The Blancpain 3H Fifty Fathoms (3H refers to the inscription on the dial, that can be found on every Bund issued watches with tritium indexes and hands) is rare bird and a very unique watch into the FF collection.
Fast forward to 1975, the German Military required a watch for it’s Navy Combat Divers, or to be more precise, the West German Bundeswehr Kampfschwimmers. They commissioned Blancpain to produce a special edition of the ‘Fifty Fathoms’ – and this was the result – the 3H Fifty Fathoms. This model was never available for civilian use, and only ever Military issued.
Helped by a screwdown crown, screw caseback, heavy stainless steel case, and thick mineral glass crystal, the watch is water resistant to 200 meters. A strange difference with the other Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is the lack of numerals on the bezel. The bezel insert is acrylic and due to expansion & contraction, many examples have the tell-tale split down the centre of the lume triangle – a good sign of original lume. The bezel is also bi-directional, and has a smooth action with no ratcheting clicks.
It’s powered by a Rayville Cal. 2873 auto movement. It’s not a particularly impressive movement, but seems to have been chosen for its no-nonsense ruggedness.

Case, glass, bezel & dial Show signs of use. Dial in excellent condition.
Hands and dial – original Tritium lume.
Stock number: 6645-12-171-4162 and serial 1196
Movement runs fine ( 8s too fast within 24 hours)

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