A Visit to Blancpain USA

by Michael Sandler

 

Recently, I had the opportunity to pay a visit to the the offices of The Swatch Group (U.S.) Inc. in Weehawken, NJ, specifically to visit Blancpain. I needed to have a tiny screw replaced in the deployant clasp on my Aqualung. While I was there, I had the opportunity to spend a little time with Marc Junod (President) and some of his staff, and I got to take some photographs as well.



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I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Junod and the rest of the Blancpain team for their kindness and generosity. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and their willingness talk about the company and their watches. This was a terrific experience, and it reiterated my respect for this company and the people who will be servicing the watches and ultimately, the customers.





The Blancpain Team (from left to right): Roberto Ibanez (head watchmaker), Marcos (watchmaker), Marc Junod (President, Blancpain USA), Marlene, and Kimberly. Chris, another watchmaker, is not pictured. In case you’re wondering, Roberto was wearing a gold extra-thin automatic, and Marc was wearing a stainless steel GMT.



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This is Roberto’s bench. If you look very closely (or see the next picture), you can see some of the parts of the date mechanism he had removed from a movement that he was working on.



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This is another of the watchmaker’s benches. Note the picture of one of Cindy Crawford, an Omega (another Swatch Group company) spokesperson, prominently displayed!.



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Here are some pictures of the watchmakers at work. Each of the work areas was immaculately clean, and the whole place had a distinct “hospital for watches” feel to it.



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Here are some pictures of a Flyback chronograph that Roberto was doing some work on. The Flyback has a three part case, consisting of a screw-on back, the main case section, and a snap-on bezel/crystal. It was interesting to note how tightly attached the bezel was, and how much effort was required to remove it…something that’s good to know if you swim with your Flyback. Note that there is indeed a gold rotor on the Flyback.



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Here is the Ultrathin movement that Chris was working on. According to the watchmakers, these movements are some of the the most challenging to adjust and regulate due to their thinness.



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I hope you enjoyed this little report! Thanks Blancpain!








Copyright © 2000 Michael Sandler
All Rights Reserved

 

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