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hen does a watch become an icon? After shifting a particular number of units? Once it has celebrated a certain birthday? Perhaps as it begins to achieve six-figure sums at auction? Whichever way you cut it, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms has acquired legendary status. The watch may not be what the Royal Oak is to Audemars Piguet, or what the Nautilus is to Patek Philippe – indeed, the Fifty Fathoms still gets outsold by dressier sister collection, the Villeret – but the divers’ watch has, almost by proxy, become Blancpain’s most emblematic timepiece. Commissioned by the French Navy in 1953, the Fifty Fathoms beat both the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Seamaster to become the world’s first bona fide, modern-day dive watch. More than six decades later, the timepiece continues to set the tone for almost all underwater tool watches. In 2014, following years of ocean conservation commitments, Blancpain reorganised its underwater initiatives in the Blancpain Ocean Commitment. Since then, the brand has cofinanced ten major scientific expeditions, helping to add three million sq km to the total area of marine habitats protected across the world. Last October, Blancpain unveiled the Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II at the Royal Institute of Great Britain. It is the second line of limited edition timepieces created as part of Blancpain’s Commitment. Funds from the first watch were awarded to the Gombessa Project, a new study documenting the pack-hunting behaviour of grey reef sharks along the Fakarava atoll in French Polynesia. Post-press conference, I had the pleasure of speaking to Blancpain vice president, Alain Delamuraz, a man who has served the brand since 2001...

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Profile for Runwild Media Group

Marylebone & Fitzrovia magazine January 2017  

Welcome to the latest edition of Marylebone & Fitzrovia magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features,...

Marylebone & Fitzrovia magazine January 2017  

Welcome to the latest edition of Marylebone & Fitzrovia magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features,...

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