Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A History of Blancpain Watches

“Since 1735 there has never been a quartz Blancpain watch. And there never will be.” Although many may see this as a bold statement it is more than just a company slogan, it is the company ethos and shows the company’s pure dedication to excellence. It is this guiding principle that had earned Blancpain watches several awards and accolades over the years.


What was once a tiny manufacturer was transformed by the Blancpain family into one of the most respected watch companies the world over. The company’s Fifty Fathoms model of 1953 was featured quite prominently in the award winning film by Jacques Cousteau, The World of Silence. Unfortunately the invention and influx of quartz watches from Japan and China in the early 1970’s had the company on the verge of extinction and it was only thanks to an intervention from Jean-Claude Biver that the company was turned around. 
Biver was an Omega executive who had a real love for fine timepieces and the strategy he employed to save Blancpain watches was very simple. Blancpain was to return to the production of classical mechanical watches and only manufacture limited numbers. There was also huge emphasis placed on creating innovative and highly complicated timepieces. By employing this strategy the company was reborn in 1983 and well on the path to recovery.

Nowadays in the Blancpain factory some of the world’s most complicated, expensive and desired watches are created. Graduates are recruited from the finest Swiss watchmaking schools when their apprenticeship with a Master Watchmaker is complete. Each watchmaker at the Blancpain factory personally builds a watch from the very beginning right the very end. There are fewer than 10,000 Blancpain watches produced every year and each watch is individually numbered and recorded in the archives of the company. Every part of a Blancpain watch is of the highest quality and this includes straps, buckles and boxes.

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