Evolution et Tradition
Jehan-Jacques Blancpain founded its very first workshop in 1735 - and the brand bearing his name - in Villeret (in current Bernese Jura). Blancpain’s watches rapidly became very popular.
In 1815, Frédéric-Louis Blancpain - great grandson of the founder - modernised what was then a simple craftsman’s workshop and transformed it into an industrial manufacture capable of producing items in large numbers. As early as the 1850s, Blancpain had become the most prominent company in Villeret.
In 1865, Blancpain built a bigger factory to continue progressing and to compete against American rivals.
In 1926, in partnership with the watchmaker John Harwood, Blancpain presented the first automatic wristwatch. 4 years later the brand launched the very first automatic watch for women: the “Rolls” by Léon Halot.
In 1932, the only heir to the Blancpain firm sold it to two employees of the company - after 2 centuries of family ownership. Even if they were imposed by law to rebrand the firm “Rayville SA, succ. de Blancpain”, they nevertheless perpetuated the brand’s DNA and gave it a new impulse.
One of the greatest successes of the brand? The Fifty Fathoms watch. Designed following demands from “Combat Divers” in 1953, this watch was reliable enough to meet the demands of their underwater missions. Thus, the Fifty Fathoms became a reference when it comes to diving watches.