Blancpain Ocean Commitment Partnerships

Exploration and preservation of the world’s oceans is core to Blancpain. With its 66-year legacy of the Fifty Fathoms diving watch, Blancpain has become close to the explorers, photographers, scientists, and environmentalists who treasure this precious resource. With that affinity has come a determination to support important activities and initiatives dedicated to the oceans.
For the past several years, the Blancpain Ocean Commitment (BOC) has been manifest through its support to oceanographic initiatives and partnerships with leading organisations, such as the Pristine Seas expeditions, Laurent Ballesta’s Gombessa project, the World Ocean Initiative organised by The Economist’s, and the World Oceans Day which takes place every year at the United Nations' headquarters in New York.

Pristine Seas Expeditions

Blancpain was a frontrunner in the support of the Pristine Seas initiative as founding partner from 2011 to 2016. Lead by National Geographic Society's Explorer-in-Residence, Dr. Enric Sala, the Pristine Seas expeditions were dedicated to exploring and protecting the precious few remaining truly unspoiled, wild ocean areas on earth. The expeditions studied and filmed these areas as part of the effort to educate the public and governments on the value and uniqueness of their ecosystems and to secure governmental pledges to protect them. The program helped protect marine areas in the United States, Chile, Gabon, Kiribati, Costa Rica, French Polynesia, the Seychelles, northern Greenland, and South America's Patagonia region. The most recent (established in 2017) is the Revillagigedo Archipelago in Mexico. It represents 148,000 km2, making it the largest marine protected area in North America.

Pristine Sea Expedition with Blancpain

Laurent Ballesta’s Gombessa project

Laurent Ballesta's Gombessa project focuses on studying some of the rarest, most elusive marine creatures and phenomena on earth. Ballesta and his team use state-of-the-art closed-circuit rebreather diving techniques to reach extreme depths and bring back unique scientific data, photographs, and videos. Their activities are consistently marked by triple challenges of a technical, scientific and artistic nature. To date, there have been four Gombessa expeditions, all underwritten by Blancpain. The first took place in the Indian Ocean in 2013 in search of the coelacanth, a prehistoric fish once thought to have become extinct 70 million years ago. The second occurred in 2014 in Fakarava, French Polynesia. The aim was to shed light on the enigmatic aggregation of the marbled groupers. For his third Gombessa expedition, Laurent Ballesta went to Antarctica in 2015 to conduct the first ever measurement of the richness harboured by this marine ecosystem threatened by global warming. In 2017, the fourth Gombessa expedition travelled again to Fakarava in order to study the hunting behaviour of the estimated 700 grey reef sharks that inhabit the southern pass of the atoll. In addition to Blancpain’s regular support, this fourth mission benefited from an additional 250,000 euro donation stemming from the sale of the first BOC limited-edition model. Ongoing analysis of the scientific data in several research centres could well reveal for the first time a collaborative behaviour among the individuals of this species that appear to hunt in packs.

Blancpain Gombessa II

World Ocean Initiative and World Oceans Day

Public awareness is essential to the achievement of such important environmental objectives. Six years ago, Blancpain organised Oceans, an underwater photographic exhibit at the United Nations headquarters in New York during the celebration of the World Ocean Day 2013. This presentation, featuring photographs by Edition Fifty Fathoms photographers, as well as images and videos from the Pristine Seas and Gombessa expeditions, was visited by more than 100,000 people. It paved the way for the establishment of an annual photographic contest and exhibition supported by Blancpain.
In addition to these major exploration and public awareness initiatives, the Blancpain Ocean Commitment also includes sponsoring The Economist's World Ocean Summit, an outcome-driven dialogue between global leaders to bring fresh perspectives to the ocean agenda. The 5th Summit took place in March 2018 at Riviera Maya in Mexico and marked the beginning of a new phase in the cooperation between the watch Manufacture and The Economist, with the launch of the World Ocean Initiative and The Protectors program. This latter is designed to support six individual projects, which contribute in an innovative and significant manner to the objective of having 30% of the planet’s oceans classified into marine protected areas by 2030. Blancpain's contribution to these projects is complemented by its support to the Hans Hass Fifty Fathoms Award, which acknowledges excellence in marine sciences, underwater imagery, and underwater technical innovation. Since 2007, the brand also partners with world freediving champion, Gianluca Genoni. With Blancpain's support, Genoni has set multiple records and made contributions to medical science with experiments at high elevations, under the ice and in the sea.

To date, all the actions conducted with passion by Blancpain in support of exploring and preserving the oceans have led to tangible results. They have indeed contributed to doubling the surface of marine protected areas around the world, with an addition of more than four million km2, out of a worldwide total of eight million km2.

 Discover HERE the surface of global marine areas protected so far

Robert Bob Maloubier - Blancpain    Jean Jacques Fiechter CEO of Blancpain 1950-1980 one of his first dives south of France early 50s 

Left: Robert Bob Maloubier.  Right: Jean Jacques Fiechter CEO of Blancpain 1950-1980 on one of his first dives South of France early 50s 

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