Blancpain was founded in 1735 in Villeret, Switzerland, by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, making it the oldest surviving watchmaking brand in the world. Despite its age, this luxury manufacturer has groundbreaking innovation at its heart. The CEO of Blancpain, Marc A. Hayek, asserts that innovation is the company’s tradition. Throughout its nearly 300-year history, Blancpain has been responsible for numerous inventions and unique creations, such as the world’s smallest moon-phase display, and it continues to push the boundaries with its meticulously crafted timepieces today.
Perhaps Blancpain’s most famous innovation was the first modern diving watch. The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms was introduced in 1953 and offered water-resistance up to 91 meters. In 1958, Fifty Fathoms became standard issue for the U.S. Navy combat divers and U.S. Navy SEALs and has been enjoyed by divers, scientists, and underwater photographers ever since. Blancpain’s timepieces elevate watchmaking to an art form, as well as a feat of engineering. Their dedication to maintaining the highest standards is why they produce fewer than 30 watches per day, with each piece being made by a single expert watchmaker.