Face-off: Comparing the Blancpain Bathyscaphe and Fifty Fathoms

The Blancpain Bathyscaphe is the Fifty Fathom’s smaller brother. One of the readers of our sire suggested we compare the two, so here we stack them up for a face-off.

Just launched at Baselworld 2013, the Blancpain Bathyscaphe joins the Fifty Fathoms dive watch in the brand’s sport watch line-up, which is also called the Fifty Fathoms. In fact the Bathyscaphe is also labelled “Fifty Fathoms” on the dial, indicating it’s provenance.

The Bathyscaphe is smaller, slimmer and more vintage-ish than the Fifty Fathoms. It is 2 mm smaller at 43 mm, though it feels slightly smaller, probably due to the brushed case finish. 

In contrast the Fifty Fathoms feels like the 45 mm it is, with its entirely polished case finish. And the Fifty Fathoms has the unsightly “Blancpain” logo embossed on its case side.

Whereas the Bathyscaphe is mostly matte and subdued, the Fifty Fathoms is entirely glossy, an effect enhanced by the wide, domed and very shiny sapphire-covered bezel. Because of its matte finish and bevelled lugs, the Bathyscaphe case appears slightly more refined.

Both watches have the same cal. 1315 movement inside, but the Bathyscaphe has a display back while the Fifty Fathoms has a solid back.

With its size and appearance, the Fifty Fathoms looks like a luxury sports watch. In contrast the Bathyscaphe is more restrained. Overall the fit and finish of both watches is equivalent.

The Fifty Fathoms, which is only available in steel, retails for about a quarter more than the steel Bathyscaphe, and a fifth more than the titanium Bathyscaphe.

For a more detailed look at the Bathyscaphe, don’t forget to check out my photo essay.


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