The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms collection now spans more than half a century of winning the ultimate diver’s watch title. This family of captivating luxury time-keepers was pioneered in 1953 when two commanders of the French Combat Diving School, Captain Robet Maloubier and Lieutenant Claude Riffaud decided to have a custom built watch designed specifically for their dive soldiers. Blancpain CEO Jean-Jacques Fietcher, an enthusiastic diver himself, decided to take up the project and created this efficient masterpiece.
The machinery inside a watch that keeps things ticking is called the movement or a caliber. A synonym of size, the word ‘caliber’, first used as a watchmaking term in 1715, originally referred to the build of a watch movement—the layout, dimensions, shape and size of the wheels, barrels, bridges and so on. Today the word is a substitute for movement, the complete mechanism with the mainspring, escape wheel, bridges, gear train, and other components, including the rotor in automatic watches. Calibres are either mechanical or quartz-based. While the latter are powered mostly by a battery, the former can either be manual winding, or self-would by an oscillating mass or rotor.