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Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42mm Titanium Watch Review

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42mm Titanium

There’s a strong argument to be made that the Blancpain Fifthy Fathoms is one of the greatest dive watches in history. However, one of the criticisms that can be levelled at the collection is that it’s very large – the majority of models are 45mm in diameter and even in titanium that creates challenges for wearability. Blancpain addressed this last year by launching the Anniversary Act 1 model at 42mm in steel. Now, Blancpain are expanding the 42mm range with a new titanium model housing a new movement, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42mm Titanium, which I have here.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42mm Titanium
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42mm Titanium

Off the bat, it genuinely does solve a lot of the wearability issues that the Fifty Fathoms has previously faced. It’s incredibly lightweight, as all titanium watches are, and that goes a long way towards alleviating its size. Which at 42mm isn’t all that crazy to begin with, at least for a rugged tool watch like a diver. On the whole, you still notice its presence but it doesn’t have the tiring weight of steel. Plus, the wide, sapphire-topped bezel and oversize dive timer numerals mean it’s definitely not subtle.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42mm Titanium

The specific titanium used here is Grade 23, which has better fracture toughness than the more common Grade 5. Although it’s worth noting that there are other properties of Grade 5 titanium such as its strength, greater variety of finishes and wider availability that make it desirable in watchmaking. Honestly, the differences between them are very nuanced and unless you wear titanium watches regularly, really the only thing you’ll notice is that the Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42mm Titanium features exclusively brushed finishing.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42mm Titanium

Taking a closer look at the dial, it’s the classic black of the Fifty Fathoms range with off-white lumed hour markers and Arabic numerals. The lume in particular is incredibly bright, which could just be a side effect of this being a brand-new watch, but it means that in low light conditions it’s just as legible as in the light, if not more so. Speaking of looking at the watch in the light, the main portion of the dial is sunray brushed, giving the watch an almost iridescent property with a subtle blue sheen. It really is one of the nicest dive watch displays, rivalling other icons like the Rolex Submariner.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42mm Titanium

Undoing the butterfly clasp of the titanium bracelet lets you slip the watch off and view the caseback. It’s got a sapphire exhibition window that grants an uninterrupted view into the heart of the mechanical movement. It houses the Calibre 1315, an automatic movement that was specially developed for the 42mm Anniversary Act 1 with a stellar 5-day power reserve courtesy of triple barrel.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42mm Titanium

This is set to be a new core model in the Fifty Fathoms range and as such is available on a variety of strap and bracelet options. There’s a sail-canvas strap, NATO, tropic rubber or the titanium bracelet seen here. Also there’s a second model being released at 42mm in red gold for a more luxurious aesthetic compared to the sporty titanium. Considering that the Swatch x Blancpain Scuba Fifty Fathoms boosted interest in the range, the launch of the most wearable edition ever is well timed. Although the Swatch is a bit more affordable as the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42mm Titanium is £18,100.

Price and Specs:

Model: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42mm Titanium
Ref: 5010
Case: 42mm diameter, titanium
Dial: Blue
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Blancpain calibre 1315, automatic, 35 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 120h (5 days)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Titanium bracelet
Price: £18,100

More details at Blancpain.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.