Blancpain

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Blancpain SA
Type Private
Industry Watch manufacturing
Fate Purchased by The Swatch Group Ltd
Founded Villeret, Switzerland (1735 (1735))
Founders Jehan-Jaques Blancpain
Headquarters Paudex, Switzerland
Area served Worldwide
Key people Marc Hayek
Parent The Swatch Group Ltd
Website blancpain.ch

Blancpain SA (French pronunciation: ​[blãpɛ̃]) designs, manufactures, distributes, and sells luxury watches. It is a subsidiary of the Swatch Group. Blancpain is headquartered in Biel, Switzerland, and has 35 stores and 396 retailers around the world.

History[edit]

Jehan-Jaques Blancpain started making watches in 1735 in Villeret, Switzerland.

In 1970 the Société Suisse pour l'Industrie Horlogère (SSIH), parent company of Omega and Tissot, took over Blancpain. During the quartz crisis of the 1970s, Blancpain went into bankruptcy. On January 9, 1983, Jean-Claude Biver and Jacques Piguet, director of watch company Frédéric Piguet SA, acquired the rights to the name Blancpain for 22,000 Swiss Francs. Subsequently they moved Blancpain's production to Le Brassus.

In 1992, the SSIH purchased Blancpain for 60 million Swiss Francs. At that time, Blancpain had annual sales of 50 million Swiss France. Jean-Claude Biver remained as CEO of Blancpain until 2003. SSIH became known as the Swatch Group, and in July 2010, Frédéric Piguet SA, also owned by Swatch Group, was merged into the firm Blancpain SA. Marc Hayek, the grandson of the Swatch Group's founder and chairman, Nicolas Hayek, is the current leader of Blancpain and has run the company since 2002.[1]

According to their commercial slogans, the company has never produced quartz watches in the past and has stated in its advertisements that it never will, nor have they ever produced watches with digital displays. In comparison to a large watch maker like Rolex, which makes about 2,000 watches a day, Blancpain produces fewer than thirty watches per day. Each watch is made by a single watchmaker.

Blancpain watch with 8-day power reserve.

Blancpain is also famous for being the creator of one of the most complicated mechanical watches ever made, the Blancpain 1735, which is a true grand complication (Tourbillon, minute repeater, perpetual calendar, split chrono), a limited edition of 30 pieces only, production of just one piece per year.

Blancpain is also known for its Fifty-Fathoms watch, selected by the United States Navy and worn by Jacques-Yves Cousteau in his award-winning film. In 1984, Blancpain launched the world's smallest movement, followed in 1989 by the launch of the world's thinnest movement.

Blancpain is well known for sponsoring numerous Motorsport programs, including the Blancpain Endurance Series,[2] Blancpain Sprint Series, Blancpain GT Series,[3] Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series, ADAC GT Masters[4] and Reiter Engineering's GT1 and GT3 cars.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.blancpain.com/en/history
  2. ^ "Series Information". Blancpain Endurance Series. SRO Ltd. 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  3. ^ "Blancpain Watches extends partnership to the SRO-Promoted GT Sprint Series". FIA GT Series (Stéphane Ratel Organisation). 15 November 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Blancpain and ADAC GT Masters extend partnership". ADAC GT Masters (ADAC). 4 December 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 

External links[edit]