When Blancpain unveiled the world’s first modern diving watch—the iconic Fifty Fathoms—back in 1953, the brand established an intimate connection with the world’s oceans and the communities dedicated to their preservation. This led to the birth of the Blancpain Ocean Commitment (BOC) which not only pays homage to the brand’s significant historical links with the ocean but also supports various ocean conservation activities.

The brand has been working closely with passionate divers, leading scientists, underwater explorers, environmentalists, and photographers who have contributed to growing and evolving the Blancpain Ocean Commitment (BOC) mission and taking it beyond the realm of creating the world’s finest diving timepieces. 

A Deep-Dive Into Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment

“In continuation of the Fifty Fathoms’ role in the opening up of the underwater world, Blancpain has been supporting those who best raise awareness of ocean issues and especially those who convey a positive message insisting on the inspiring beauty of what’s intact,” said Marc A. Hayek, Blancpain President and CEO. 

Today, on the special occasion of World Oceans Day, we take you through the brand’s various initiatives that focuses on three main objectives: raising awareness of the beauty of the ocean, contributing to scientific research, and implementing efficient ocean conservation measures. As part of its Ocean Commitment, Blancpain has made major contributions to multiple exploratory expeditions, including Laurent Ballesta’s Gombessa expeditions, the National Geographic Society’s Pristine Seas expeditions 2011-2016, and Oceana’s Scorpion Reef project.

A Deep-Dive Into Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment

Project Gombessa Expeditions With Laurent Ballesta

Laurent Ballesta is a French marine scientist, a distinguished underwater photographer and pioneer in the use of new diving equipment, and the author of 13 photography books on underwater wildlife. As the co-founder of Andromède Océanologie, Ballesta has been leading major expeditions for many years including the Gombessa mission. This project focuses on studying some of the rarest and most elusive marine creatures and phenomena on Earth. With the help of Blancpain, the project has been enabled to advance the public’s comprehension of the inaccessible and dimly understood undersea ecosystems giving rise to six major expeditions.

A Deep-Dive Into Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment

For more information, visit here.  

Project Alacranes Expedition with Oceana

The year was 2020, when Blancpain announced its association with Oceana – the world’s largest organisation dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Under this partnership, the two organisations launched the Project Project Alacranes Expedition to explore the depths of two areas, which contain some of the greatest marine wealth in the Gulf of Mexico. During this expedition, the team travelled through Arrecife Alacranes National Park (Scorpion Reef in English), including an area called Bajos del Norte, for 15 days to document the health of the biodiversity and investigate the secrets of the reefs that seem to be unaffected by human activities. The collaboration included a team of 10 marine scientists with complementary specialities.

Alt Text: A Deep-Dive Into Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment

For more information, visit here. 

Ocean Photographer of the Year and the Female Fifty Fathoms Award

When it comes to the BOC, underwater photography plays a major role to make this mission a success. Keeping this in mind, Blancpain supports two awards – the Ocean Photographer of the Year and the Female Fifty Fathoms Award. The former is a celebration of our beautiful planet where all levels of photographers are invited to submit their work. It is then judged by a panel of some of the world’s leading ocean photographers which include International Photography Hall of Fame inductee Paul Nicklen, founder of the International League of Conservation Photographers, Cristina Mittermeier, and Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Shawn Heinrichs. 

A Deep-Dive Into Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment

The Female Fifty Fathoms Award (FFA) celebrates inspirational women in the world of ocean photography. Its objective is to encourage more women to share their vision of the oceans. 

A Deep-Dive Into Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment

For more information, visit here. 

PADI Adopts The BlueTM

With an objective to help protect 30 percent of the ocean by 2030, Blancpain joined hands with Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI®), the world’s largest dive training organisation. The collaboration was announced during the 9th Annual World Ocean Summit attended by top thought leaders from business, science, governmental and non-profit sectors. The main aim of the collaboration includes fundamentally increasing the number of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around the globe in the coming decade. This will be done by working with local communities and expediting the establishment of MPAs. 

Alt Text: A Deep-Dive Into Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment

At the centre of this multi-year, multi-million-dollar initiative is the flagship citizen science program Adopt the Blue TM which includes 6,600 registered PADI dive centres and resorts making it the largest network of marine protected areas on the planet.  Another keystone of the partnership is the formation of the Blancpain/PADI Community Grant, which funds critical conservation efforts in local communities. These grants will drive both ocean preservation as well as indigenous community support, serving as a force for good for both humanity and the ocean. 

A Deep-Dive Into Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment

For more information, visit here. 

The Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation: Sea Academy

The Sea Academy project is about the development of a human-scale ocean restoration model around Pangatalan Island and Shark Fin Bay in the Philippines. Initiated by Sulubaaï Foundation (a Franco-Philippine non-profit organisation, born from a passion for the ocean and a desire to help local communities) and with the support of Blancpain, the project is collaborating with local communities to focus on the creation of marine protected areas around the region. This model has the advantage of fostering the development of sustainable management with a positive and direct impact on both the environment and these communities. 

Alt Text: A Deep-Dive Into Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment

For more information, visit here. 

Biopixel: Preserving the Great Barrier Reef

Keeping in tune with Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment initiative, the Swiss watchmaker has partnered with Biopixel Oceans Foundation and Biopixel (which specialises in ocean research and exploration). The collaboration aims to support scientific research, propose innovative restoration solutions and raise public awareness of the need to preserve one of nature’s jewels: the Great Barrier Reef. The watch brand supports Biopixel in two ways; scientific research and the production of a series of films that will focus on personalities who have dedicated their lives to protecting and saving the Great Barrier Reef. 

Alt Text: A Deep-Dive Into Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment

For more information, visit here.

Pristine Seas Exploration

Lastly, Blancpain is also the founding partner of the Pristine Seas Expeditions, dedicated to exploring and protecting the precious few remaining truly unspoiled wild ocean areas on the planet. The initiative has completed 14 major scientific expeditions and established Marine Protected Areas totalling more than 4.7 million km2 in 12 of these regions with Blancpain’s support. 

A Deep-Dive Into Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment

For more information on the expeditions, visit here, and you can read more about the Blancpain Ocean Commitment here. 

Image Courtesy: Blancpain