Blancpain Goes Full Ceramic With the Bathyscaphe

Blancpain has just unveiled a new Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet Phases de lune, featuring a blue sunburst dial and – a first for the collection’s most complicated model – a black 43.6-mm ceramic case (Ref 5054-0140-01S). The green (Ref. 5054 0153 01S) and black dial versions (Ref. 5054 0130 01S) are also available with black ceramic case but not shown here.

In addition, Blancpain is also introducing a matching bracelet made of patented black ceramic with an uber-complex design — a first for the Swiss brand. And for those aiming at a less complicated model: Both the Bathyscaphe Automatic (shown here Ref. 5000-0130-01S) and the flyback chronograph (shown here the Ref. 5200-0153-01S) are also available with the new 23-mm bracelet (see pictures below).

“Durable, highly scratch-resistant and hypoallergenic, this ceramic material is nearly five times harder than stainless steel – and almost four times harder than grade 5 titanium – while being 25% lighter.”

Blancpain Press Release

Ceramic requires a comparatively challenging manufactory process: a nearly 25% volume reduction must be taken into account when firing the material above 1400°C and machining with diamond tools. The satin finish used by Blancpain is a key aesthetic element of the Bathyscaphe line. On the new bracelet, the links, buckles and cases are all individually hand-finished. According to Blancpain, “each link is individually measured in order to guarantee the best possible fit.” Featuring a butterfly folding clasp and a patented mounting system, the links are held together using cam-shaped pins.

Since 2013, the current Bathyscaphe has been available exclusively with NATO or sailcloth straps. The model was the first and so far only Blancpain watch to use ceramic for the case (with a water resistance of 300 m). With the introduction of a specially designed bracelet, Blancpain is therefore not only offering a comparatively different look for the model, the move is also very consistent with the Bathyscaphe’s recent positioning as a slightly more technical alternative to the Fifty Fathoms. In 1956, the Bathyscaphe had been introduced as a less utilitarian option to the Fifty Fathoms, offering a more versatile look, a smaller diameter and a date window.

Powered by caliber 6654.P4, the new Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet Phases de lune highlights both its diving watch heritage, thanks to its rotating bezel, as well as the haute horlogerie elements that characterize Blancpain, such as the moon phase complication and the use of a silicon hairspring. The Chronographe Flyback is powered by the high-frequency F385, the Automatique by the brand’s 1315 with a power reserve of 120 hours.

Prices for the 43.6-mm Bathyscaphe in ceramic start at CHF 12,600, with bracelet at CHF 19’600.00, the chronograph and moonphase (both on bracelet) retail for CHF 23,900. More here.

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