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Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II Watch Now In Blue Ceramic Case

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II Watch Now In Blue Ceramic Case Watch Releases

Some major watch brands seem to really think highly of ceramic as a case material and Blancpain is among them. Previously a closely guarded field of expertise of Rado and Chanel, ceramic technology and production techniques have only recently evolved to a point where more brands are entertaining the idea of a ZrO2 case, since a lot more control of things like colors and hardness is becoming possible. The new-for-2016 Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II watch case is all in blue ceramic – something the likes of which we haven’t seen before.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II Watch Now In Blue Ceramic Case Watch Releases

Why we haven’t seen it before? My understanding is that achieving color uniformity and maintaining sufficient hardness at the same time has been the major challenge of adding pigments to ceramic. That’s why we mostly see black and white (and gray) ceramic (like, say, this black ceramic Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe). The problem is that if the mixture does not clean up entirely and evenly after the heat treatment process, it will have discolorations and marks in it that will ruin the look – and the piece itself, since these imperfections cannot be removed.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II Watch Now In Blue Ceramic Case Watch Releases

It is true that we have been seeing more and more colors in ceramic bezels from Rolex, TAG Heuer and a few others, and so it was perhaps only a matter of time before colored ceramic cases came along. And it kind of also suggests a possible future of all kinds of colors for ceramic watch cases – Speedmaster Muave Side of the Moon, anyone? That might be kind of cool.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II Watch Now In Blue Ceramic Case Watch Releases

Back on point, Blancpain says they achieve this deep, rich blue of the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph by adding the pigment and a bonding agent during the production process, with the bonding agent burning off at a lower heat level before submitting the piece to the high-temperature (sintering) step for hardening. I’m not really sure why this apparently difficult technique succeeds where others had failed – and I suspect truly understanding the chemistry would be a much longer discussion – but Blancpain says it is the product of several years of trials. Anyhow, I believe them that getting it right, with a uniform color across all the parts was a challenge – otherwise, we would have seen it before.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II Watch Now In Blue Ceramic Case Watch Releases

The all-blue ceramic case of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II is 43.60mm across by 15.25mm thick, and water-resistant to 300 meters. Lug width is an unconventional 23mm, putting a damper on your strap-changing zeal. We can all agree that ceramic’s non-scratching and non-fading properties are both very positive, but I, for one, am not totally convinced of its suitability as a case material. Something like the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II will probably last for a long time and keep looking good if you aren’t too hard on it – but I have seen a chipped ceramic watch case and bracelet, and it isn’t pretty, so do keep it safe from drops and bangs. Making a sport watch in ceramic, to me, just emphasizes that it is a luxury object made to be worn in day-to-day situations, shown off among rich friends… and that a Seiko or a Casio is what will likely accompany real adventurers who plan on moving large rocks underwater.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II Watch Now In Blue Ceramic Case Watch Releases

Introduced in 2014 (hands-on with that Bathyscaph Flyback Chronograph here), the automatic caliber F385 runs at 5Hz (that’s a “hi-beat” 36,000bph) with a 50-hour power reserve, and features a 12-hour flyback chronograph, small seconds, and the date. The sapphire crystal case-back offers a dang lovely view of the movement and the 18k gold rotor with the Ocean Commitment logo.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II Watch Now In Blue Ceramic Case Watch Releases

Price for each of the 250-piece limited-edition Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment watches will be £14,000 (which is currently around US$17,000). For each piece sold, €1,000 (totaling €250,000 for the full run) will go to supporting scientific expeditions as part of Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment project. blancpain.com

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  • I love this thing. Want it to be cheaper, but I love it.

  • laup nomis

    I like the 50 fathoms look, but I do prefer the non-chronograph one. As for ceramic, I’m not yet convinced.
    Also when spending a fair wedge a cash, I like my watches to have some heft. I know this is atavistic, but at least you feel like you’re buying ‘something’ with metal. Ceramic just comes across plastic, and about as durable and throw-away as my latest Samsung Galaxy Note.

    • ??????

      And will it stand if you accidentally drop it or hit it. Who knows.

  • Larry Holmack

    It’s nice enough looking, but if I am going to spend that kind of money ( which to be honest…I’m not )….I have 3 or 4 Breitlings way ahead of this on my grail list!

  • ??????

    Oh, please, this date.. 17k and you cannot do it properly or just eliminate.

  • Shawn Lavigne

    wow!

  • Alex

    Fantastic looking watch, I love it, but have to agree with Zen here, it doesn’t fit its purpose, just for showing off.

  • TrevorXM

    The steel version of this watch is on regular rotation for my desktop background. It’s between it and the new Vacheron Overseas chronograph as my dream watch I could wear everyday for every purpose. This ceramic blue version doesn’t do it. As Zen notes, too fragile in ceramic. I also dislike the actual blue colour — it looks like the exact blue you get with anodized aluminium. It looks cheap.

  • A_watches

    This is a supremely cool watch from all angles. Would be happy to take this over the new daytona.

  • mtnsicl

    Very nice!!

  • SuperStrapper

    Not sure if want…? I think the ballistic strap is a complete insult on a watch in this price range. It looks like shit in these touched up marketing images, imaging how garbage it will look after wearing it twice. The watch itself is nice, I like the blue, and the finishes. What is the black that comprises the chronograph pusher tubes? Different coloured ceramic?

  • Sheez Gagoo

    The blue case and the grey dial and strap doesn`t really match together. And it`s a bit smurfy.

  • otaking241

    “And it kind of also suggests a possible future of all kinds of colors
    for ceramic watch cases – Speedmaster Muave Side of the Moon, anyone?”

    Call it the “Harvest Moon.”

    Had a DSOTM for a while and was extremely impressed by how light and scratch resistant it was, especially the brushed portions. Would like to see one of these in the real–definitely an attractive combo but you can’t really tell how the light affects it, especially since ceramic is ever-so-slightly translucent.

  • Mike Darwin Brown

    Definitely not a first watch purchase! I do like the fact it is not shiny ceramic?

  • cg

    Great blue color.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Never a great fan of over complicated faces on a watch, This is an exception. In the light of day this must look fantastic. .

  • Cuppa Joe

    Love the color. Not sure of the long-term practicality. Then again, most Fifty Fathom buyers probably keep a Seiko for actual dives.

  • Berndt Norten

    Hey, Ocean Commitment: get out of my dreams. Get onto my wrist…

  • wallydog2

    I always fast-forward to the last paragraph of an ABTW review to get a glimpse of the, gulp, price of the watch after which I’m lusting. Such a downer! Lust is a sin, you know.

  • thecouchguy

    Absolutely love it with both straps. However for that money, and the fact it is indeed just a show piece it could maybe come with a dressy strap. Thoughts on a nice dressy strap for this bad boy? Anyway, it’s a bloody nice watch, would prefer to lay down coin for this than a speedy.

    Love at first sight.

  • Bert Kanne

    Beautiful watch but price is completely unreasonable and the name is way too long..

  • Prodig

    Superb watch!
    The ceramic add to the beauty of the Fifty Fathoms.

  • Afinis2004

    Like like like! One problem though which is a deal braker for me… My country is left out from the map on the back of the watch. Shame :(:(

    Tip for spoters: We have a huge economic crisis, and our name starts with G

    P.s It’s propably due to the crisis that they though…”Oh who’s gonna buy one over there? let’s make some space”

    Jokes aside, it’s a beauty!

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