Full fathom five

Weekend Glitz | Gordan Chan and Crystal Wu 16 Jul 2021

Luminescent displays in divers' watches are indispensable in the dark waters. But did you know that in early divers' watches, the glowing effect was achieved using radioactive radium?

In 1965, Blancpain created the first nonradioactive luminescence in its Fifty Fathoms RPG1 diver's watch, specifically made for the German Navy's Kampfschwimmer Marines.

The watch has an orange and red radiation symbol with a cross on it to show that the watch does not contain any radiation.

This is why watch fans dubbed this Fifty Fathoms the "Bund No Rad." Bund is short for bundeswehr or "armed forces."

The logo then made an appearance in the next Fifty Fathoms RPGA1 and has since become an iconic part of the 68-year-old line.

Blancpain brought out its first tribute to the Bund No Rad in 2010. While retaining most of the original designs, its 45mm case is larger than the original 41mm.

A full 11 years later, the watchmaker has launched its second rendition of the tribute watch.

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September 2021

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