Blancpain and the Birth of the Dive Watch | Expert Voices | Sotheby's

New York | 7 December 2023

The 'birth' of the Fifty-Fathoms is something of a legend at this point – the brainchild of Blancpain CEO Jean-Jacques Fiechter, who was an avid diver. In an exclusive exploration guided by specialist Vincent Brasesco at the Blancpain Boutique, we unravel the captivating narrative of the iconic dive watch.

As the story goes, Fiechter was diving off the coast of Cannes when he unexpectedly ran out of air. Not something you ever want to have happen to you. While Fiechter survived, it was then that he had the idea to build a watch specifically suited to the needs of divers. The moniker Fifty-Fathoms was derived from the British measurement of 50 fathoms, or approximately 91.45 meters, considered the maximum depth a diver could achieve with the gas mixture.

Join us in commemorating 70 years of the Fifty-Fathoms as Sotheby's proudly unveils a collection of Blancpain dive watches in the upcoming Important Watches auction on 7 December 2023.

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