Blancpain Celebrates the 70th Anniversary of the Fifty Fathoms with the New Tech Gombessa

Celebrating 70 years of Fifty Fathoms and the 10th anniversary of the Gombessa project, Blancpain has released a new model of the first modern diver’s watch - the Tech Gombessa Fifty Fathoms.
The celebrations for the 70th anniversary of Blancpain's Fifty Fathoms started this year with the release of the Fifty Fathoms’ 70th Anniversary series, and the party goes on with a new model in the modern diver’s watch collection - the Tech Gombessa Fifty Fathoms. Blancpain shares the 70-year celebration of the Fifty Fathoms with the 10th anniversary of the Gombessa project which is a marine team that carried out ocean expeditions to find out about the ocean mysteries.

The collaboration between Blancpain and the Gombessa project is behind the design of the Tech Gombessa. The new watch is co-created by Blancpain CEO, Marc A. Hayek and Laurent Ballesta (founder of The Gombessa Project). Blancpain continues to be a major partner for Gombessa, having been a founding partner with the team at its debut in 2013.

The new watch works to carry on the technological legacy of the Fifty Fathoms line, which at its debut in 1953 was considered the first modern diver and a major innovation for the category, complete with superior water resistance and dial legibility, alongside the now standard and signature unidirectional bezel with diving scale. The next-generation Fifty Fathoms thus features the “Tech” name to highlight its innovative effort.

Importantly, the professional timepiece features a 3-hour dive counter on the dial and matching outer unidirectional bezel, with the inclusion of the feature representing a novel complication in the history of dive watches. The research, creation, and application of the complication was directly informed by Blancpain’s work with the Gombessa team, which noted the outdated limitations of 60-minute dive scales for modern professional dives in the context of modern rebreather technology, which can allow trained divers up to 3-hours underwater, if not much longer.

In addition to its new complication, the Tech Gombessa Fifty Fathoms additionally features a refreshed professional design and construction meant to meet the needs of modern professional divers. Featuring a 47mm case made from Grade 23 titanium, a material that has only been introduced to Blancpain’s catalog recently, the large wearing watch is effortlessly weightless on the wrist for its relatively big size. The case design also opts for a new lug style, making using a middle-attachment style that allows the case to integrate seamlessly with its rubber strap, the idea being that its more ergonomic in wear when the watch is in professional use.

Optimized for diving, the watch supports a water resistance to 300 meters and is equipped with a manual helium escape valve; visually, the valve complements the design of the screw-down crown at 3 o’clock, which also features a subtle crown guard to create visual consistency with the lugs. A black ceramic, domed inlay grounds the aesthetic with a touch of Blancpain’s signature styling, with the unidirectional 3-hour counter rotated via a top-toothed bezel, itself refreshed to optimize for glove grip underwater.

The dial, like the case, is function-focused, being executed in an “absolute black” finish that is able to absorb almost 97% of light and contrasts sharply to the applied, orange indices and their luminescent glow in low-light conditions The hours and minute hands feature similar coloring, allowing for differentiation between time-related information and diving time. A pair of sword-style hands sweep over the display for the hours and minutes, while different color lume adorned hands operate for the 3-hour dive counter and seconds hand.

Powering the diver and making its novel complication possible is the Blancpain caliber 13P8, an automatic mechanism based upon the original caliber 1315 and capable of an impressive 120-hour power reserve on account of its three barrels. The movement is visible via an exhibition sapphire caseback, with its understated but finely finished surface signed with Blancpain’s logo on its mainplate, and Gombessa’s upon its skeletonized rotor.

The Blancpain Tech Gombessa Fifty Fathoms is available via Blancpain boutiques and authorized retailers on a non-limited basis, with pricing marked at INR 23,00000 (approx).

Images: Courtesy Blancpain


Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa




Hour, minutes, seconds, 3-hour dive-time hand


Automatic Blancpain caliber 13P8


Grade 23 titanium


Integrated black rubber strap with extension


47 mm


INR 23,00000 (approx.)

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