Blancpain is a high-end watch brand with a large fanbase and is one of the most popular brands among watch connoisseurs. Blancpain, the oldest watch brand with a lengthy history of watchmaking, has relaunched after a long hiatus, yet they still have its strengths and qualities. The brand is regarded as a cut above many other luxury brands, placing them in the highest echelon alongside Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, A. Lange & Sohne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and other elite brands. Indeed, their estimate mirrors this, with watches ranging at $8,400 on the catalog and several going up to over six figures, including models with diamond-encrusted dials. To know more about the brand, here are some details for you.
History of Blancpain
Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the creator of the Blancpain company, began creating watches in Villeret, Switzerland, in 1735. In 1815, the founder’s great-grandson assumed control of the business and was able to transform watchmaking from a factory to contemporary manufacturing competent of mass-producing luxurious watches. The founder’s grandson, Frederic-Louis Blancpain, revolutionized watchmaking by replacing the crown-wheel mechanism with a cylinder escapement. The company was obliged by law to alter its brand name in 1932 because no other family members were concerned about owning the business. The brand had no choice but to rename it as “Rayville S.A. success de Blancpain” with Rayville being obtained from “Villeret.”
Despite the firm having a lengthy pause under that name and operating under various names for liability purposes, Blancpain is the oldest name of all Swiss watchmakers that are still functioning presently. The Blancpain 1735, a no-nonsense high-mechanism watch with a Minute Repeater, Tourbillon complication, Perpetual Calendar, and Split Chronograph, is perhaps the brand’s most remarkable accomplishment. The company is well known for the Fifty-Fathoms watch, which was utilized by the US Navy and shown in Jacques Cousteau’s award-winning film, “The Cousteau Odyssey.” Blancpain’s Fifty-Fathoms Bathyscaphe caused a stir on the Fifty-Fathoms in recent times.
Blancpain takes pleasure in the fact that, notwithstanding the quartz crisis of the 1970s, the company promised to never produce any electronic battery-powered digital watch or a quartz watch. Many watchmakers felt compelled to continue the pattern to remain in business during this period. Many watchmakers had to choose between going out of business or adapting to make quartz watches at the era. The brand endured the tempest and came out ahead, and continues to do so to this day. Blancpain is still regarded as one of the most respected names in the world of luxury timepieces.
Notable Blancpain Watches Present Today
Fifty Fathoms No Rad
The Fifty Fathoms No Rad was the category’s first entry. The iconic Fifty Fathoms retains all of the flairs that made the original Fifty Fathoms popular in 1953. Blancpain has manufactured multiple variations of the Fifty Fathoms over the years. They demonstrated the design’s remarkable strength. There are three different variations of the 40.5 mm case in the present collection. The Fifty Fathoms Barakuda was the most popular among connoisseurs until the release of Fifty Fathoms No Rad.
This 500-piece limited run is a re-release of the initial Fifty Fathoms No Rad. It bears the “No Radiations’ badge, which insured that German Kampfschwimmers of the 1960s were not exposed to the dangers of radioactive luminous material, which was commonly employed in timepieces. It’s a curious element on an otherwise elegant dial design that means a lot to Blancpain collectors. Although the red and yellow emblem on the dial is dazzling, donning the watch made it look nice and warm. The Calibre 1151 is a pleasure to behold at work, as it is superbly crafted and visible through the sapphire case back. The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms No Rad is a wonderful remembrance of the company’s illustrious past.
Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback
In 2014, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback made its debut at Baselworld. The Bathyscaphe chronograph was released in two colors: black ceramic and stainless steel, giving it two distinct styles. The true news, however, was not the aesthetics, which were in perfect harmony with the other Bathyscaphe designs. The Blancpain Calibre F385 automatic, which was developed in-house, was the show-stopper. This movement is also at the heart of the contemporary green Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback.
Blancpain moved away from the Frederic Piguet caliber 1185, which had formerly powered the brand’s chronographs. The Calibre F385 is a column wheel, anti-magnetic silicon balancing spring, and vertical clutch integrated chronograph movement. Like Grand Seiko’s Hi-Beat and Zenith’s El Primero movements, it pulses at 36,000vph, leading to improved overall accuracy. Furthermore, it enables the chronograph to measure up to 1/10th of a second.
The flyback function on the movement enables you to reset, stop, and start the chronograph hands with just one stroke of the 4 o’clock pusher. Using the chronograph is a really pleasant and seamless experience. It’s a pleasure to use the pushers, and they’re a testament to their craftsmanship and high quality. When you rotate the watch around, you’ll find more proof of accuracy. The mechanism is visible through the sapphire case back and has a technical finish that complements the watch’s overall design.
Air Command Chronograph
The earliest Air Command Chronograph was just a twelve-piece solid evidence timepiece that was provided to the US Army via Tornek in the late 1960s, making it extremely uncommon. The brand’s pilot chronograph never took flight, but the surviving components were exchanged at military bases around the world, especially in Europe. As a result, these timepieces gradually found their way into the hands of civilians.
A boxy sapphire glass protrudes from the display case-back. This form of sapphire is difficult to come by, and the company uses it in one of its timepieces for the first time. The benefit it obtains is an unobstructed view of the flyback chronograph movement. And here is another domain where Blancpain excels.
The Caliber F388B is a spin-off of the brand’s in-house 385 flyback chronograph movement. The F388B maintains the high-frequency 5Hz, vertical clutch, and column wheel configuration while focusing on slimness. While keeping a proportional case height of 13.77mm, this sleek steel casing alleviates the projecting sapphire.
Blancpain is a watchmaker who specializes in high-horology timepieces. Beyond just telling the time, these high-complication timepieces contain a slew of mechanical features. The high accuracy and exquisite craftsmanship on every Blancpain watch reflect the expertise of its craftsmen. To know more about the brand’s best models, you may also check out WatchShopping online!