Blancpain was founded by Jean-Jaques Blancpain in Villeret, Switzerland, in 1735. Timepieces by both Blancpain and Patek Philippe are considered by many to be the most luxurious wristwatches in the world.
Today, the company is part of the Swatch Group, which owns several well-known watch labels, such as Breguet, Jaquet Droz, Glashütte, Léon Hatot, Omega, Rado, Longines, Swatch, Tissot, Calvin Klein, Certina, Pierre Balmain and Hamilton.
Blancpain has never produced a quatrz watch, and according to their slogan, they never will. The company has never manufactured a digital watch either.
Blancpain is famous for producing the most complicated mechanical watches in the world. The Blancpain 1735 is the definition of a "grand complication", with accuracy functions like Tourbillion, which was invented by Louis Breguet in 1801. The Tourbillon's mobile carriage, containing the balance and the escapement, effects one revolution per minute, thereby compensating performance variations caused by friction and the earth's gravity. This feature is very popular today and many watch manufacturers, for example Jaeger LeCoultre, include it in their watches in several different variations, such as a minute register (a minute register is a system where a button or a switch releases the bezel. It is considered to be the most complicated of all of the features), a perpetual calendar and a split-chrono. Only one copy of a Blancpain 1735 is manufactured each year, and, in total, only 30 watches will ever be produced.
Blancpain is also famous for the Fifty-Fathoms watch, which is used by the United States Navy and which was worn by Jaques Cousteau in several of his films.
In 1984, Blancpain made the worlds smallest watch. In 1989, the company manufactured the thinnest watch ever made.