Blancpain was founded by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain in Switzerland in 1735, making them the oldest surviving Swiss watch manufacturer in the world. The company became known for its simple elegant understated timepieces which were popular with the gentleman of the period.
By the 1950s the company was producing more than 100,000 timepieces a year before being taken over by Omega. By 1971, production had grown to a record 200,000 units, but the Quartz crisis of the mid-1970s caused the brand to fall out of favour as cheaper quartz watches were imported from Asia. By 1983 no watches were being produced under the Blancpain brand and the name was sold to Jean-Claud Biver who set about reinvigorating it. Biver re-launched some of the brands most iconic watches including the Fifty-Fathoms (the world first dive watch) and the classically styled Villeret.
Today Blancpain is part of the Swatch group, which also includes popular brands such as Omega, Glashutte Original, Jaquet Droz and Breguet. Each Blancpain watch is hand-assembled by a single watchmaker before being submitted for extensive testing. The watch is only released to its lucky owner once these tests have been completed satisfactorily.