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In-depth overview of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

Moneymagpie Team 3rd Jun 2024 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you are a fan of collecting watches, there are so many vintage models out there. One of the best to consider is the Blancpain 50 Fathoms according to Watches of Mayfair. This brand has been around since the 1950s. Over the years, it has created some great pieces. This brand is known for being spectacular. One of the biggest advantages is it is great for dives.

It is also rather pricey. There are several variations, many with fascinating labels.  Only individuals who have experience collecting old wrist watches may be familiar with these. Watches went through several technical improvements to develop water-resistant current models. Because of its distinguishing characteristics, it is practically hard to mistake them with another type   So, let’s go over some factors to think about while selecting Blancpain 50 Fathoms.

What you should know about the product

While many models are valuable, they are not equally made. Here are some things to consider as you look for a watch.

Cost

As you prepare to dive into this journey, come prepared with your wallet. If you want to get a great vintage watch, then be prepared to spend over $20,000. While there are some that are worth $15,000, they may not have any special features.

It is important to remember that prices may change based on demand. For instance, when the demand was high between 2015-2017, there was a significant increase in value. Rare prototypes also cost more. An example is the US Navy. Whenever there is a lot of mystery, the price also goes up.

Condition

When the Blancpain 50 Fathoms were first designed, many didn’t survive. Most were used in the military. This means finding an original one is difficult and most may not be in good condition. Watches that go this far back may be difficult to trace and therefore are very expensive.

So whenever there is one for sale, only a few people may be aware. The good thing is that despite the high price, it has remained relatively stable for the past few years. However, the cost of the newer versions is more likely to fluctuate.

Variations

Because there are many options, new collectors may not know where to start. You can either go with the most popular types of something more mysterious. There is no perfect option for starters. It’s all about what a few things including:

  • Condition
  • Availability
  • Your taste
  • Budget

The earliest versions go as far back as 70 years ago. Any piece regardless of the stage or date of design is considered a holy grail for collectors. One thing about this brand is that the watches are always scarce. The number in circulation varies for different prototypes. It can be difficult to find two of the same make in good condition. This makes the search for a rare piece more interesting.

Top collectables

If you are thinking of starting a collection z there are two routes. The first is going with the earlier models. These are valuable and antique. There are also newer models to consider. Here are some examples of the Blancpain 50 Fathoms to add in your arsenal.

Milspec 1

It fetches a lot compared to other luxury watches for new collectors. The global luxury watch industry is expected to generate $49.80 billion in sales by the end of 2024. The Milspec 1 was originally first created only for the military. However, over time it started gaining the attention of civilians. The prices for originals can be as high as $50,000 for one piece.

It offers several variations, each unique and desirable. One of the best selling Milspecs is the bronze cases. Currently only 20 of these are known to still exist. This makes them almost 20% more expensive than those with steel cases.

When searching for one, make sure that both the case and rotor have “Milspec”. If either one of these is different, then you know it is not legit. It has probably been tampered with and so the value would be less.

Tornek-Rayville

This is the ultimate holy grail of the Blancpain 50 Fathoms. Anyone that’s a pro would agree with this. Not only is it a popular type in this brand but across other companies. It stands out in the world of military dives, making it one of the rarest and most sought after watches.

It all revolves around how it came about. Because the brand could be exported to the US, designers created the Tornek-Rayville for the American divers. Only 100 of these were ever made. Currently only a few of these exist. The most recent auction sold out for just under $90,000. Its attachment to the US Navy makes it particularly special for many collectors.

Barakuda

This is one of the newer versions. It was designed in 2017-2019, a limited edition of only 50 watches. The designs are based on the prototype created for the German navy in the 70s. It is also a great option for those at entry level. Be ready to search for a long time as only a few are available.

No radiation

This is a favorite for many. It is unique because instead of using a ‘T’ for tritium, it uses ‘No Rad’ instead. This is a clear indication of not using the radioactive metal radium to create watches. Most of these were produced in the later half of the 50s. So they may not be as expensive but are still hard to come by. It was popular among German divers.

Final thoughts

You can’t go wrong with investing in Blancpain 50 Fathoms. These antique and classic watches may be expensive but are a worthwhile addition to your collection. With so many options to choose from, there is something for everyone. It is important to keep the costs in mind. If your budget allows, then this is a great piece

Prices are subject to fluctuations depending on demand. Some vintage pieces are hard to find. They go for thousands of dollars at auctions. Looking out for auctions when scarce models are available will help you build up an impressive watch collection.

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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