Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Swatch originally released five variants of the Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms line, one for each ocean. It seemed unlikely that an additional standard model like the Ocean of Storms would be added. The only updates to Moonswatch after the celestial bodies had all been covered have been limited editions. Thus, many of us expected the brand to follow that strategy with its second collaboration watch.

Unexpectedly, it recently released the Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms. Because it is not limited, I was able to purchase one at the Swatch boutique inside the Nicholas G. Hayek Center in Ginza. It was in stock at the second Swatch store that I visited during a recent trip to Japan, after picking up the Antarctic in Shibuya.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

I've now reviewed most of the variants of this affordable version of Blancpain's best-known dive watch. Keep reading to learn what makes this model special. If you'd like more of an intro to the line, you can read reviews of other variants here. I recommend starting with the first that I reviewed, the Indian Ocean.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms First Impressions

Previously, my favorite model of the Scuba Fifty Fathoms had been the white Antarctic, but I fell in love with the Ocean of Storms as soon as I strapped it on. The extreme contrast of the raised white markers on the black dial makes it really pop. The bezel insert being black also accentuates the reflections that it creates. It will take a bit more time for me to decide which I prefer between the two.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Like the others, it came inside a watch travel case. It's bulkier than the StrapHabit Travel case, making it less useful for travel, it would be a nice place to store the watch. The gray and black zipper on each case is color-coordinated to the watch inside.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

The Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Details

Until this Ocean of Storms variant was added, two of the oceans (Antarctic and Arctic) feature a vintage-inspired dial without a date, while the rest (including this one) mimic the dial of the modern Fifty Fathoms. This means applied markers with Arabic numerals, modern fonts, and a date window at 4:30.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

All of the other Swatch Fifty Fathoms watches have a printed fume pattern on the dial. The Ocean of Storms, however, has a metallic black dial with a subtle sunburst finish that can be seen in direct light. It looks great and gives this variant more a traditional and high-end appearance.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

The black Bioceramic case also looks like it could be true ceramic, or metal with a PVD coating. Unlike the other colored variants, the Ocean of Storms looks like a "real" Blancpain from a distance.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

While I don't prefer the massive Swatch logo molded into the side of the case, I found that it was visually blocked by the bezel while on the wrist. It's especially hard to see on the black version, making it the least noticeable.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Swatch rates the water resistance at 91m or exactly 50 Fathoms, which is pretty good for a plastic watch. The crown does not screw down, and like the Moonswatch, it is dual-signed.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Daily wearers of a Moonswatch have likely noticed that its acrylic crystal easily picks up scratches which are luckily easy to remove with a quick polish. The Scuba Fifty Fathoms also applies an acrylic crystal, but Swatch applies an anti-scratch coating. I have not discovered any scratches in mine yet (knock on wood).

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

The crystal on the caseback, however, is sapphire. This is likely to stop the pass-through strap from scratching it.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Wearing the Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms

Like the Moonswatch, the Scuba is very light, making it comfortable on the wrist. It's not a small watch but wears well even if the dual-pass NATO strap adds thickness.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Considering its lower-cost plastic construction, I didn't expect this good of a bezel feel. It is very easy to turn but smooth, and the 120 clicks are crisp and precise with minimal play. It doesn't feel expensive, but is more enjoyable to turn than I had expected.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

The hands on the Scuba Fifty Fathoms are larger and wider than those of the Moonswatch, likely thanks to its mechanical (vs. quartz) movement. The hands and the hour markers are fully white. This is the most legible of the Scuba variants, and one of the better watches that I own in this aspect. The thick applied numerals and triangular markers make it easy to read too.

The only "pops of color" on this otherwise monochromatic watch are the yellow second hand tip, and depth rating on the dial. Just the right amount of color.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

The nighttime legibility is also quite good, especially on the hands. The Scuba Fifty Fathoms uses blue Grade A Super-LumiNova on the hands and markers, as well as the bezel insert. Because the application is thicker and wider, makes it much brighter and easier to read than the Moonswatch.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Original Strap and Replacement Straps for The Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms

All versions of this watch use a color-coordinated striped NATO strap made from recycled fishing nets removed from the sea.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

The hardware is also made from Bioceramic and matches the case.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

It is lightweight and comfortable if a bit difficult to fold over.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Unfortunately for those like me who love frequent straps swaps, Swatch installs the NATO straps on the Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms using screw bars.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Two hex tools are required to remove the screw bars in order to install two-piece straps, however. Luckily, we offer the perfect set that can be purchased here.

 Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Antarctic Ocean Watch Review SO35S100

As always I've experimented with a number of other strap options for my Ocean of Storms. Because it is all black, lots of strap colors look great on it. My favorites have been white or black straps, but yellow ties in with the dial if you prefer something brighter. My current favorite is a multi-colored Ridge Rubber though.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400 

Pass-through straps like our Elastic Straps are easy and quick to swap in. They also work well to make the lightweight Scuba even more comfortable to wear. White Luminous Elastic Straps look great too.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400The lug width is an odd 21.7mm. 22mm straps can be installed, but if the straps include built-in quick-release spring bars (as StrapHabit straps have), the spring bars must first be removed in order to allow the screw bars to be installed. This is easy to do on our rubber straps by carefully stretching the rubber. On other straps, it requires cutting the spring bar to remove it.

We recommend the following Rubber straps in 22mm for the Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms as they have the easiest to remove Springbars:
-Ridge Rubber
-Smooth Rubber
-Vented Rubber
-Slim Ridge Rubber
-
Deployant Rubber

You can also visit this page to see all of the straps that we recommend for the Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms or our Guide to Choosing a Watch Strap.

The end of this article features photos and the option to buy more replacement strap options for your Ocean of Storms.

The Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Ocean Movement

As Blancpain watches are never supposed to use quartz movements, all Scuba Fifty Fathoms receive an automatic. To keep it at a Swatch price level, the brand's System 51 movement is used.

A transparent rotor self-winds it, or it can be wound by turning the crown counter-clockwise (opposite of most mechanical watches). It also has a quickset date. The display caseback allows a view of the movement, complete with an illustration of the Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms) region of the moon and the Okenia Luna nudibranch. You can also estimate how much it is wound visually by looking at the mainspring inside the skeletonized barrel.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

The movement consists of only 51 parts including only one central screw and a 90-hour power reserve. Swatch says that it is "fully" anti-magnetic thanks to its hairspring made with Nivachron. It also contains a lot of plastic parts, including the escapement, which helps in this area.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Conclusion

In previous articles, I've commented that the Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms is not a great value at $400. The selling point, rather, is how fun it is to wear, and the unique experience of owning a less expensive version of an iconic dive watch.

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

While the Ocean of Storms variant loses out on the fun color experience of the other models, it looks and feels like the most expensive version. It's also more versatile and looks the most like a traditional watch. For me, the appeal is easy to understand.

Specifications: 

Name: Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms
Reference Number: SO35B400
MSRP: $400
Diameter: 42.3mm
Height: 48mm
Thickness: 14.4mm
Lug Width: 21.7mm (22mm will fit with QR spring bars removed)
Movement: Swatch System 51
Power Reserve: 90 hours
Water Resistance: 91m
Crystal: Acrylic with anti-scratch coating (rear crystal: sapphire)
Crown:  Push-pull
Bezel: 120-click Uni-directional
Strap: NATO strap made from recycled fishing nets removed from the sea

 

Shop Other Straps for the Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms:

 

Ridge FKM Rubber


Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Elastic Straps


Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Smooth FKM Rubber


Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Vented FKM Rubber


.Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms Ocean of Storms Watch Review SO35B400

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