Introducing: The Blancpain Tribute To Fifty Fathoms No Rad Restricted Version

In a letter to the editor printed in The New York Instances in 1959, a reader replied to a contemporary article reporting that lines of radiation were discovered on a Pan Am transatlantic flight – however {that a} Public Well being Services and products investigation discovered the radiation ranges to be lower than that of a wristwatch lined in radium paint. This reader used to be curious, “If the remark is in line with reality, mustn’t the Public Well being Provider even be investigating radium dial watches?”

Using radium in watches turned into a sizzling button protection factor within the nineteen sixties, as our New York Instances reader used to be slightly early to indicate (regardless that the hazards had been no doubt recognized at that time). The mid-century radium scare, alternatively, did lead to one of the iconic dive watches ever produced by means of Blancpain.

Now, Blancpain’s access into the world of dive watches is an interesting tale, and one highlighted in a recently released documentary – one who I discovered to be immensely entertaining. Briefly, Blancpain used to be an early contractor with the American (below the call Tornek-Rayville), French, and German army – supplying its Fifty Fathoms for underwater use by means of their more than a few navies. Those watches, known as Mil-Spec, had been designed to – neatly – army specs. The ones specs defined a litany of necessities reminiscent of an automatic winding movement, in addition to the fabrics used.

Commercial for the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Mil-Spec.

When it got here to the luminous utility, the brand used to be successfully certain by means of the ones specs which referred to as for radium. On the other hand, because the nineteen sixties arrived, and it turned into obtrusive simply how unhealthy radium used to be (and the damaging well being results it would have on those that turned into uncovered to it), the brand made a replace.

That is when Blancpain offered certainly one of its maximum iconic variations of the Fifty Fathoms – the “No Radiation” dial variant. The watch used to be designed to obviously establish that the dial wasn’t the use of radioactive fabrics for its lume. And the way did it keep in touch that? Via together with a big colourful stamp, in yellow and crimson, with strains crossing during the radiation trefoil image, studying “No Radiations.” Beautiful transparent.

A nineteen sixties/70s-era Blancpain Fifty Fathoms “No Radiations” dial. Pic: Phillips.

Neatly, now, over a decade later, Blancpain is introducing a “No Radiations” revival: The Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad Restricted Version.

That is a virtually – virtually – 1:1 replica of the authentic style. It is available in an overly wearable 40.3mm case (the similar case used for the HODINKEE Mil-Spec LE), and brings such a lot of the spirit of the authentic style to existence.

It is value noting that during 2010, the brand launched some other tribute to the authentic “No Radiations” watch – with the similar common dial structure – only in a bigger 43.5mm wide case. This used to be launched in a restricted run of 500 items and has since turn out to be rather collectible in its personal proper.

In many ways, the brand new Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad Restricted Version represents a little of a laugh irony. The remedy of the lume is completed in “old radium”-colored Tremendous-LumiNova, intended to recreate the glance of patina at the authentic “No Radiations” style. Say what you’re going to about faux-patina, however on a watch so intentionally calling back to its previous, the impact works right here.

This watch is one thing of an workout in celebrating the old by means of rebuilding it with all issues new. To that time, the bezel insert is made from crystal – a pattern flourish in step with all modern Blancpain divers. The bezel is lumed, with the similar patinated glance because the markers, and has a domed impact to it which performs off of the vintage-aesthetic boxed crystal sapphire. That sapphire creates a distorting impact to the outer edges of the dial. The case itself is waterproof to 300 meters.

The date aperture placement at 3 o’clock is successfully just like the authentic style, as are the semigloss black dial and the presentation of the painted makers. The watch comes suited to a Tropic-style bracelet, and the case has lug holes (which, weirdly, is a classic characteristic, but in addition simply vastly sensible for eliminating a bracelet). Lest we overlook the enduring “No Radiations” stamp which takes heart level right here.

Something value noting is the truth that the case is completely cleaned. Whilst in step with Blancpain’s pattern language, it could were cool to peer a brushed case with this style. Some other side which many will you should definitely indicate is the Blancpain engraving at the aspect of the case. This used to be no longer provide at the authentic style, and it is going with out pronouncing that this watch would possibly rather well be near-perfect in its execution if no longer for that one pattern selection.

The No Rad LE options the Blancpain/Piguet Calibre 1151 – an automatic movement (a vital characteristic for a dive watch as not to put extra rigidity at the crown) that we’ve observed utilized by the brand for years. It used to be even provide within the Fifty Fathoms fiftieth Anniversary style back in 2003. It makes use of a silicon balance spring and offers an excellent four-day energy reserve. Each barrels within the movement are wound by means of a rotor with what is referred to as a cartouche-shaped aperture. Consistent with Blancpain, that is “a nod to probably the most historical timepiece’s within the assortment, together with the first actual Fifty Fathoms. This now peculiar element used to be previously used to extend the suppleness of the oscillating weight in an effort to safeguard the movement in the case of affects.”

It may be tricky to iterate on old designs as a result of oftentimes they necessitate the use of old fabrics of their execution. Right here, Blancpain has balanced the essence of a vintage collectible style with modern construct and movement high quality. This mixture leads to a watch that would unquestionably turn out to be as collectible as its fore-bearers. Similar to the LE in 2010, this Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad Restricted Version is proscribed to 500 items.

The Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad Restricted Version Reference 5008D-1130-B64A. Stainless steel case measuring 40.3mm in diameter and Tropic-style bracelet. Black ceramic lumed bezel. Blancpain/Piguet Calibre 1151 with an influence reserve of 4 days (100 hours) and 28 jewels. Semigloss-black dial with painted markers and lume on hands and plots. Waterproof to 300 meters. Restricted to 500 items. Value: $14,100.

Store Communicate

As you might know, the HODINKEE Store is an Licensed Broker for Blancpain, and the unique on-line store for the Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad Limited Edition. So in case you are taking a look to pick out one up, do not overlook to study The Store.

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