Hat tip to OceanicTime.
Developed in 1952 with the contribution of professionals, the Blancpain Fifty Fathom marked the beginning of SCUBA diving. Today, the brand Blancpain is part of the Swatch Group, and their products are positioned in the high-end price range, way above Rolex. The latest iteration of the Fifty Fathoms capitalizes on the prestige of the original model, and it surely does benefit from the latest technology in casings, such as a sapphire bezel insert filled with luminous compound.
One criticism though is that the current watch fetches more than double or triple the original and that the new versions are too far sophisticated in comparison to the minimalism of the early models. This is enough to leave aspiring watch collectors with a bitter taste, and an open door for homage manufacturers.
Knowing the high desirability of the vintage Fifty Fathoms looks, the team at Helson set on developing their own version.
The result is a 41 mm watch resistant to 20 bar, powered by the ubiquitous ETA 2824-2 and available with 4 different dials:
- Orange luminous material without date
- Orange luminous material with date
- Natural luminous material without date
- Natural luminous material with date
Helson is the second brand this year to release a Fifty Fathoms homage. In February, I wrote about International Watch Man, who has a 42 mm model available in many versions for a similar price.
Sold at 649 USD, the Helson Skindiver is currently available for pre-order on the Helson Web site.