Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Luxury Watch Company That Never Went Quartz?

Blancpain Mens' Watch Automatic Tourbillon 18k Rose Gold White Dial on Brown Leather Strap

Blancpain. It is the oldest Watch manufacturer that never went quartz.

Blancpain has never manufactured a Quartz Watch. True to its legacy, it is the only Mechanical Watch Company established before the Quartz Revolution , still around today, that was and is truly Mechanical. Blancpain is a company, that has spanned generations of watchmakers , where every timepiece is crafted to perfection.
  • Blancpain's destiny was not always certain, the company clambered over many hurdles. Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, original 1735 founder of Blancpain worried that his son, Isaac, would not continue in the watch business. He did not seem interested, he would much rather teach. Luckily Isaac's son continued the family watchmaking business. Jehan-Jaques grandson
  • In 1932, 7th generation Blancpain descendant, Frederic-Emile Blancpain, died unexpectedly and his daughter, Berthe-Nellie, did not want to continue in the watch business. The company including all its assets and liabilities was transfered to Berthe- Nellie's father's closest assistant Betty Fiechter, and her associate Andre Leal. They continued the business under the name Rayville Inc.
  • Perhaps Blancpain's largest and most tragic hurdle was in 1971, Blancpain vanished from the world of watchmaking for 12 years, in 1971. Everything went "Quartz" and Blancpain did not have the "Quartz know how" to compete in the "new market." Prior to 1971 Blancpain had accepted the protection of a major watch-industry holding company known as the SSIH -Swiss Watch Industry Corporation Ltd.) In 1971 SSIH new management became "quartizised" and felt that mechanical watches were archaic, outdated and its industrial strategy had no place for ancient watch manufacturing practices. Blancpain fell silent.
On January 9, 1983 ,while the watch industry was still in the euphoric throws of the "miracle of the quartz watch", two men Jean-Claude Biver and Jacques Piguet, came together and concluded that mechanical watches still had a place in society, and two and a half centuries after Jehan-Jacques Blancpain established the company, Blancpain was successfully reawakened.

After thorough examination of Blancpains records, it was confirmed that Blancpain had never manufactured a single Quartz watch, and it was decided then and there that not one Blancpain quartz watch will ever be manufactured in the future. In other words you will never find a Quartz Watch displaying the Blancpain brand name. Blancpain can answer to being the oldest Watch Manufacturer still operating today, and the remarkable feat of never having manufactured a quartz watch.

1 comment:

  1. I love modern, technologically-advanced watches! However, there are two types of technology in watches, even today: Electronic, and Mechanical.

    The Mechanical Techological Watch of today is a wonder of micro-machining.

    Likewise, the Electronic Technological Watch of today, is ubiquitous in what I would term the "General Marketplace," and -using price as a guide- varies from $1.00 to about $3000.

    Mechanical watches, however, are a different story. There are a few lesser-expensive brands with mechanical movements (Fossil, as one example), but -again using price as a guide- the mainstream lines of these run between $300 to $20,000 dollars.

    It is nice to see that Blancpain decided to "stay mechanical" in a world over-saturated with electronics.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm an 'avid technologist,' and love complicated, electronic watches. Garmin has a GPS/Mapping watch called the Helix I'm looking to buy this year.

    However, I also would like to pick up a find, mechanical men's alarm watch, as well. I'm looking at Fortis's F-43 Flieger line for this. I'll also check out Blancpain, while I'm at it.