Blancpain is a storied brand with an amazingly long history, but it’s not a company that every casual watch fan understands. That’s a real shame, because its timepieces are upscale, beautiful, and refined. Here’s a brief overview of the company’s history and collections.
Believe it or not, the Blancpain brand dates back to the early 1700s. Jehan-Jacque Blancpain registered himself as a watchmaker in 1735, and the company remained in the family for almost 200 years. Even when it was eventually handed off to a non-family member in 1932, it transitioned to an assistant of the seventh-generation Blancpain CEO.
As many Swiss watch brands have over the years, Blancpain entered into an alliance with Omega, Tissot, and Lemania in 1961. Over the next 30 years, the company weathered the infamous quartz crisis and eventually ended up in the hands of the corporation that would eventually become the Swatch Group.
Today, Blancpain offers a small, but focused group of timepieces that bridge the gap between classical styling and sports watch rugged sensibility. The Villeret collection spans several refined and fanciful designs that include moonphase complications, precious metals, and high degrees of detail and finishing.
The storied Fifty Fathoms collection shows off Blancpain’s vision of a modern dive watch, and are among the most elegant dive watches on sale today. Blancpain notes that the Fifty Fathoms is one of the world’s first modern dive watches, and the collection today has grown to include chronographs and other timepieces in exotic metals like titanium. Unlike most other dive watches, the Fifty Fathoms timepieces are usually offered on a strap, rather than a bracelet, though a few models do sport one.
If you’re looking for a watch that has both heritage and modern appeal, it’s hard to beat Blancpain, especially for sports watches. The Fifty Fathoms is among the most upscale dive watches on the market, and there is no doubt that it can take you from the beach to the boardroom with no trouble at all. How many other watches can claim that?