The start of XVIII century was marked by the birth of the watch industry. The young watchmaker Jehan-Jacques Blanpen (Jehan-Jacques Blancpain) prophetically praised the broad prospects of the manufacturing industry and in 1735 founded a watchmaking company Blancpain. He has equipped his first studio right in his own home in the town of Villeret.
Blancpain watches have gained a huge success in the early start already. In 1815, Frederick Louis Blanpen – great-grandson of the company founder, who led the family company, – conducts modernization of production and transforms a makeshift workshop in the watch factory, having established thus the serial output. In addition, he has contributed significantly to the development of mechanical watchmaking, replacing the conventional impeller on the trigger of the cylindrical type.
Since the beginning of industrialization, which was in the second half of the XIX century, on the hourly product prices fell, which led to the closure of many manufactures. In 1865, in order to compete with American watches manufacturers, the Blancpain is building a two-story factory on the banks of the river Suze: the use of water power to generate electricity has reduced manufacturing costs. Thanks to the modernization and the rate on luxury goods Manufacture Blancpain managed to survive the crisis, which led to the closure of many watch companies in Villeret.
In 1932 has interrupted the history of Blancpain watch dynasty for more than two hundred years after the death of Frederic-Emile Blanpena, his sole heir Bert Nelly did not want to continue the family business. Next year, the next followers Frederic-Emile, Betty Fichter and Andre Leal, redeem manufactory. Since the chapter on enterprise, not a single family member Blanpen, according to the then existing law, the new owners have been forced to change its status. The company has received the name of Rayville S.A, succ. de Blancpain («Joint Stock Company Rayville, the successor company Blancpain»). Word Rayville is a phonetic anagram of Villeret town. Despite the name change, the company Rayville-Blancpain has kept the spirit, style and brand policy. Betty Fichter remained at the head of the company until 1950, and then to company management came in and her nephew, Jean-Jacques Fichter. Together they have given a new impetus to the company development.
Among the significant achievements of the factory – the release in 1953 of professional diving watch Fifty Fathoms, made by order of the French Navy and the French equipment included in the frogmen. Captain Robert “Bob” Malube and Lieutenant Claude Riff, who founded the French subsidiary of combat swimmers, sent a proposal to the Jean-Jacques Fichter, who coped brilliantly with this task. Model Fifty Fathoms, which favored, in particular, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, has become a landmark model for all lovers of scuba diving. Years later, Rayville-Blancpain once again produced a sensation by releasing Ladybird model, equipped with the smallest at the time automatic mechanism in round form.
In 2002, Marc A. Hayek became the President and CEO manager of Blancpain. A new stage of manufacture development: continuous work on watches improvement, coupled with the preservation of historical traditions. The company makes significant investments and increases its role of research and scientific and technical developments through active innovation policy.
Relying on the rich brand history, the new Blancpain guide focuses on the maximum reflection of the brand values in their watch collections. Reborn series Fifty Fathoms, gets a new interpretation of the Collection Villeret, launched a line of avant-garde models of L-evolution. Brand image becomes more clear and solid. Also completely revised distribution network of the company, numerous boutiques Blancpain opened in the most prestigious neighborhoods of major cities of the world.
With a variety of innovations Blancpain significantly strengthens its position in the production of luxury watches sector. In 2010, the Manufacture of Brassus integrates in its structure the company Frédéric Piguet, which had previously produced watch movements and components for Blancpain, which allowed Manufactory to increase its production capacity in the Joux Valley.