Built on a rich heritage dating back to 1735, Blancpain didn’t arrive in London until 2014 with the opening of its New Bond Street store. Now, visitors to the West End can experience the authentic experience from the oldest watch brand in the world.
The intimate space, covering 43 square metres split across two floors, is filled with cherry wood cabinets and wall panels which have been crafted in a workshop located in the same valley that the timepieces are created in. A striking feature of the boutique is a stained-glass window, part of the original building, which bears a quote from a Lord Byron poem. The ground floor is home to displays of their most famous watches, among them the Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch and Traditional Chinese Calendar watch, the only piece of its kind to follow this calendar. Upstairs the salon and bar provides a relaxed space to view the collection privately over a beverage.
Blancpain is names after its founder, Jehan Jacques Blancpain, who started the company in Villeret, Switzerland, and passed down the tradition of Swiss watchmaking to the future generations of his family. In 1932, the seventh generation of the Blancpain family to run the company left the business to his long-time assistant, making her the first female CEO of a major Swiss watch brand. Today the company is operated by the Swatch group but its family-run history remains an integral part of the brand identity, along with its close ties to the world of haute cuisine, motorsports and ocean exploration.