n July 8, 1992, it was announced that watchmaking giant SMH (today known as the Swatch Group) was purchasing upstart watch brand Blancpain and their movement producer, Frédéric Piguet. This was a recognition of the contrarian company’s decade-long effort to re-establish mechanical watchmaking in the face of the quartz crisis. Declaring that Blancpain would never produce a quartz watch despite the fact that this was all consumers seemed to buy at the time, Jean-Claude Biver directed his company to produce six masterpieces of mechanical watchmaking as a “living museum of the past.” This was the template for the entire industry, which returned to prominence thanks to craftsmanship, storytelling, and luxury, all of which Biver understood more than anyone else.
#4 Blancpain, Biver, Piguet, and the Path Forward. Listen now: