Blancpain CEO Marc Hayek chose the world’s largest aquarium, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in the Dubai Mall, to reveal the the brand’s latest diving watch. The X Fathoms combines elements of its famous Fifty Fathoms ancestor with a modern mechanical depth gauge and several claimed world firsts to create what Blancpain calls the most high-performance mechanical diving watch ever made. Find wallpaper inside.
Blancpain lists these world firsts for a mechanical dive watch:
– Measured depth up to 90 meters
– Maximum depth reached memory
– Separate indication on the 0-15m scale with an +/- 30 cm precision
– Retrograde 5-minute counter for decompression stops
The Fathom X movement, reference 9918B, is based on the Manufacture-made Caliber 1315, which has proved its worth by powering several Fifty Fathoms models. The self-winding movement is equipped with three barrels ensuring a five-day power reserve, and a silicon balance-spring to withstand magnetic disturbances. The imposing 55.65mm case made of satin-brushed titanium is water-resistant to 30 bar or 300 meters. It features a helium decompression valve for saturation diving and the characteristic unidirectional rotating bezel.
Blancpain says it chose an amorphous metal for the depth gauge membrane because its research showed the material’s elastic properties and resistance to permanent deformation make it ideal for this application. This material allows the thickness of the membrane to be reduced by half compared to steel, and yields a gain in precision. According to Blancpain, the long-term stability of amorphous metal avoids the risk of microcrack formation. The non-linear nature of the membrane deformation was addressed by the asymmetrical toothing of the rack and pinion that linearizes the curve of the membrane deformation. Blancpain says the individual calibration of each X Fathoms guaranties maximal precision of depth indications.
Research also lead to modified displays to improve legibility. Central depth indication hands set against a matte black background enhance contrast, and three-color luminescence distinguishes indications useful underwater. The X Fathoms is secured to the wrist by what Blancpain calls “the most complex injected rubber strap ever conceived.” The strap comprises 14 articulated parts to ensure a perfect fit on the wrist and allow water to seep in under the watch in order to come in contact with the membrane under all circumstances.
As we go to press, the USA price has not yet been determined. The images below may be enlarged with a click.