Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa Dive Watch Gets a 3-Hour Makeover

Nevertheless, the enduring rotating bezel in its conventional format permits for simply as much as an hour’s timing at depth. Today’s technical divers can spend far longer than that underwater due to closed circuit rebreather know-how, the developed SCUBA format that recycles respiratory gases as an alternative of dispersing them. For divers who insist on the value of getting an analog backup ought to the digital know-how fail (as all who depend on know-how know too properly it will probably), one-hour timing doesn’t lower the mustard.

The Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa, named after the Gombessa sealife monitoring project whose chief, pioneering diver, and photographer Laurent Ballesta has been concerned within the watch’s improvement, extends that analog restrict to 3 hours. The watch options an additional hour hand, which might be in comparison with a GMT hand on a journey watch: While a GMT hand rotates over 24 hours to offer a second time zone studying, the hand on the Tech Gombessa makes a three-hour rotation towards bezel markings divided into three one-hour sections. 

An vital observe is that this isn’t a stopwatch. (Due to having a number of factors the place water ingress can happen, stopwatches typically don’t like being submerged at depth). The additional hour hand itself can’t be set: It is in fixed rotation, and dive timing is made by aligning the bezel with wherever the hand occurs to be at first of the dive.

As a technical resolution (which Blancpain has, after all, patented), it’s expedient virtually to the purpose of being lo-fi, in contrast at the least to the conspicuous over-engineering related to rival watches. So too is the 300-meter depth score, which, whereas ample for technical diving, is in reality modest throughout the style of professional-spec luxurious dive watches.

Photograph: Blancpain

The value, however ($28,000 or £24,700), is something however, as is the watch’s visible affect. A hulking 47 mm in diameter, the Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa is stored light-weight due to its Grade 23 titanium case, which options a notably streamlined design to combine the strap through a single, central lug association. The indexes on the dial are lower from blocks of luminous materials, which stands out all of the extra towards a dial of “absolute black,” a materials whose construction absorbs 97 p.c of sunshine, whereas the bezel inlay is shaped from black ceramic. 

The watch, which additionally options a helium escape valve (a function for saturation dive watches developed by Rolex for releasing gasoline trapped throughout the watch) at 10 o’clock on the case, is powered by a model new Blancpain motion, Calibre 13P8, which boasts an admirable five-day energy reserve.

Even if the Tech motif featured on the dial—in a considerably jarring ’80s font—could also be one thing of a misnomer, the actual innovation of Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa might be arising with a new performance that has real real-world utility, nonetheless area of interest which may be.

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