This is the second "tribute" model in the Fifty Fathoms watch collection and to get both models straight you'll need to pay close attention to the names. This one is the Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms Aqua Lung watch, whereas last year's model is the Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms watch (note no Aqua Lung at the end).
As it is a limited edition, I am not exactly sure how many pieces will be made but this model is very attractive. Is it more so than last year's model with the "no radiation" dial? Just a different look. This Tribute to the Aqua Lung has a more mainstream feel, which I like. The case and movement are the same as you'll find in the standard Fifty Fathoms watch. That means it is in steel and 45mm wide. It also has an in-house automatic movement with several days of power reserve and I love that blue-tinted nautilus style automatic movement on the rotor.
The original Aqua Lung model that this watch is based on is from the 1950s and is, of course, a collector's item. You can view a picture of it in the post here and see how Blancpain took steps to replicate the dial while maintaining the feel of the modern watch. The resulting dial is simple and utilitarian, but made nice by the high-end features and construction of the timepiece. I am still loving this watch even though it s a few years old (the base Fifty Fathoms I mean). I enjoy the size, curved sapphire over the bezel, and the great finishing on the case.
This model also gets a textile strap with large portholes in it. Not sure if the original had those but it looks cool. I feel pretty strongly that among high-end dive watches, the Fifty Fathoms is overlooked a lot. These tribute models are a good way of helping Blancpain remind people of the brand's heritage and history. Aside from the dial and some minor details, there isn't too much new for this year. Look for the Tribute to Fifty Fathoms Aqua Lung watches soon.