Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Blancpain Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Blancpain Ocean Commitment II (Ref.: 5200 0310 G52A)

Blancpain introduces the new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Blancpain Ocean Commitment II (BOC II). For the first time, this piece features an all blue ceramic case. For each timepiece sold in this 250-piece limited edition, an amount of 1000 Euro will be donated in support of scientific expeditions. The 250,000 Euro resulting from this will be added to Blancpain’s contributions in support of the oceans.
Blancpain’s Research and Development department is engaged in constant innovation. Thanks to this, for the first time, the brand is proud to be able to present an entirely blue ceramic case on its newest Fifty Fathoms watch. This coloring is achieved by adding pigments during the ceramic production process, together with a binding agent. Subsequently, to obtain this uniform, long-lasting hue throughout the entire case, two techniques were used.

The first is a compaction process, where ceramic in powder form is pressed into a mold to obtain its shape. The second technique involves using an injection process to insert ceramic in the form of granules into the mold. This step enables the creation of a blueprint in the final shape. After this, the piece is placed in an oven on a low temperature in order to eliminate the bonding agent. When this is done, the latter is heated at a high temperature – a phase known as sintering – in order to give the ceramic its ultimate hardness. Lastly, the machining and finishing operations take place in order to provide the geometry and final look of each part. The compacting process was used for the case-middle, case-back, bezel and chapter-ring insert. The second technique involving the injection method was adopted for the crown and push-pieces. Suitable for small pieces, the latter is highly precise and complex to master. Up until now, it had not yielded satisfactory, sufficiently stable results for the blue color range.

In addition, it had not been previously possible to obtain a perfectly identical color for the two techniques. After several years of trials, Blancpain has now been able to add successfully mastering the injection method for blue to its color range. As a result, the case of the watch is a uniform shade of blue that is intense, mysterious and reflects the world of the oceans to which the Blancpain brand is so attached.
The new Flyback Chronograph BOC II is equipped with an F385 caliber whose mechanism beats at 36,000 vibrations an hour (5 Hz), an ideal frequency for a chronograph as it enables each second to be divided into intervals of a tenth of a second. The flyback chronograph is driven by a column-wheel. The F385 has a variable-inertia balance with gold screws, ensuring increased robustness and more precise adjustment than the usual index device. This has a vertical clutch that ensures faultless operation of the chronograph and eliminates any unexpected jerking of the watch hand when the chronograph is engaged. Moreover, this solution allows the chronograph mechanism to operate freely without having to worry about any negative effect on the watch’s rate accuracy. In addition, like all recent movements made by the Manufacture Blancpain, this caliber is equipped with a silicon balance-spring.

The Flyback Chronograph BOC II incorporates all the technical characteristics of a mechanical diving watch. In particular, it is water-resistant to 300 m and its unidirectional bezel features gray inserts and hour-markers in Liquidmetal®. Aside from this, it has a flyback function that enables immediate resetting of the chronograph to zero or restarting simply by pressing a pusher at 4 o’clock, in contrast to standard chronographs which require three steps to time successive events. This 250-piece limited-edition watch is also distinguished by its oscillating weight engraved with the words "Ocean Commitment” linking it to Blancpain’s commitment to the exploration and preservation of the oceans, while the sapphire crystal case-back also reveals the watch’s sporty and sophisticated bridges.
Every owner of a limited edition Blancpain Ocean Commitment (BOC) watch is invited to become a member of the “Ocean Commitment Circle”. An amount of 1000 Euro is taken from the price of each watch and committed by the brand to the support of scientific expeditions. Clients receive a certificate certifying that a donation has been made. Thanks to their purchase, they become a privileged activist and support Blancpain in its endeavors to ensure the preservation of our oceans. Members can benefit from opportunities such as meetings with
Blancpain partners, exclusive information published on the dedicated “Ocean Commitment” website in the area reserved for members of the circle, private invitations to talks devoted to scientific expeditions as well as premières of documentary films.
Aside from an invitation to join the circle, all purchasers of a Fifty Fathoms Blancpain Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II receive an exclusive copy of a new book entitled “Hans Hass, Awakening to a New World”, the number of which will correspond to the serial number of the watch.

Hans Hass is regarded by his peers as well as diving historians as having been the “pioneer of pioneers”. This Austrian biologist, ethnologist, photographer and filmmaker started exploring the seabed at the end of the 1930s, when no other suitable instrument existed. This precursor to scuba diving is a man of many records. Aside from the fact that he was the first to establish research laboratories on expedition ships, he was also the inventor of the Rolleimarin, a professional water-resistant case for the Rolleiflex camera, thus making it possible to bring back photographs from his explorations. These shots often created a sensation with the public that thus also had a chance to discover the underwater world.

Today, this book, produced in collaboration with the Hans Hass Institute, highlights a manuscript that he wrote in the 1960s and which to date has never before been published in full. The publication focuses on the years between the 1940s and 1960s and in particular, retraces the challenges of the setting up of these initial expeditions while offering a fascinating glimpse of the historical context of the period within which Blancpain presented the first modern diving watch: the Fifty Fathoms. Blancpain has had a connection to the Hans Hass Institute since the 2013 launch of the Hans Hass Fifty Fathoms Award in recognition of excellence in two distinct categories: Art and Literature, in recognition of the pioneering work achieved by Professor Hass; and Science and Technology, in recognition of his equally remarkable work in the areas of oceanography and underwater innovation.

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