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 respiration gases as a substitute 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 might probably), one-hour timing doesn’t minimize 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 could possibly be in comparison with a GMT hand on a journey watch: While a GMT hand rotates over 24 hours to supply a second time zone studying, the hand on the Tech Gombessa makes a three-hour rotation in opposition to bezel markings divided into three one-hour sections.
An necessary be aware is that this isn’t a stopwatch. (Due to having a number of factors the place water ingress can happen, stopwatches usually 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 answer (which Blancpain has, in fact, patented), it’s expedient nearly to the purpose of being lo-fi, in contrast at the very least to the conspicuous over-engineering related to rival watches. So too is the 300-meter depth ranking, which, whereas ample for technical diving, is in reality modest inside the style of professional-spec luxurious dive watches.
The worth, alternatively ($28,000 or £24,700), is something however, as is the watch’s visible impression. A hulking 47 mm in diameter, the Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa is saved 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 minimize from blocks of luminous materials, which stands out all of the extra in opposition to 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 inside 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 true innovation of Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa could possibly be arising with a new performance that has real real-world software, nonetheless area of interest which may be.