SO IT LOOKS LIKE Swatch is about to do it again. It being pulling off one of the coolest, most hyped watch collaborations of the year. Introducing the Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms.
Honestly, we didn’t think we would be in this position of detailing a new Swatch collaboration so soon after last year’s MoonSwatch release—a collaboration that continues to draw global interest (and commotion), but one that undoubtedly has many feeling some level of MoonSwatch fatigue. Luxury Swiss watchmaker Blancpain and Swatch are hoping to curb any ill-feelings you have towards its predecessor, teaming up for a non-limited collection of five models that pay homage to the iconic Fifty Fathoms dive watch, as well as our five major oceans.
“Swatch has brilliantly reinterpreted our iconic model, in its own way, with its own vision,” says Blancpain President and CEO Marc A. Hayek. “As a keen diver myself, I really appreciate the attention to detail in this collection and the many references to the Fifty Fathoms. The fact that it is water-resistant to a depth of 91 metres—corresponding to exactly 50 fathoms, a nautical unit of depth—is a fantastic nod.”
While the watches are yet to be released, murmurs of another Swatch collaboration have been prevalent since 2022. For starters, it has been said that a prototype Fifty Fathoms timepiece was created when the MoonSwatch was released. But nothing was cemented until two weeks ago when a teaser ad was discovered in the most unlikely of places: a German daily newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The full-page ad showed the Swatch logo at the bottom of a swimming pool in the same format as the Omega x Swatch ‘MoonSwatch’ logo—only, the shape of the crown bared remarkable resemblance to the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms—a watch that would revolutionise watchmaking by becoming the first true diver’s watch, which also happens to celebrate its 70th anniversary on September 9.
Then came the Instagram confirmation… a Blancpain x Swatch collaboration was/is/has happened. So, come September 9, our guess is that thousands of watch enthusiasts and hypebeasts around the world will swarm their local Swatch store for a chance to purchase the highly coveted, non-limited collaborative watch.
Much like the MoonSwatch, these five Blancpain x Swatch models are made from bioceramic, a unique and patented blend of two-thirds ceramic and one-third biomaterials derived from castor oil. The difference, however, is plentiful: for one, this isn’t a quartz watch. In fact, it’s equipped with a SISTEM51 automatic movement that boasts an impressive 90 hours of power reserve.
The 42.3mm watch also features a typical Fifty Fathoms case, with a unidirectional rotating bezel that looks to be awfully sturdy for a plastic watch. The aforementioned self-winding movement is also protected from magnetic fields via the use of the Nivachron antimagnetic balance spring. The Nato-style straps presented with each watch are much friendly on the eye than those of the MoonSwatch variation, and impressively, are made from recycled fishing nets removed from the ocean floor.
The fun continues on the back of the watch, where you will find an exhibition caseback that reveals the decorated movement as well as a laser-etched whimsical design; an egg present, if you will. You’ll find a detailed printing of a nudibranch, which is a sea creature indigenous to the specific ocean connected to the watch. It’s these quirky little details that make such collaborations so successful.
Colours are also bright and playful, but in a tasteful way. You’ll find a green model for the Indian Ocean, blue for the Atlantic Ocean, and yellow for the Pacific Ocean—all models which pay homage directly to modern Fifty Fathoms iterations. While the red Arctic Ocean and white Antarctic Ocean are inspired by earlier versions of the Fifty Fathoms, commissioned for military purposes throughout the 1960s.
Initial thoughts? While quality has been somewhat of an underlying issue for the previous Omega x Swatch collaboration, by all accounts, with this new collaboration, you’re paying a few hundred dollars extra but essentially getting a much better watch. This collaboration won’t be for everyone, but it will also speak to a lot of watch collectors and enthusiasts, and not just fans of the Blancpain brand.
It’s likely that this collaboration will also introduce Blancpain to a new watch customer, specifically targeting those looking to purchase a timepiece in the realms of the Fifty Fathoms. Above all, this collaboration is colourful, it’s fun—it’s the type of watch you’ll throw on at the weekend and not have to think twice about. We have no doubt that acquiring one will be a task in itself, but there’s fun to be had in the hunt.
The collection is non-limited and will be available worldwide in selected Swatch stores from Saturday, with a price of $630 each.
About this collaboration
Brand: Blancpain x Swatch
Model: Scuba Fifty Fathoms
Case Material: Bioceramic
Dial: Arctic Ocean; Pacific Ocean; Indian Ocean; Atlantic Ocean; Antarctic Ocean
Water Resistance: 91 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Nato-style strap made from recycled fishing nets
Movement: SISTEM51 automatic movement
Power Reserve: 90 hours