While the Fifty Fathoms is vintage inspired, it is not vintage-sized. The case is 45mm wide and here offered in polished steel. In fact, the entire case is polished – and that is pretty rare to find these days in modern watches. It isn’t that thin either – being 15.5mm thick. There is a coolness to the larger size of watch that I like. I wouldn’t have it that much smaller. Blancpain could probably add a smaller 42 or 43mm wide Fifty Fathoms size, but I think they should never get rid of the 45mm wide size. There is something so satisfying about how it looks on the wrist, and that isn’t something that translates as well in smaller dimensions.

Blancpain also prints “Antimagnetic” on the case, which you don’t see on a lot of prestige brand watches. True enough the chunk of steel that is the case probably has a soft iron core around the movement that shields against magnetism. In some ways that is a shame because it means you cannot see the movement – that at least on some Fifty Fathoms models has a cool nautilus shell-style automatic rotor.

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Speaking of the movement, most all the Fifty Fathoms family watches (save for GMT or chronograph models) use the same Blancpain in-house made caliber 1315 automatic movement – and the Fifty Fathoms Automatique is no exception. The 1315 is really a great movement not only for being in-house made, but also because it has a really long power reserve of 120 hours. That is a full five days. I love that you can wear and wind it and then leave it for the better part of a week and it is still running when you pick it up again. That is good for when you are traveling or are the type of person who forgets to put things on a winder. Five days of power reserve is more than double that of most other three-hand watches.

If you really want to see the movement there are other versions of the Fifty Fathoms with exhibition case back windows. Sure they aren’t going to be anti-magnetic, but you can at least get the full horological experience. Attached to the case of the Fifty Fathoms is the well-known “canvas” strap. To call it canvas is a bit of a misnomer because it is much more than that. It has a coated rubbery surface to it that is water resistant, and wears very comfortably on the the wrist with the included deployant buckle.

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Looking on Blancpain’s website you can see just how many versions of the Fifty Fathoms there are. A few years ago Blancpain released the 500 Fathoms which is more water resistant and in titanium, and more recently Blancpain released the slightly lower-priced Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe collection. Further, the standard Fifty Fathoms has a chronograph version, while the 500 Fathoms has a GMT version available.

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Nevertheless, the traditional Fifty Fathoms Automatique is still my favorite model that Blancpain produces, and again there are many options in terms of colors. There is the typical black dialed version I reviewed, a black on black model, or a rare metallic blue or white dial. The watch also comes in 18k rose gold versions in addition to steel. An option that I do recommend for those interested in the watch is also to look out for the very nice steel bracelet that offers a nice compliment to the strap.


As a timepiece I lusted after for quite some time was it worth the wait to review? Was I still enamored with it after “dating” a bit? Yes, I think so. This is really one of the few truly timeless sport watches out there, and there is a sense of European refinement to the design that is hard to find anywhere else. While Blancpain likes to focus on their high-complication timepieces, I think that their dive watches are not something to overlook when considering a new sport watch. For me the 5015 design is beautiful, I hope to see Blancpain continue to support this great collection.

The Fifty Fathoms Automatique reference. 5015-1130-52 retails for a hefty $14,500. That is a lot, but they really don’t cut any corners.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Blancpain
>Model: Fifty Fathoms Automatique
>Price: $14,500
>Size: 45mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone that wants a beautiful, classic sports watch from a high-end brand and likes a larger size on their wrist.
>Best characteristic of watch: Refined modern design mixed with vintage inspiration makes for a timepiece with a lot of lasting wearability. Quality is very good.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Very expensive price can make one do a double take given relatively simple design.

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