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Factors Influencing the Price of Blancpain 50 Fathoms Watches

Among the dive watches, it doesn’t get any better than Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms pieces, either due to their look, or their history, hence why they attract collectors. Since their creation in the 1950s, many variations have been created and have sold for varying prices, some higher than others. If you’ve seen the thing and are interested in having a collection of your own, you have to know what to expect regarding how they are priced.

The following is fortunately the fifty Fathoms guide for new collectors. In it, we’ll discuss the history of these pieces, why they’re so highly regarded and finally, what affects the Blancpain fifty Fathoms price according to Watches of Mayfair. By the end, if you decide to start your collection, it will be less of a burden, as some of the price deviations may make sense.

The Worthy Watch

The tale of the timepiece in question is rather intriguing, stemming from the experience of Jean-Jacques Fiechter, Blancpain’s then-head. The story goes that he, an amateur diver, lost track of time while underwater and lost oxygen, forcing him to make a risky quick escape.

He would survive, but out of this likely harrowing experience, he got the desire to make a watch that was perfect for this exact situation. Interestingly, this story converges with another, which involves the Marine Nationale, Captain Robert Maloubier and Lieutenant Claude Riffaud. Here is how it went.

The two saw how necessary readable diving watches, capable of lasting underwater, were, so they took some ideas to Fiechter, who was eager to do it. The result was 1953’s Fifty Fathoms, a readable watch that could last underwater, at depths of over 91 meters, something the following features allowed it to do:

  • A lockable bezel
  • Luminescent hour markers and hands
  • An O-ring gasket seal on the crown for water resistance

From Military Tool to Global Icon

Let’s just say that the watch would take off, with various militaries across the globe using it as well as civilians. Between the 1980s and 2003, under new headship, Blancpain decided not to continue with the Fifty Fathoms, but three years into the new millennium, they came back under Marc Hayek.

Since then, a host of new releases have come and gone. Some of them are reinterpretations of old classics. In any case, all of them are and have been notable parts of the multi-billion dollar luxury watch industry.

What Affects Its Price

Now that we have an idea of the rich history of these watches, we can get into how they are priced. Before knowing what affects a Blancpain 50 Fathoms price, it’s important to stress that the pieces worth buying are in no way cheap, with tens of thousands of dollars being the norm. If you’re not willing to spend this, turn back now, but if you are, let’s look at some factors, shall we?

The Watch’s Rarity

The first thing to consider is how rare the watch is. For this specific brand, anything from the watch’s initial launch in 1953, through to 1965 can be thought of in this way. The watches are generally seen as rarer than their rivals due to their military use, which saw a good number of them fail to survive, until the present day. Because they can be so rare, if one shows up and collectors are serious about it, prices can climb rather quickly.

While we’re speaking about rarity, a rare device should be in impeccable condition. A rare item can only be considered valuable if it’s in good, complete condition. If there are any missing parts or replacements, the chances of past tinkering rise, which changes things.

It’s for this reason that if you do start collecting Fifty Fathoms, always look for examples of authentic watches that were sold in the past. Everything from writing on the cashback to dial signatures should be analyzed. In doing so, you won’t be fooled into getting something inauthentic.

The Market State

To piggyback off the last point, competing collectors can create an environment in which the desire for watches is quite hot. Just like with any other market in any space, the price of Blancpain 50 Fathom is based on what the demand for it is at a particular time. If the demand for any particular watch falls, its price will fall and the opposite is true.

The Watch Type

Now, when one speaks of Fifty Fathoms, there are many types of this watch, which many consider collectible. Outside the aforementioned Bathyscaphes, others include the following:

  • No radiations
  • Milspecs
  • Tornek-Rayvilles
  • Rotomatic Inablocs
  • Aqua Lungs

While there are no doubt going to be those that stand out above others, this tends to depend on the particular collector. For some, the value of a watch is found in the material used to build it, the year, type, or size. For others, the value of these is tied to the provenance that comes with a particular watch.

Modern Versions

As we speak of watch type, it’s also worth thinking of the modern versions of these watches, particularly the limited editions that have been put out in this millennium. Their collectivity is generally based on how much they take after the watches they pay homage to. Some of the modern tributes can compete with the vintage models price-wise, although if you’re a purist, they might not do it for you.

Final Thoughts

The Fifty Fathoms watch has a rich history that has made it a watch worth having and various collectors seem to think so, with tens of thousands of dollars being spent on the pieces. However, for a novice, buying without any sort of knowledge is not a good idea, so looking at what factors affect the cost of Blancpain 50 Fathoms should be in mind.

With such knowledge, you’ll be able to better navigate the space and hopefully, find the right place to start your collection. While you’re at it, find some friends or community who have tips for collecting these pieces. It’s likely that you either already know someone who shares that interest or could potentially meet others who do, providing you with valuable insights.

Factors Influencing the Price of Blancpain 50 Fathoms Watches