The Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms
 

The Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms

5 min read
Charlotte Harris

Brands

Blancpain

Categories

Watch News

Charlotte Harris

Brands

Blancpain

Categories

Watch News

Which watch brand is creating the most hype right now? That award has to go to Swatch. Following the launch of the affordable Omega MoonSwatch back in March 2022, the Swatch Group has now combined another two of their in-house brands, Swatch and Blancpain, to launch a range of Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms watches.

Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty FathomsBlancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms - Credit Blancpain

#The collection is named after Swatch’s inexpensive ‘90s Scuba divers watch and Blancpain’s luxury Fifty Fathoms divers watch, combining both names together to create the “Scuba Fifty”. Is the name as creative as the MoonSwatch? No. But, I can’t think of anything better either. The launch makes perfect sense since this year marks the Fifty Fathom’s 70th anniversary, and like the MoonSwatch, it gives those of us with a limited bank balance a chance to own a watch with a luxury logo on the dial.

Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty FathomsBlancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms - Credit Blancpain

While there were 11 MoonSwatches last year, there are now five Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms watches this year in five colours. The different shades are each inspired by our world’s five oceans: the yellow-orange model is the Pacific, the blue is the Atlantic, the beige with orange bezel is Arctic, the green is Indian and the white is the Antarctic. Interestingly, Swatch has decided not to use any pre-existing Bioceramic colours and create entirely new shades exclusive for this collection.

Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty FathomsBlancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms - Credit Blancpain

More accurately, Marc Hayek – CEO of Blancpain – claims that the five different colours are inspired by nudibranchs, a variant of sea slug that is native to each ocean. The colour of each ocean’s nudibranch is broadcasted across each Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms watch, showcased on the smoky gradient-effect dials, Bioceramic bezels, NATO straps and the 42.3mm wide and 14.4mm tall cases. The cases are water resistant to 91 metres – corresponding to exactly 50 fathoms – and they feature unidirectional rotating bezels with the same 120 teeth as the original Fifty Fathoms watch.

Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty FathomsBlancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms - Credit Blancpain

Long-time fans of Blancpain may remember Jean-Claude Biver once saying back in the 1980’s that there will never be a quartz Blancpain watch. But following the announcement that Swatch and Blancpain would be collaborating, and affordably at that, it made people question whether this statement would still ring true. Thankfully, Swatch does have one in-house mechanical movement under its belt, their Swatch SISTEM51 calibre.

Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty FathomsBlancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms - Credit Blancpain

The first and only mechanical movement with fully automated assembly, the SISTEM51 has been met with mixed criticism since its launch in 2014, but it is certainly the most significant upgrade to this year’s collaboration compared to last year’s MoonSwatch. The movement has a weekend-proof 90-hour power reserve and runs at a frequency of 21,600vph. A nice touch for the movement is seen through the case back, where the oscillating rotor and other surfaces are printed with an image of the model’s respective ocean and an image of a nudibranch. 

Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty FathomsBlancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms - Credit Blancpain

Another nice finish is some differentiating features on the Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms dials. The Arctic model, that’s the one in beige and orange, has Fifty Fathom’s No Radiation emblem at 6 o’clock while the white-adorned Antarctic reference features a moisture indicator. Both these models also have no date window 4 and 5 o’clock marker and round indexes rather than numerals.

Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty FathomsBlancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms - Credit Blancpain

For just £340, you can own your own Blancpain in Swatch form, but getting hands-on with one isn’t as easy as we’d like it to be. As far as we can tell, the Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms watches will be launched on September 9, 2023 in only a select few Swatch stores in the U.S. After that, a global launch will follow in more Swatch stores around the world. Swatch have insisted the collection isn’t limited, but with how popular it’s expected to be, numbers will likely dwindle fast.

Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty FathomsBlancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms - Credit Blancpain

Conclusion:

If we’re going to applaud anything here, it’s Swatch’s marketing strategy. It all began with an initial image of a swimming pool with the Swatch logo beneath the water, the same format as the Omega x Swatch MoonSwatch launch. Then a few days later, another image appeared on my Instagram feed, this time ‘Blancpain x Swatch’ was stamped over an oceanic map. As to what the watches would look like, I had no clue, but was I refreshing Swatch’s feed on the daily and anticipating the release date? Absolutely.

Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty FathomsBlancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms - Credit Blancpain

Now after seeing these watches for myself, I feel torn. As a fan of the original Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, it’s hard for me to accept them with these brightly coloured cases and dials. But I can appreciate that Swatch and Blancpain aren’t aiming for a traditional Blancpain watch here. They are combining the characteristics of the iconic diving instrument with the Swatch Scuba collection.

Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty FathomsBlancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms - Credit Blancpain

At the end of the day, just like the MoonSwatch, this will be a pop culture phenomenon, and I can’t find fault with brands having a bit of fun. People are going to buy them without doubt, and I think its affordable collaborations like this that will help bring more young people into the horological world and get them excited about both accessible and luxury names.

Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Technical Specifications:

  • Brand: Blancpain X Swatch
  • Model: Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms
  • Price: £340
  • Material: Bioceramic
  • Movement: SISTEM51 mechanical winding, 90-hour power reserve
  • Complications: Hours, minutes, seconds. Date on 3 models only
  • Dial: Gradient in grey, white, blue, green or beige
  • Size: 42.3mm wide, 14.4mm thick
  • When the reviewer would personally wear it: Anywhere I know other watch enthusiasts would be, purely just to show off I was able to obtain one.
  • A friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone just starting their journey in watch collecting.
  • Best characteristics of the watch: Most of the Fifty Fathoms characteristics are there and the price is extremely appealing.
  • The worst characteristics of the watch: I’m not sure about some of the colour combinations, especially the green and black model.

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Charlotte Harris

About the Author: Charlotte Harris

Writing and watches are two of my biggest passions in life so being able to unite them on a daily basis is a wonderful thing. I hope through my writing that I can bring a fresh, feminine perspective on the watch space and encourage more men and women to get excited about all that’s happening.

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