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Five or six years ago, during Baselworld, the CEO of Tissot came to me and said, “I’ve just met a guy who you need to meet”. I said, “no I can’t, I’m too busy”. He said, “no, trust me, you must meet this guy, the world of diving is the domain of Blancpain.” The guy’s name was Laurent Ballesta. He showed me two pictures and immediately I knew I was in trouble: they were beyond beautiful. I knew then I had to talk to Marc Hayek [president and CEO of Blancpain, Breguet and Jaquet Droz], and it became my moral mission to show him these two images. When I did, he decided to meet Laurent immediately. They spent hours together looking at hundreds of his photographs. He knew straight away that we must work together. Laurent was honoured to become a Friend of the Brand. Marc Hayek is an experienced diver and very passionate about what he does, so this was a natural fit for them. Laurent’s work was published in Edition Fifty Fathoms that year [2012].

We are a real manufacturer. We never buy movements from other watch companies. We sell half our products to other brands when we exchange movements. The raw material arrives and then we produce the tools that we need to make the pieces. From A-Z, we do everything in-house.

We invented the first divers watch in 1953, so we wanted to make an impact in that field. We wanted to help fund expeditions that would leave the oceans of our world in a better condition for our children. We trust in institutions such as National Geographic to choose how to use our money to achieve concrete results. We have doubled the size of the oceans being protected.

Electronic products live and die. You can’t use the first televisions or the first quartz watches anymore, but the art of watchmaking will never die PREVIOUS PAGE: Larger Than Life, William Winram, Edition Fifty Fathoms (EFF) 2011 This page and opposite, clockwise from above: Open Mouth, Reinhard Dirscherl, EFF 2010; Dance of Life, Imran Ahmad, EFF 2012; Pyschedelic, Imran Ahmad, EFF 2012; Sir Pepefish, Imran Ahmad, EFF 2012; Last View of Daylight, Amos Nachoum, EFF 2009; Blue Monster, Keri Wilk, EFF 2012; Orange Balloon, Chris Newbert, EFF 2010

The Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II is the first time a watch case has been made in blue ceramic. We’re not talking about covering the ceramic with a blue finish – we actually added blue pigment into the ceramic to cause a chemical reaction. The collection is limited to 250 pieces. For each one sold, €1,000 will be donated to scientific expeditions.

The first months of 2015 were quite strong. After that, demand flattened a bit. The second half was not good, as it was affected by the [terrorist] attacks of 13 November. Comparatively, 2016 was the opposite: the beginning of the year was not very strong due to the effect of the

Profile for Runwild Media Group

Marylebone & Fitzrovia magazine January 2017  

Welcome to the latest edition of Marylebone & Fitzrovia magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features,...

Marylebone & Fitzrovia magazine January 2017  

Welcome to the latest edition of Marylebone & Fitzrovia magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features,...

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