Industry Updates

Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Discovers a Sixth Ocean, OCEAN OF STORMS

Published: January 10, 2024
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A new ocean is joining the five watches and five oceans in the Blancpain X Swatch collaboration. Even though planet Earth only has five, Swatch is welcoming OCEAN OF STORMS into its Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Collection that celebrates Blancpain’s iconic Fifty Fathoms, a watch that revolutionized watchmaking by becoming the first true diver’s watch more than seventy years ago. Known by the Latin name Oceanus Procellarum, this is actually a lunar mare located on the western edge of the near side of the moon. Meaning Ocean of Storms, it is the biggest mare or “sea” on the moon, spanning more than 2,500 kilometers from north to south and covering around 2 million square kilometers. The new Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms OCEAN OF STORMS, however, is nowhere near that big. In fact, it has exactly the same dimensions and features as Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and Antarctic Ocean.

OCEAN OF STORMS

A non-limited model, OCEAN OF STORMS, comes in a black color inspired by the new moon (also known as the Black Moon). Just like the other five Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms, OCEAN OF STORMS has a Swatch mechanical movement, SISTEM51, the first and only mechanical movement whose production is entirely automated. This mechanism, made up of just 51 parts – including one central screw, is anti-magnetic, thanks to its Nivachron™ hairspring and has a 90-hour power reserve. In 2013, SISTEM51 revolutionized the world of automatic watches with its visible movement: the front tells the time, the back tells the story.

OCEAN OF STORMS

OCEAN OF STORMS has been given its own nudibranch (scientific name: Nudibranchia), Okenia Luna. It is featured in a digital print on the movement’s rotor, the part that allows the watch to recharge automatically with a simple movement of the wrist. The full moon zoomed in on the Ocean of Storms is also digitally imprinted on the oscillating weight.

OCEAN OF STORMS, like Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and Antarctic Ocean, is water resistant in deep waters, down to 91 meters. This is another nod to Blancpain: the name Fifty Fathoms refers to the fathom – historically the maritime measure of depth in the English-speaking world – fifty fathoms equaling 91 meters (or 300 feet).

In the same spirit as the other five models in the collection, OCEAN OF STORMS is made of Bioceramic. This unique material is patented by Swatch and made of two-thirds ceramic and one-third biosourced material derived from castor oil. As an expression of commitment to ocean preservation, the NATO straps are made from recycled fishing nets.

The shared Blancpain X Swatch logos can be found on the black sunray-finish dial and the crown. The word “Swatch” is also inscribed on the case, just as “Blancpain” is inscribed on the original Fifty Fathoms watches. The back of the watch features inspirational inscriptions like PASSION FOR DIVING – LICENCE TO EXPLORE – OCEAN BREATH – PROTECT WHAT YOU LOVE and IMMERSE YOURSELF.

OCEAN OF STORMS will be available worldwide from January 11, 2024, the day of the new moon at selected Swatch stores. As with the five watches in the Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Collection, purchases are limited to one watch per person, per store and per day.

OCEAN OF STORMS / SO35B400

Case material: Case and crown made of black Bioceramic

Case diameter: 42.3 mm

Case thickness: 14.4 mm

Lug-to-lug distance: 48.0 mm

Movement: SISTEM51 mechanical movement (self-winding) with

90-hour power reserve. Illustration of the full moon (zoomed in on the Ocean of Storms) and a digital imprint of nudibranch Okenia Luna

Water resistance: 50 fathoms (91 m/ 300 ft/ 9 bar)

Glass: Biosourced material with anti-scratch coating

Dial: Sunbrushed black, date indicator between 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock

Hands, hour markers, 60 minutes diving scale: Grade A Super-LumiNova Bezel: One-direction rotating bezel in black Bioceramic with anti-scratch coating insert

Strap: NATO strap made from recycled fishing nets. Black Bioceramic pin buckle and loops

SISTEM51 BY SWATCH

SISTEM51 is an automatic mechanical movement (self-winding) made up of 51 parts in total. Each of these parts forms five distinct pre-assembled, pre-welded modules. The transparent oscillating weight that controls the automatic winding is fixed by the movement’s one and only screw. Conventional automatic watches have twice as many parts if not more. Some of the more complicated high-end models have more than 600. These are assembled by hand over a number of weeks, sometimes months, by master watchmakers in their workshops.

SISTEM51 is the first and only mechanical movement with fully automated assembly. The high-tech escapement does not have a regulator (no-index assembly). The rate, or precision, is factory-set using laser technology. This avoids the manual adjustments usually required with mechanical watches. The movement, with its 90-hour power reserve, is made of German Silver and anti-rust by design. All parts are housed in a hermetically sealed case. That means no moisture, no dust and no impurities that could impair performance, guaranteeing longevity and lasting precision over time (-5/+15 seconds per day).

Each Swatch featuring a SISTEM51 movement is made visible thanks to a display back. This feature has enabled Swatch to stand out from the crowd from the very beginning since this transparency is a key part of SISTEM51. Automatic movements are driven by an oscillating weight. In SISTEM51, this weight is shaped like a transparent disk that rotates freely on the single central screw, providing a captivating view of the mechanism. The oscillating weight and the visible surfaces of all five modules of the movement are all imprinted, which ramps up the potential to add a creative touch to the back of this watch and, of course, set up new collaborations, something the brand has been doing for forty years now.

SISTEM51 is the ultimate embodiment and celebration of Swiss manufacturing as a state of mind, one based on absolute quality of innovation, provocation, maintaining traditions and research.

BLANCPAIN FIFTY FATHOMS

Seventy years ago, an icon was born: the Fifty Fathoms. The watch that would go on to revolutionize watchmaking by becoming the first modern diver’s watch was designed by a passionate scuba diver, Jean-Jacques Fiechter. At the time he was CEO of Blancpain. He was a pioneer in a discipline that was still in its infancy and he grasped how vitally important it was to be able to track time underwater.

The tool he designed to meet his own needs instantly found unanimous favor with the ocean community, so much so that it became an unwavering ally of elite divers and underwater explorers. Over time, it became a highly valued diver’s watch and was worn by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his team of divers in his film The Silent World, among others. It was also used by the Navy Seals elite diving unit, as well as German and French marines, to name a few. By making diving safer, Fifty Fathoms has played a part in the development of this sport and encouraged people to discover the world of the oceans. The year 2023 marks 70 years of Fifty Fathoms as well as a re-birth with the arrival of an innovative anniversary diver’s watch: the Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa. Since the fifties, diving has experienced immense changes, the biggest being a major increase in the amount of time a diver can spend underwater. Although the 1953 Fifty Fathoms met the needs of Jean-Jacques Fiechter and the veteran divers of the time, today’s technical divers, who are able to spend several hours underwater, have new needs when it comes to timekeeping. And the Fifty Fathoms meets these perfectly.

The Fifty Fathoms has played a key role in the development of underwater diving and discovering the ocean world. It has enabled Blancpain to forge strong ties with the ocean community and these ties have only grown stronger over the last 70 years. Exploring and preserving the oceans have always been key concerns for Blancpain. Throughout the history of its Fifty Fathoms diving watch, the brand has forged strong ties with explorers, photographers, scientists and environmental specialists who know how invaluable these precious resources are. These ties have led Blancpain to provide substantial support to important activities and initiatives dedicated to the oceans. Thus was born the Blancpain Ocean Commitment (BOC) program. The Fifty Fathoms is the catalyst for this commitment.

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