Blancpain’s Seeming Lack of Success - A Discussion

Mar 06, 2024,17:29 PM

I don’t think anyone will argue that as a Haute Horlogerie brand, Blancpain takes a backseat to the likes of Patek, Vacheron, and Audemars Piguet. Yes, the movement finishing on the dive watches is unrivaled and they are well known for these dive watch lines. However, the back catalog (and the current catalog) of Blancpain dress pieces is truly incredible. The Villeret Tourbillon Carrousel, for example, is simply a work of art and truly impresses at only 11.9mm thick with both of these incredible complications.

Or perhaps their Reveil GMT - a watch that has both a GMT hand and a local alarm chiming function.

I admit, I am a young watch enthusiast as I have only been into the hobby for 6 or so years but I am truly a nerd about it and am only just learning about these works of art. These are pieces with complications and finishing that can go blow for blow with any large maison out there with ease.

As I look through the Blancpain section of our dear forum, it is full of beautiful yet similar watches. The Fifty Fathoms family has sucked all the oxygen out of the room for the other collections in the Blancpain catalog. The movement finishing is easily on the level of VC or Patek and they just seem to be cast aside in that conversation. Why do you think this is? Poor advertising? Unappealing design? A lack of respect for the brand? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

More posts: Fifty FathomsGMTVilleretVilleret Tourbillon

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These are indeed very special pieces!

 By: patrick_y : March 6th, 2024-17:34
These are truly excellent pieces. But for some odd reason, Blancpain, even Breguet, just don't seem to get a lot of love these days. Don't know why that is. However, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet certainly do get a lot of love. Probably because more ... 

I fear you are right.

 By: heighthorology : March 6th, 2024-17:38
I think much of the market demand is driven by “hype” culture. I get it, everyone wants to be cool. This is not a new phenomenon, but those of us who spend our time on places like WPS, who truly enjoy watches for the mechanics still seem to be drawn to PP... 

The answer may surpise you: Windsurfing.

 By: Spangles - Dr. Tabby : March 6th, 2024-17:45
Marc Hayek cares more about windsurfing than properly carrying on his father's legacy. Both Blancpain and Breguet have been languishing with diminishing sales (cf the Morgan Stanley annual report figures, both have fallen off the top 20 brands by sales fo... 

More languishing.

 By: Spangles - Dr. Tabby : March 7th, 2024-00:29
Low probability they will sold to LVMH where they will be mismanaged and then languish.

Agree! 🫣

 By: MCG (Markus) : March 6th, 2024-21:59

Not the best publicity

 By: Bruno.M1 : March 6th, 2024-18:06
And not known enough among some idiots on social media that call themselves influencers. I like patek too, and VC and AP…. But Breguet is imo the wat to go. Blancpain probably too but I prefer Breguet. And as you said on the secondhand market there are re... 


 By: hora12reborn : March 6th, 2024-19:27

Other than their sport watches...

 By: mdg : March 6th, 2024-18:49
...Blancpain watches have a bit of an 'old man' look about them. As an aspiring old man I can say that. Bringing back the Leman line would be a good start...

I second your proposition…

 By: j.jota : March 6th, 2024-19:03

I second that second

 By: xto : March 6th, 2024-22:22
(should have a subdial for that)


 By: amanico : March 6th, 2024-22:25

A pic for the geezers, mdg ;)

 By: bruckner4 : March 6th, 2024-19:08

Go team geezer!

 By: mdg : March 6th, 2024-20:07

count me in!

 By: xto : March 6th, 2024-22:23


 By: MCG (Markus) : March 6th, 2024-21:55

It’s funny you say that.

 By: Gary Shaw : March 6th, 2024-22:52
When I was on the hunt for the aqualung grande date, I showed my wife a picture and she said “that looks like a watch my grandfather would wear”. Nonetheless, I was able to get one and I love it.

As an old man I agree

 By: cazalea : March 7th, 2024-18:26

My thoughts

 By: jmpTT : March 6th, 2024-19:03
I'm by no means an expert, but I've been observing these brands for twenty years. My thoughts. Most important is the watches. Many of the modern watches are not that appealing to the eyes. Lots of issues. Large cases, bad asymmetry, unnecessary text. The ... 

A lot of good stuff here...

 By: mdg : March 6th, 2024-20:09
...especially re: aesthetics. Major manufacturers seemingly farm out their dial design to the secretarial pool...

Like I said, I believe most manufacturers phone in the dials and graphics...

 By: mdg : March 7th, 2024-20:45
...I've been beating this drum for years but I'm a nobody, so...

No, I don’t

 By: cazalea : March 8th, 2024-05:58
Chronometer #140 is all I know Cazalea ...  

 By: al.slater : March 26th, 2024-21:13
I think you might mean the 7002; google for that and you’ll find plenty of both the white and black dial.. (I do have a longer code on my black one but the box is in storage..) al

Ref. 7002-1127-55

 By: cazalea : March 26th, 2024-21:35
That's the number I find from searching. Named BP Caliber 64-1 and based on Peseux 7001 movement. Looks like the value has increased substantially since I bought mine (making up for the other 99% which haven't) Cazalea

Let’s not put down secretaries :-)

 By: xto : March 29th, 2024-12:16
But yes, too many done without style!

As a retired graphic designer/art director...

 By: mdg : March 30th, 2024-00:02
...I'd prefer that they left it to a pro : )

I am surprised the bathyscape isnt more popular tbh

 By: m2 : March 6th, 2024-19:27
It's only around 5k - 7k used depending on the variant and the finishing is very very nice. Was shocked by how nice the anglage was on the basic time only one I handled..

Oh yes!!!!

 By: amanico : March 7th, 2024-05:08

When a brand such as this is out of fashion, personally I couldn’t be happier.

 By: Timeout : March 6th, 2024-22:54
As long as it earns its rent within the holding company structure and will get continued support it’s simply a better buying opportunity as a collector. I’m spending a 1/2 day in Geneva with Blancpain (who are not at Watches and Wonders). I’ll be looking ... 


 By: Timeout : March 7th, 2024-00:10
I don’t see much risk to the brand within the Swatch group. It’s got a fabulous history with over 200 years of family involvement and continuous operation. The dive watches are a staple of the industry!

 By: @wewannaporsche : March 7th, 2024-11:55
I started this thread a while ago below. I think a part of their problem is their marketing. What got me interested in their watches in the first place way back was their Leman line, as the look really attracted me. The Villeret line to me looks a little ...  

Ah yes thanks for sharing.

 By: heighthorology : March 7th, 2024-15:12
Is it that hard to get them on a bracelet? I was in a Tokyo boutique in Ginza and was able to try on both a steel and titanium 5015 with the bracelet. Are these significantly less common?

I mean every time I see them

 By: @wewannaporsche : March 7th, 2024-16:18
At the NYC Boutique, they are shown on a strap. I think they actually look better on a strap, but in general, I think the other problem is that the 50 Fathoms (non limited editions) are simply too big at 45mm. They need to size down a little and not make ... 

I can see that. Selfishly I don’t mind as I am quite tall at 6’8” and have proportional wrists.

 By: heighthorology : March 7th, 2024-16:55
I think this is most people’s biggest problem with the 5015. I just can’t stand the bathyscaphe though and don’t mind the 45mm.

Dang, are you a basketball player? LOL

 By: @wewannaporsche : March 7th, 2024-18:54
45mm is generally too big for anyone having under a 7” wrist.