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Old 13 October 2007, 01:51 PM   #1
Jedi
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Submariner & Fifty Fathoms

I've been thinking of focusing my collection on divers' watches for the time being, in particular tool divers'.

The SD is on the mission list, and the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms as well, in addition to a 'modern' ie. current model 16610.

I just wanted to ask the opinion of fellow TRF'ers what is the deal in terms of the actual provenance of the modern diver's watch? Both the Sub and FF were released about the same time and both claim to be the first modern diver's watch.

As a committed Rolex fan, I am pretty sure of the Sub's integrity, but am just questioning what happened with the FF? apparently it was developed at the request of the French Navy in 1952. But we know the Oyster case had been around for years before that and that the FF is a clear and distinct derivative of the Oyster case.

Thoughts anyone??
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Old 13 October 2007, 02:09 PM   #2
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definitely the SD , for the fact that Rolex develop and manufacture its movement from scratch , and for the respect that the SD commands in the diving community
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Old 13 October 2007, 02:14 PM   #3
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The SD I'm definitely getting, and thinking of getting the FF as well.

I'm just wondering about other people's opinions on the substance of each brand's claim to being the first Modern Diver's watch.

Didn't Rolex come up with the rotating bezel first? And crown guards, and the Oyster case... etc etc etc.
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Old 13 October 2007, 02:26 PM   #4
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The FF was the first divers watch with a movable Bezel and the other specifics. Rolex Submariner based their design off the FF.. If you want the "Original" dive watch, then go with the FF.

Some advantages the FF (last years 40mm model) has over the Sub: FF has better lumination, AR coated on the inside Crystal, and a movement that has twice the power reserve, and if you go with the SS bracelet version - considered to be one of the best made SS bracelets and clasp in the watch industry. The newer model FF is 45mm, much larger, but also has many upgrades that are really outstanding.

Here are some links for your review: http://www.fiftyfathoms.net/
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Old 13 October 2007, 02:30 PM   #5
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Thanks Chad.

Just looked at your previous posts on your search for watches where the FF was mentioned.

You say that the FF was the first with a movable Bezel, but the first movabe Bezel was by Rolex no? It's not important to me when it comes to the watch but it's just a factual accuracy thing.

Thanks for the link, had that one bookmarked but lost it somehow.

Cheers!!

sidenote: the 16610 look awesome with the NATO strap... will post pics soon!!
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Old 13 October 2007, 02:30 PM   #6
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Couple reviews of the new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms:


http://www.thewatchquote.com/Blancpa...on-No_6046.htm



http://www.thewatchquote.com/Launch-...ow-No_6175.htm
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Old 13 October 2007, 02:31 PM   #7
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No, Rolex was not the first. They copied Blancpain. Blancpain, which is the original,rotating bezel dive watch was in production a full 14 months before the first Rolex Sub.

Now as to the first "water proof" watches, that would have to go to Rolex with their Oyster case and twin lock crown in the early 1920s.

First true Diving watch, but no rotatable bezel was actually from Omega in the 30s.

And the first Combat Divers/Military Water Operations watch would probably have to go to Panerai (which used Rolex movements in their early watches)
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Old 13 October 2007, 04:34 PM   #8
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movable bezel

HI!

Wasn't the Weems Longines the first watch with moveable bezel?? this one is from 1940. [Admittedly this one would get a bit soggy under water!!]




Pic harvested from the net - wish it was my watch!!

Regards

Tim
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Old 13 October 2007, 04:47 PM   #9
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That is one beautiful example of a vintage Longines watch there!

I love Longines, I own one and am very happy with it. They are great watches for daily wear too since the one that I have on a leather strap has such a thin case. I always forget I have it on.

Longines is definitely a favorite of mines, next to Rolex of course! Thanks for sharing Tim!

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Old 13 October 2007, 07:39 PM   #10
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Would agree BigJ about Longines. What a rich history! Longines are very good watches as well for the value. Have you seen their Lindberg Replica!!!!
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Old 13 October 2007, 07:49 PM   #11
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Longines uses the ETA movement , and that does not make it any more special than other watch makers that uses this same movement. Rolex makes their own, from scratch. that's real dedication to watch making
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Old 13 October 2007, 08:07 PM   #12
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Well, one advantage of an ETA movement is that it is very reliable and easy for any watchmaker to work on.

Also, you could say many of the watches that use ETA movements are in house as well, since they are all owned by the Swatch Group.


The whole in house or not in house debate does not really mean much since most are just outsourcing thier parts through ETA and then modifiing and refining the movements. Just as Rolex outsources some of their parts.
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Old 13 October 2007, 11:56 PM   #13
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That Longines would be worth some bling now dudes.

RE: movement... Blancpain makes their own in house and from what I know, always have.

While window shopping today (I did pick up a triple head watch winder!) I looked at few recent dive watches by Breitling and Omega and Vulcain. All are cool and swish in their own way, but the influence of the Submariner is very very clear. I had my Sub on my wrist for comparison, and while the Blancpain, in all images I've seen thus far, bears a passing resemblance, there is a unique thoroughbred quality. Well of course there is, the Sub was based on it, but has somehow become it's own evolved entity.

