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Parthian Watch Company

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Milspec 1 Circa 1960 RARE Excellent Original Condition

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Milspec 1 Circa 1960 RARE Excellent Original Condition

Regular price $47,350.00
Regular price Sale price $47,350.00
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The original Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms Milspec I is the most iconic and collectible of all Fifty-Fathoms series. To find one in such original and exemplary condition as the one we offer is a rare feat.

The reference was manufactured to Military Specifications for use in the field. In the mid 1950s, the US Navy set out a series of specs for a watch to be supplied to its divers, and they were supplied to the US Navy under the Rayville brand. These Rayville branded watches command a premium in the market, but our example is also marked Rayville inside the dust cap.

The Milspec I was formally introduced in 1957 and had several unique features that distinguish it from the civilian model: the Milspec case featured a matte finish with a sand blasted look, and the dial was changed to a matte black (as opposed to a glossy one). The military requested these features to mitigate light reflections that would give away the wearer’s position during combat engagements. However, the feature that came to dominate the matte black dial was the two-tone moisture indicator just above the 6 o'clock luminous plot. The bottom half of the indicator was orange and it turned white with exposure to humidity, indicating the waterproof qualities had to be re-tested.

The moniker Fifty Fathoms was derived from the British measurement of 50 fathoms, or approximately 91.45 meters, considered the maximum depth a diver could achieve with the gas mixture available at the time of the watch’s inception. The model was made famous by famed oceanic explorer Jacques Cousteau who selected the Fifty Fathoms watches for his diving arm. The watch was prominently featured in the feature movie “Silent World” which won an Oscar and a Palme d’Or in Cannes.

The watch comes with a rare original Swiss Tropic strap from 1960. These original Swiss straps are increasingly difficult to find in good unworn condition.

Caliber: cal. R.570 automatic, 17 jewels

Case: stainless steel, dust cover, screw down case back

Size: 41 mm diameter

Signed: case, dial, and movement


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