Guide to Buying Vintage Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Milspec and other Vintage Watches


I have been on eBay a few years already, I sell and resell watches and jewelry as my main trade and we are a group of sellers who work together…this means a lot of combined experience and knowledge. 

The subject of this guide is Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, Milspec and other models. 

It breaks my heart to see people putting BS watches and scamming eBayers. 

Every month there’s a suspicious looking Blancpain put of eBay and there’s always someone who falls for the scam.

 So here are a few pointers:

  1. Fifty Fathoms are military watches; therefore they should have serial numbers. Most armies like to keep track of their equipment.

  2. A vintage watch should not look brand new unless polished and polishing decreases value and brings up the question…Why was it polished?

  3. Dials are the first to show wear, so a bright dial is most likely fake or redone.

  4. Fifty Fathoms should have the inner seal.

  5. Fifty Fathoms used high grade movements, not cheap “brassy” looking movements. If you can’t tell the movement is cheap, you shouldn’t be buying a Fifty Fathoms.

  6. If the inside of the case was polished you can be sure this watch is wrong, there is no reason to polish the inside of a case.

  7. Pay attention to the finishing on the case, some people recycle Blancpain cases.

  8. Pay attention to the condition of the dial, hands and bezel, they should be in similar conditions although a bezel could be totally beat up.

  9. Pay attention to the luminous markers, they should match all across the dial plus if you see a luminous filling “spilling” out of it’s boundaries, you know that it was “re-loomed” and means that the watch is NOT original.

  Here are some examples of problematic and questionable Blancpain watches:

Movement doesn't look like it should be in a Fifty Fathoms.
Polishing signs on the inside of the case plus the inner seal is taken in a way that you can't see the condition it is in...Makes you wonder why the seller took the trouble to avoid these details (these pictures were edited to zoom in)
Strange dial, completely wrong, possible a recycled dial from another Fifty Fathoms


These pointers should help you on your way and hopefully save you headaches when you are shopping for a vintage Blancpain or most other valuable vintage watches.






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Last modified: 11/09/12