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Swatch’s follow-up to its piping-hot collaboration with Omega is here in full. Over the weekend, the affordable Swiss watchmaker announced it was teaming up with Blancpain, a brand known for its spartan and highly functional dive watches. Watch enthusiasts have spent every day since arguing over the merits of the partnerships or mocking up their own predictions. Now, we can stop all the prognosticating, thanks to the official debut of the Scuba Fifty Fathoms collection.
Blancpain and Swatch’s collaboration comprises five watches named for each of the oceans: the Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and Antarctic Ocean. Like the MoonSwatches that came before it, these Scuba Fifty Fathoms arrive in a range of vibrant colors—this time inspired by nudibranchs, a type of sea slug, according to a press release.
The watches, in my professional opinion, are phenomenal. The Fifty Fathoms has never looked so ready to party. My first instinct is that the tangerine Arctic Ocean will be the hit of the collection. What sets the piece apart is the “NO RADIATION” symbol at 6 o’clock. This quirk is a highly sought-after detail on vintage Fifty Fathoms, a relic of an era when dive watches were still made with (highly toxic) radium. But the Arctic version will have plenty of competition for the title of most coveted piece. The Pacific Ocean is ripe-banana yellow; the Indian Ocean a playful green; and the Atlantic is the most serious of the bunch in navy blue. The other hit of the collection will likely be the Antarctic Ocean model, with its two-tone circle at the bottom of the dial, inspired by the sought-after Mil-Spec Fifty Fathoms.
The collection is chock full of smart details. Each watch is waterproof to 91 meters, which is exactly… fifty fathoms. Another aquatic touch? The straps are made out of recycled fishing nets. The caseback features an image of the slugspiration for each: the Arctic takes its orange from the supple Dendronotus Frondosus; the Pacific sports the bright Chromodoris Kuiteri; on the Atlantic is the Glaucus Atlanticus, a poisonous species known as the Blue Dragon (!); the Indian Ocean takes its green from the Nembrotha Kubaryana; and on the back of the icy Antarctic is the Tritoniella Belli. The caseback also carries inspirational phrases like “PASSION FOR DIVING,” “ LICENCE TO EXPLORE,” “OCEAN BREATH,” “PROTECT WHAT YOU LOVE,” and “IMMERSE YOURSELF.” Watches are truly in their vibes era.
Since the announcement of the partnership, collectors wondered whether Blancpain would make good on its long-held promise to never make a quartz watch. That vow is still valid as the new collection features Swatch’s SISTEM51, a mechanical movement that is crafted through a fully automated process.
The entire collection of BlancSwatches is set to release at select Swatch locations this Saturday, September 9th. It was pandemonium during the first batch of Moonswatch releases, so be sure to arrive extra early if you’re hoping to get your hands on one.
Here is the full list of U.S. retailers:
Ala Moana – Hawaii
NY NY – Las Vegas
TSQ – New York
5th Ave – New York
Powell – SFO
Lincoln Road – Miami
Millenia – Orlando
NorthPark - Dallas
Originally Appeared on GQ