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Blancpain Bathyscaphe MC4 Arrival and Registry

  1. MikeMan2727 Jan 11, 2019

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    Hi all,

    I am very excited to share my latest arrival, a Blancpain Bathyscaphe MC4. I have been looking for this watch for several years and purchased the Waltham version to carry me over until I found this. I first saw it shared on Omega Forums by @keepschanging and proceeded to pester him for quite some time until he finally agreed to sell it :D. The watch arrived yesterday and is even more stunning in person than in the photos.

    Everyone is familiar with the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, which was a large diver introduced in the early 1950s. It was one of the earliest dive watches in history and was quite successful. The Blancpain Bathyscaphe was introduced in the late 1950s due to the demand for a smaller diver for everyday wear. This model was called the MC4 - it was 34mm in size, water resistant to 60m and had a manual wind AS 1187 movement.

    From my online research, I was not able to find many examples of the Bathyscaphe MC4. It seems that there were two dial variants: (1) the 6 o clock triangle above the minute track with serif font, and (2) the 6 o clock triangle in line with the minute track and sans serif font:

    1. Triangle above, serif font.
    Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 8.18.07 PM.png

    2. Triangle in line, sans serif font.
    Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 8.21.10 PM.png

    It seems the triangle above/serif variant was seen with earlier serial numbers, but there just aren't very many data points. The only outlier was one sold by EWC, which had a much later serial of 17600, plated case, and triangle above dial.

    Without futher delay, here are photos of the new arrival! The case, bezel, and dial are in excellent condition. The caseback is very crisp, and the lume has developed a nice patina.

    20190110_155124.jpg 20190110_155143.jpg 20190110_155156.jpg 20190110_155225.jpg 20190111_140242.jpg

    Here it is with my Waltham, which will sadly now have to be sold:

    20190111_192407.jpg 20190111_183224.jpg 20190111_183238.jpg 20190104_191951.jpg

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    Since there are so few of these online, I thought I would create a Registry with the known examples. If you have a Bathyscaphe MC4, I would love to see it and add it to the registry!

    1. 15787, Triangle above, SS, Chrono24
    2. 15837, Triangle above, SS, Chrono24
    3. 15859, Triangle above, SS, Sothebys
    4. 16045, Triangle in line, SS, WoK+eBay
    5. 16099, Triangle above, SS, Chrono24 (wrong second hand, relumed and craked hour hand)
    6. 16213, Triangle in line, SS, EWC+MattBain
    7. 16426, Triangle in line, SS, Owned by Johngdo
    8. 16889, Triangle in line, SS, Christies+Vesper
    9. 16956, Triangle in line, SS, My example above
    10. 17600, Triangle above, Plated/SS Back, EWC+AnalogShift
     
    Edited Jan 2, 2022
  2. bigsom Jan 11, 2019

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    These are so rarely seen, great post Mike and nice digging. Maybe more members here will have experience and examples to share. Congratulations on the new watch, looks very clean and sharp!
     
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  3. MikeMan2727 Jan 12, 2019

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    Thanks! Looks even better in real life!

    Would definitely be interesting to see other ones in the community. I looked at a lot of online sources and could only find the few examples listed above.
     
  4. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Jan 12, 2019

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    We need a eyes bugged out and drooling emoticon. ::love::
     
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  5. Dan S Jan 12, 2019

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    That's an incredible find. Isn't there something else you can sell to keep the Waltham? It's amazing to have the pair.
     
  6. bigsom Jan 13, 2019

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    Came back to this thread because... Well it's enabling and I love a vintage diver. Especially when that diver is arguably the first diver you could buy without a RFP as a research institute or government body.

    Am I correct in assuming that the internet only has 7 known examples of this watch? I'm really surprised given how important the MC4 is historically. Is there a Blancpain museum Mike?
     
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  7. CLTMA Jan 14, 2019

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    Mike, this is an amazing post! Congratulation again!!!
     
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  8. Zuke Jan 14, 2019

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    Wow!!! Huge congrats.
     
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  9. MikeMan2727 Jan 14, 2019

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    Thanks Dan! I've thought about the options, and in the end I want to own watches that I would wear frequently. Looking at these two in my watch box, I don't see a time where I would choose to wear the Waltham over the BP. This first gen Waltham took me a while to find, but the plan was to enjoy it until I finally found a Blancpain. Now hopefully someone else can enjoy it like I have. Although, I will be taking a lot of photos of the pair together for posterity :)

    There are probably more around, but I haven't seen many shown online. I checked various forums, all the big auction houses, and dealer websites. There were seemingly more than 7 online, but when looking at the serial number and various sources, the same few watches have been sold and resold several times. That's why you will see several sources for some watches in my registry above!
     
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  10. MikeMan2727 Oct 14, 2020

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    Just wanted to give this thread a bump. Any new vintage Bathyscaphe purchases or sightings?
     
  11. johngdo Feb 28, 2021

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    Hello all! Just wanted to add my Bathyscaphe to the lot. I love these watches and was excited to see the effort.
    16426, Triangle in line, SS, Owned by Johngdo[​IMG]
     
  12. johngdo Feb 28, 2021

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    [​IMG]
     
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  13. MikeMan2727 Mar 1, 2021

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    Excellent example, thank you for sharing! Nice to see another one pop up after the original thread.
     
  14. Matt87 Mar 3, 2021

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    What a duo!! Congratulation is the only thing to say!!::love::::love::::love::::love::::love::::love::::love::::love::::love::

     
  15. AlexWatchLover Jan 14, 2022

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    Hi all
    could you share some information on the movement please? I understand it is an AS1187. However, I've seen some in the internet that are Waltham signed. Does that combination of Blancpain dial and Waltham movement make sense?
    Also, why does the dial feature the word 'Brevet' (patent in French) - for me it seems that the this model was made for the US market and distributed via Waltham, just like Breitling sold their watches under the Wakmann name in order to save import taxes. Could that all be?
    thanks for your thoughts
    regards from Germany
    Alex
     
  16. MikeMan2727 Jan 14, 2022

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    Hi Alex,

    Yes, the movement is an AS 1187. The Blancpain movement should be signed Rayville. I have not seen a combination of Blancpain dial and Waltham movement before.

    Watches signed Blancpain were made for the European market and will have Brevet on the dial. Only Waltham was made for the US market and will not have Brevet on the dial.

    Hope that helps.
     
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  17. AlexWatchLover Jan 25, 2022

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  18. AlexWatchLover Jan 25, 2022

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    Bathyscaphe_01.jpg
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  19. AlexWatchLover Jan 25, 2022

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    Hi Mike
    thank you for your reply. I just bought this one here. I think it is a Franken watch, but since it wasn't very expensive and as I will wear it on a daily basis, I don't mind.
    The hands are wrong I think and the case's lugs are not chamfered. Also, the case back is different from all the other MC4s, however it is Rayville signed. The movement is correct, but Waltham signed. I sent the pictures to Blancpain, they didn't confirm the watch to be a Franken, but want to see it physically. Perhaps you have some more observations. Thanks & regards
     
    Bathyscaphe_03.jpg Bathyscaphe_04.jpg Bathyscaphe_05.jpg
  20. sleepyastronaut Mar 7, 2022

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    Stunning ::love::