It’s a modern war that each nation is battling out. Many places, many oceans have now become a dumping ground for industrial and domestic waste. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme, up to 12.7 million metric tonnes of plastic waste enter the oceans every year. To find a solution to this menace, many watchmakers are collaborating with other brands to create contemporary diving watches that not only look modern, but can also do the job they are meant to do. After enjoying the success with Omega for its Moonswatch collection, Swatch has now partnered with Blancpain to create five new watches, dedicated to the oceans. These include Arctic Ocean (Ref. SO35N100), Pacific Ocean (Ref. SO35P100), Atlantic Ocean (Ref. SO35A100), Indian Ocean (Ref. SO35I100), and Antarctic Ocean (Ref. SO35S100).
In essence, what we are looking at here is a new collection of Fifty Fathoms that was first showcased to the world in 1953 and is now celebrating its 70th anniversary. The collection is regarded as the one having the first modern diver’s watch that was equipped with a rotating unidirectional bezel with a designated diving scale. There are five timepieces in the latest Swatch x Blancpain collection, inspired by the Fifty Fathoms. Sized at 42.3 mm, the new Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms watches come with bioceramic cases and crowns. The watches are available in five colours — beige (Arctic), yellow-orange (Pacific), blue (Atlantic), green (Indian), and ice-white (Antarctic).
The left side of each case gets the engraving of Swatch branding and the crown gets the engraving of both brands. The collection gets a 60-minute, unidirectional bezel. The new Swatch x Blancpain Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms editions feature gradient dials with Arabic 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. Three of the models — yellow-orange, blue, and green — get a date window at 4:30.
At 6 o’clock, the Arctic model features a special symbol: a red trefoil on a yellow background with a white cross cutting through it. The words, “NO RADIATIONS”, are placed below the logo. On the other hand, the Antarctic variant gets a genuine water contact indicator that detects the presence of water. The sensor ensures that the watch’s water resistance has not been affected by the previous diver’s use.
Powering all the watches isthe SISTEM51, a self-winding movement with 90 hours of power reserve and an anti-magnetic Nivachron hairspring. Turning each watch over showcases the see-through caseback with a colourful marine species found in all five oceans: the nudibranchs (scientific name: Nudibranchia). These soft-bodied marine Gastropod molluscs are featured in a digital print on the movement’s rotor. This rotor allows the watch to recharge automatically with a simple movement of the wrist.
The five watches feature this species in different versions. The Arctic Ocean watch features the nudibranch Dendronotus Frondosus, characterised by its soft, subtle shapes. The Pacific Ocean features Chromodoris Kuiteri. The Atlantic Ocean has Glaucus Atlanticus, its deep blue colours pay tribute to wild seas. The Indian Ocean variant gets the Nembrotha Kubaryana, evoking the mesmerising colours of corals and the lush. Finally, the Antarctic Ocean watch features Tritoniella Belli, recalling the mystery and allure of icy polar waters. It resembles an iceberg, battered by storm waves. All watches are finished on NATO-style straps, made from recycled fishing nets, removed from seas, with bioceramic pin buckles and loops. The collection is water-resistant for up to 91 metres (about 50 fathoms).