I hope to get to the Blancpain dealer tomorrow for an up close inspection.
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Old 14 October 2007, 12:06 AM   #14
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Here are 2 vintage Longines NOS recently bought.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0217.jpg (71.5 KB, 216 views)
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Old 14 October 2007, 12:10 AM   #15
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Honestly, I like the look of the new fifty.....
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Old 14 October 2007, 01:06 AM   #16
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Honestly, I like the look of the new fifty.....
Me too! Not to mention the wonderfull history the brand has!!
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Old 14 October 2007, 01:13 AM   #17
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Gotta love the FF 100 hour power reserve!!!
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Old 14 October 2007, 02:38 AM   #18
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The Blancpain 50 Fathoms was the first diver; the Rolex came out soon after and I think it was the Submariner, not the Sea Dweller--I believe this is correct. The Sea Dweller came out years later. Unless you are looking to buy and own the first diver models, I am not sure about why this is important to you. The first Blancpain divers had a different brand name on them, I can't remember right now what that was--someone else here might know. I suppose it depends on what you are buying and why. If I were picking out a diver to use diving, I think I would go with the Rolex. Blancpain makes a fine watch, but it costs more to service, etc.
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Old 14 October 2007, 03:47 AM   #19
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It's a factual point that I wanted to clear up as part of my deliberation process.

You know, that little bit of fun that comes before actually buying a watch.

It's not important, but it is.

Thanks for all the feedback guys. I love my Sub, and am looking forward to adding the SD to the collection some day, and I'm looking forward to seeing the FF tomorrow.
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Old 14 October 2007, 04:05 AM   #20
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OK that is a comment I don't quite understand. This is my opinion and might make an intersting poll. If one owns a SD why buy a 16610 Sub? They are, from 2 feet away, dead ringers for each other. Yes Bo I know there are differances but sans the cyclops it's hard to tell. Unless I was a hard core collector I personally would not have 2 Rolex so close in look and feel to one another. I would want some seperation in style. I would go fo a SD and tt sub or a Certi. Maybe a SD and a Yachtie...something like that. Just my opinions. It would be interesting to find out how many guys have a SD and a Sub both and which one gets wrist time.
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Old 14 October 2007, 04:19 AM   #21
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OK that is a comment I don't quite understand. This is my opinion and might make an intersting poll. If one owns a SD why buy a 16610 Sub?
Because you want the same watch with less "wrist presence" and an hour marker instead of the date function, maybe?

When I bought my SD, it came down to this one or the ND as they truly are practically identical. In the end I didn't care about the date function, I just wanted the bigger watch. If the situation were reversed, I would have just as happily gotten the SD without the date. I don't know why a person would own both unless he is just really into collecting watches or dive watches or SS only watches or watches that look a lot alike or just felt like having both for no reason in particular--and there's certainly nothing wrong with that.
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Old 14 October 2007, 04:44 AM   #22
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I would also go for the SD. It is the last true Tool Watch from Rolex
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Old 14 October 2007, 04:53 AM   #23
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ALl true but from my perspective, lets asume I can afford only 2 Rolex's ( it's probabally more than an asumption LOL). I personally would want to Rolex with completley different styling to add the diveristy factor. There is definatley nothing wrong with it for sure.

I am pretty sure my next Rolex will be another datejust, more than likely a tt oyster bracelet, blue or black Roman dial.
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Old 14 October 2007, 05:47 AM   #24
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OK that is a comment I don't quite understand. This is my opinion and might make an intersting poll. If one owns a SD why buy a 16610 Sub? They are, from 2 feet away, dead ringers for each other. Yes Bo I know there are differances but sans the cyclops it's hard to tell. Unless I was a hard core collector I personally would not have 2 Rolex so close in look and feel to one another. I would want some seperation in style. I would go fo a SD and tt sub or a Certi. Maybe a SD and a Yachtie...something like that. Just my opinions. It would be interesting to find out how many guys have a SD and a Sub both and which one gets wrist time.
I agree.
To the average enthusiast looking for a panorama of timepieces the duplication isn't necessary. Both references have storied histories and from a practical standpoint one is as "tough" as the other.
The SD is the logical extension of the Sub., built to address the special needs of the professional.
To a collector however, while sharing a common genesis, each plays an important part in the overall completness of a collection.
I can't imagine a collection based on the evolution of the Rolex diver being complete without both.
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Old 14 October 2007, 12:59 PM   #25
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do u want a car that runs at 150bhp or one that runs at 600bhp , if both costs almost the same , looks almost identical , and costs more or less the same to maintain ?
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Old 14 October 2007, 02:08 PM   #26
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Evolution is a key component in the equation here.

That's why the FF will take a place in the collection, given the heritage issues behind the piece. The Sub and SD will then be 'complete'. Even more so when I pick up a current 16610 with Superluminova, hopefully with lug holes, then I can retire my tritium 'vintage' piece which has been a beater since I got it.
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Old 14 October 2007, 02:49 PM   #27
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do u want a car that runs at 150bhp or one that runs at 600bhp , if both costs almost the same , looks almost identical , and costs more or less the same to maintain ?
The point of the matter as far as I'm concerned is not which one will get more use, but how will the Story turn out in terms of the overall collection.

A typical motoring collection that might be parallel to what I'm trying to achieve here could run like this:

- Volkswagen Beetle, for origin
- Early Porsche 911 for evolution
- Late Porsche 911 for performance
- Current VW Beetle for completion

So in terms of watches, it would be the following:

- Blancpain FF for origin
- Rolex Sub 16610 for evolution
- Rolex SD for performance and evolution

Still staying with watches, one could go on with:

- Rolex Sub ND
- Omega Seamaster
- Breitling Superocean Heritage
- Seiko models
- etc etc etc...

But I have to draw the line somewhere!!
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Old 14 October 2007, 03:28 PM   #28
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sd and tt sub for me
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Old 15 October 2007, 05:28 AM   #29
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"what happened with the FF? apparently it was developed at the request of the French Navy....."

I think you answered your own question here. IMHO, the exclusivity of being associated with the French Navy is relevant only to the French, whereas Rolex has always made a significant effort to appeal to an international market base.
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