Have you ever wondered which Swiss watch manufacturer is the oldest in the business? Yes, some of these Swiss watch companies have been around for quite a long time, but none of them can match the staying power of the Blancpain company.
The brand has been manufacturing precision men’s watches since 1735, a feat that none has been able to beat yet. It is to the credit of the skilled watchmakers of Blancpain that it is still going strong and will probably still be in the luxury watch manufacturing business for years to come. But why buy a Blancpain Watch in the first place? Here’s what you need to know.
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The Two Collections
First off, you should know that the brand makes luxury timepieces for men and women under two different collections. The luxury dress watch collection is known as the Villeret watch series. The second collection, which is dubbed Fifty Fathoms, proved to the world that it is possible to develop an excellent diving watch – and in fact, the very first diving watch ever created was made by Blancpain. These two collections are quite valuable, and this is reflected in the prices of individual watches carrying the Blancpain name.
Nowadays, of course, Blancpain doesn’t confine itself to making just men’s watches. It now comes out with ladies’ watches as well. The Villeret collection also has some subcategories for its men’s and ladies’ watches, namely:
- The Villeret Complete Calendar series
- The Villeret Moonphase series
- The Villeret Quantieme Complet series
- The Villeret Ultra-Slim watch series
On the other hand, the Fifty Fathoms collection has the following subcategories:
- The Fifty Fathoms 500 Fathoms series
- The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe series
- The Fifty Fathoms X Fathoms series
- The Fifty Fathoms Automatique series
- The Fifty Fathoms Barakuda series
This means you have a pretty large array of men’s and ladies’ watches to choose from. But this is not surprising because the Blancpain company has been in the watchmaking business since the 18th century.
How Much Does A Watch Cost?
A Blancpain watch is indeed expensive though there is a wide range of pricing for each collection. For instance, the Villeret watches can cost between $11,700 to $500,000 apiece, depending on which watch model you pick. The Fifty Fathoms watches, for their part, can be priced at a range of $8,000 to $138,000, also depending on the particular watch model you’re interested in.
Why Did Blancpain Come Up With Two Different Collections?
It is important that you know why there are different collections under the Blancpain Villeret brand because this affects each watch’s pricing. The Complete Calendar range of watches has some standard features for each watch – they all display the present day for every week, the actual date, and the month being observed. The Moonphase series, like its name suggests, informs the viewer of the specific moon phase through its display.
The Quantieme Complet series actually combines the features of the Complete Calendar and the Moonphase watches into individual watches. It can display the present day of the week, the precise date for that day, as well as the month, and also includes the moon phases. The last series is the Ultra-Slim series which are quite small and slim, making them ideal as dress watches for important events. Since Villeret is the dress watch collection, you can naturally assume that they won’t be used for strenuous activities but only for formal dress-up occasions.
The Fifty Fathoms collection, for its part, was developed by the Blancpain watchmakers to cater to the needs of people involved in marine science. This refers to marine scientists and professional divers who need quality diving watches for their regular demanding work underwater. So the key to the Fifty Fathoms collection is that the watches are durable and functional. Their aesthetic appeal is just secondary to these two qualifications.
Of course, some may buy a Fifty Fathoms watch to double as their dress watches as well, which is okay but don’t expect a professional diver to pick up a Villeret to use as a diving watch since Villeret watches cannot take that kind of punishment.
It is a credit to the talented Blancpain watchmakers that other brands were inspired to create their diving watches after Blancpain came out with theirs. Naturally, a Fifty Fathoms watch is also priced competitively to reflect the effort to develop these kinds of watches. The last thing any diver wants is for their watch to die on them as they traverse the ocean deep. You get what you are willing to pay for from the array of watches.
What Can You Expect When You Buy a Blancpain Watch?
In a word, you can expect quality. The reason the Blancpain watches are so valuable is that they are made to exact and demanding watchmaking standards. Yes, the asking price for a brand-new Blancpain is quite high, but consider the centuries of hard work and innovation that the company watchmakers invested in just to come up with unique, aesthetically pleasing, yet highly functional timepieces.
You will realize that a Blancpain watch is truly a gem in itself, so it’s not surprising that investors will vie with one another to purchase a secondhand Blancpain out in the market. And the collectors will probably be very cautious with their asking price once their genuine Blancpain is put up at auction because they will seek the best possible price they can get for these treasures.
Working-class people will probably be very interested in acquiring their own Blancpain watch when their income permits it. This is understandable because the price of a watch may soar to unbelievable levels during an auction.
It is not ridiculous to think that some may even buy a Blancpain solely for re-selling it with a big markup after some years have passed. If you do this, just be sure to keep your investment stashed someplace safe if others get enamored of your Blancpain purchase themselves.