Revolution Awards 2017: Best Sports Watch — Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPECBy Keith W. Strandberg
There’s no denying that the Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC, introduced this year at Baselworld, was one of the home runs of the show. Inspired by a military specification 50 Fathoms from 1957, issued to the French Navy (aka the MIL-SPEC 1), this timepiece has it all — a great size, a fantastic look and the performance to back it all up.
The Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC is updated to 40mm, with Super-LumiNova markers on the bezel, which itself is covered with a sapphire ring. Despite the overall update to modern-day technology, including the Blancpain manufacture caliber 1151 automatic movement, the water-ingress disc that was originally used to let a diver know if water had gotten inside the case is still there. The new watch is water-resistant to 300 meters, so the disc is a design nod to the past in a thoroughly contemporary timepiece.
At 40mm, it is just the right size — not too small, but definitely not too big either. It’s an elegant size, which is funny to say about a professional dive watch, but it’s true. This watch can seriously go wherever you go — directly from the depths of the deep blue sea to a black-tie event, and just about anywhere in between.
The Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC is a subtle incarnation of a legendary timepiece — a piece of diving history on your wrist. It’s so tasteful it doesn’t really get noticed like other watches, but if you are in the know, you get it and you want one.
And with only 500 watches made for the world, I’m certain you are going to have to get in line… behind the editors of Revolution.