Lot 71
  • 71


20,000 - 30,000 USD
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  • Blancpain
Dial: blackCaliber: cal. 1361N automatic movement, 17 jewelsCase: stainless steel, cuvette, two part screw down case backCase number: 2858Dimensions: 42 mm diameterSigned: case, dial and movement


CASE Case in overall very good condition with some surface scratches and normal wear consistent with age and use. Lugs with some surface scratches. Case back with some heavier scratches and scuffs. Acrylic bezel insert with oxidation and scratches. Some areas of color loss at 5 baton index. Some very small cracks and fractures throughout the bezel insert. Some debris which may benefit from cleaning. Some heavier scuffing to the case back. Crystal glazing with scuffing and scratches. Please note that the buckle is not associated. DIAL Dial is very attractive, with the humidity indicator with wear and some light oxidation, but remains intact, a rare surviving feature for this vintage model. Hands and luminescent indexes with similar age and oxidation. A small white flake likely from the hands presently adhered to the bottom of the Y on "Fifty" Wear and some light fading to the text "Milspec" and "Rotomatic" MOVEMENT The movement is running at time of cataloging, however it was not tested for the accuracy of time or duration of the power reserve and may need service at the buyer's discretion. Please note that Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement. ***Please be advised that the bands on this watch are made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) and thus not sold with the watch, they are for display purposes only. We will remove these bands prior to international shipping.***
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping."

Catalogue Note

Blancpain's Fifty Fathoms was launched in 1953 and has since defined the specifications and qualities of the modern diving watch. Made at the request of the French Navy, Captain Robert Maloubier and Lieutenant Claude Riffaud provided technical specifications for a watch designed for combat divers. The design revolutionized the unidirectional bezel, which ensured divers could not inadvertently turn the bezel backwards thus threatening their air supply. 

Blancpain added their own critical feature, a humidity indicator which showed blue if the air in the case was dry. If water penetrated the case, the indicator would turn pink as a warning to the diver. The Fifty Fathoms was named after the British measurement of 50 fathoms, or approximately 91.45 meters, considered the maximum depth which a diver could achieve with the oxygen mixture available at the time.