Blancpain is the oldest surviving watchmaking brand in the world. Watchmaker Jehan-Jacques Blancpain started the brand in Villeret, Switzerland in 1735.
Throughout the century, The company was managed by the descendants of Jacques, but it’s not until 1932 where the company was finally handed down Betty Fiechter.
1961 saw the company being part of a bigger umbrella. Blancpain became part of the Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère (SSIH) alongside Omega, Lemania and Tissot. Unfortunately, eventually they closed the brand down despite success and it’s not until years later where the brand will be heard again.
When one thinks of Jean-Claude Biver’s resume, 1982-83 was an unforgettable time. Jacques Piguet bought Blancpain and made JCB as the vice-chairman while being an Omega executive. Production started again in Le Brassus and within the decade, already had an increase in reputation and sales.
Not long after that in 1992, Blancpain and Frederic Piguet was sold to SMH which is now known as the Swatch Group at a cost of around a thousand times more than what JCB has paid to buy the name.
Today, Blancpain continues its innovation and production while paying tribute to its heritage. Modern Fifty Fathoms are now made with more modern materials such as ceramic, sapphire and silicon to name a few. In addition, it also builds its watches the traditional way where a single watch maker builds a complete watch by himself than passing through an assembly line.
- Fifty Fathoms
- Horlogerie Suisse. (2019). Les marques – Horlogerie Suisse. [online] Available at: http://www.horlogerie-suisse.com/marques [Accessed 13 Nov. 2019].
- History. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.blancpain.com/en/brand/our-vision/history.
- Gene Stone, Stephen Pulvirent (2019), the Watch Thoroughly Revised.