Blancpain has never actively sought recognition for the consistent efforts channelled towards its ocean preservation campaign, but acknowledgement came anyway. During the Asia Dive Expo in Singapore recently, the Swiss watchmaker was presented the dive expo’s inaugural “Dedication to Ocean Conservation Award” for its long-standing championing of the cause. The award was celebrated by Blancpain’s friends and partners as well as the diving community in attendance.
Long-standing is the right word for the brand’s relationship with the ocean dates back to more than 65 years but took physical form in 1953 with the launch of the first modern diving watch. The Fifty Fathoms was the pioneering timepiece developed for scuba diving, conceived by Blancpain’s CEO at the time, avid diver Jean-Jacques Fletcher. Current president and CEO Marc A Hayek shares that same passion, and the watchmaker, as a result, continues to be spurred to promote awareness and protect Earth’s most precious resource.
Through its Ocean Commitment programme, Blancpain supports scientific and oceanographic projects as well as major publications, exhibitions and events around the world that are relevant to its cause. The maths measures up too: To date, tangible results of its commitment translate into doubling of the expanse of marine protected areas worldwide with the addition of four million sq km — about 97 times the size of Switzerland, or 12 times the size of Malaysia.
This article first appeared on Apr 29, 2019 in The Edge Malaysia.