Blancpain has reinterpreted one of its most iconic timepieces, the Fifty Fathoms "no radiations" with a super-limited 500-piece series.
This mid-1960s diving watch became famous for including a rather ominous "no radiations" logo, indicating that Blancpain was not using luminescent materials composed of radium.
It is now among the most iconic Fifty Fathoms models, and that is why Blancpain has chosen to honour it in 2021.
The Tribute to Fifty Fathoms No Rad features a deep matt black dial punctuated by geometrical hour-markers, combining traditional round dots as well as rectangles and a diamond-shaped mark at 12 o'clock.
The chapter ring, the hands and the time scale on the bezel all feature retro-coloured Super-LumiNova reprising the beige-orange hue of vintage indicators.
A date aperture, highlighted by a white rim as seen on one of the 1960s models sits at 3 o'clock.
The real star of the show is the yellow and red "no radiations" logo, which adds to the already strong character of this timepiece.
The symbol was introduced by Blancpain when, in the early 1960s, radium – a radioactive element used in watchmaking for its luminescent properties – was declared harmful to health.
The special symbol consisted of three red segments on a yellow background with a black cross was accompanied by the words "no radiations" designed to ensure that the message was easily understood.
The original watches have become particularly sought-after collector's items.
The steel case measures 40.3 mm, a diameter exclusive to limited-edition Fifty Fathoms watches, and is water-resistant to 300 metres.
It houses the Blancpain Calibre 1151, a self-winding movement equipped with a silicon balance spring and featuring a four-day power reserve.
Its two barrels are wound by means of a rotor with a cartouche-shaped aperture, a nod to some of the historic timepieces in the collection, including the very first Fifty Fathoms. This now atypical detail was formerly used to increase the suppleness of the oscillating weight in order to safeguard the movement in the event of impacts.
The watch comes on a strap in "Tropic"-type rubber, a material very popular with divers back in the day because of its durability and wearer comfort.
It is priced at £11,800/AU$19,500 and available at Blancpain boutiques.