History of Blancpain
Blancpain is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer founded in 1735 in Villeret, Switzerland, by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain. Headquartered in Paudex, Switzerland, Blancpain is one of the oldest companies in the world of watches and is famed for its high-end mechanical watches. From its founding in 1735, Blancpain operated under the descendants of Jehan-Jacques Blancpain until 1932. During the 1815 revolution, Frédéric-Louis Blancpain, the great-grandson of Jehan-Jacques, modernized the workshop and transformed it into a mass-produced industry for the times. He introduced a significant innovation to watchmaking by replacing the crown-wheel mechanism with a cylinder escapement.
Following the sudden death of Frédéric-Emile Blancpain in 1932, his daughter Berthe-Nielle decided not to follow in her father’s footsteps. The company was sold to two employees, Betty Fiechter and André Léal, in 1932, marking the end of the family’s management. By the end of the 1950s, Blancpain was producing more than 100.000 watches a year. To meet the constantly growing demand, the company became part of the SSIH (a former group of Swiss watchmakers comprising Omega, Tissot, and Lemania). A historical high of 220,000 was achieved in 1971 by the company. In the 1970s, during the quartz crisis, SSIH decided to decrease the production of automatic watches to focus on quartz. This decision eventually led them to go out of business. In 1981, movement manufacturer Frédéric Piguet and Jean-Claude Biver, purchased the rights to Blancpain.