series of dive watches have a history that is just as storied as some of the more infamous and famous dive watches of the same era. The vintage Blancpain dive watches are becoming increasingly rare as a result of collectors holding onto these specific timepieces and very small production numbers by Blancpain, to begin with. The Armed Forces were early adopters of Blancpain dive watches. Including the French and American Navy as were the early underwater explorers such as Jacque Cousteau among many others. The early Blancpain dive watches embody the golden era of design and innovation that we love from the late 1950s into the 1960s. The idea for the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms was conceived in 1952 due to members French Navy who required a dive watch for their elite team of combat “Frogmen” divers. After testing numerous dive watches French Navy officers Captain Robert “Bob” Maloubier & Lieutenant Claude Riffaud, could not obtain one fit for the requirements of their elite team. The elite unit required a watch that was extremely water-resistant and still visible underwater even at night. Capt. Maloubier created the blueprints required and sent them around to various watch companies. At the time Most of the watchmaking companies at the time focused on manufacturing piloting and aviation watches. Finally, Capt. Maloubier and Lt. Riffaud engaged with Jean-Jacques Fiechter, who was Blancpain’s CEO from 1950 to 1980. Being a diver himself, Fiechter took to the idea and agreed to develop the timepiece for the elite team of combat divers. Fiechter not only accepted the requirements to produce the specific timepieces but also added to the design features thus resulting in a product that adhered to the specifications set forth by the French Navy but also resulted in features and innovations for the dive watch industry as a whole.
This specific Blancpain Ref. 2462 Fifty Fathoms "Aqua Lung" is an extremely fine example. The glossy dial paired with the 3-dimensional bakelite bezel insert sets this Blancpain apart from other "Golden Era" Divers. The radium markers and numerals are unique and specific to the early Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. It is these simple and understated elements that make this rare piece standout from the crowd.
|Strap||2pc Black Tropic Strap|
The case remains in stunning condition showing the factory chamfers and factory finishing. The original bakelite bezel is in excellent condition with the luminous indices withing the bakelite showing a wonderful golden patina. The case back is also in original and unpolished condition properly displaying the engraved serial number, anti-magnetic, waterproof, shock protected, and automatic engravings. The watch is supplied on an era-correct 2pc black tropic strap
The original glossy dial is in immaculate and untouched condition. The dial is free of any cracks or blemishing and is downright stunning. When viewed under UV light the radium within the bezel and dial still retain glow for a brief moment as do the hands. The radium numerals and markers show the same golden patina and are fully intact with very minimal lume degradation if any at all.
None. The watch was recently serviced and keeping time perfectly.