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The oldest watch brand in the world
The Pilot Watch Magazine
30 April 2024

Watchmaking driven by innovation

Blancpain is probably the oldest watch brand still active on the market today. Blancpain was founded in 1735, when Jehan-Jacques Blancpain registered as a watchmaker in the village charter of the small Swiss town of Villeret. In the two centuries that followed, the watchmaking company of the same name was passed down from generation to generation, literally from Blancpain to Blancpain, and steadily expanded and enlarged.

Blancpain remained in family hands for almost 200 years. It was not until Frédéric-Emile Blancpain – already the seventh generation to lead the family business – died that he left the manufacture to his long-time employee Betty Fiechter, making her one of the first women to head a leading watch company in the world.

Blancpain has a proud history dating back to 1735, making it the oldest watch brand in the world.


First-class watches and movements

Betty Fiechter, assisted by her nephew Jean-Jacques Fiechter, led the company for some 20 years until her retirement. In 1961, Blancpain became part of the Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère, or SSIH for short, which included Omega, Tissot and Lémania. Since then, the name Blancpain has been synonymous not only with the manufacture of first-class watches, but also with the production of movements used throughout the SSIH Group.

Innovation and tradition

in 1982, Frédéric Piguet, a major manufacturer of watch movements in the Swiss Vallée de Joux, acquires the trademark rights to Blancpain from SSIH and re-establishes the Blancpain watch manufacture as an independent company. Blancpain is celebrated in the years that follow for its technical innovations, particularly for the production of extremely sophisticated and ultra-thin timepieces. In 1992, Blancpain – like Frédéric Piguet, incidentally – is acquired by the Société de Microélectronique et d ‘ Horlogerie, now the Swatch Group. To this day, the name Blacpain stands for progress and masterful watchmaking, true to the company motto: Innovation is our tradition.

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