The Blancpain story can be traced back to 1735, when Jehan-Jacques Blancpain registered himself as a watchmaker. In 1815, his grandson Frédéric-Louis Blancpain developed an ultra thin movement by redesigning the watch escapement. The brand’s first automatic wristwatch was unveiled in 1926 in collaboration with John Harwood. The business was sold in 1932, and in 1950, Jean-Jacques Fiechter joined the company and was key to the development of the Fifty Fathoms. In 1981, Jean-Claude Biver and Jacques Piguet bought the brand and developed the world’s smallest moonphase display in 1983. Nicolas Hayek’s SMH, which later became the Swatch Group, bought the company in 1992, and a decade later, Marc A. Hayek took over as Blancpain’s president and CEO.