Tempus joins Blancpain under the sea for a night at the Natural History Museum
Marine scientist and award-winning photographer Laurent Ballesta joins Blancpain to celebrate the brand's ocean initiative
Luxury watch brand Blancpain hosted a night at the Natural History Museum to celebrate their commitment to the ocean on Tuesday 12 December. With the help of marine scientist and award-winning photographer Laurent Ballesta, the brand also displayed their iconic diving watch, the Fifty Fathoms. Guests dined beneath the museum's iconic giant blue whale display as Blancpain made the most of its unrivalled partnerships with environmentalist, divers and explorers to mark more than 60 years of the watch's popularity.
Ballesta, who won Wildlife Photographer of the Year with his world first underwater photograph of a submerged iceberg, is Blancpain ambassador, having worked with the brand on his ground breaking Gombessa Project. Dedicated to advancing the public's understanding of underwater ecosystems, Ballesta has launched four major exhibitions in the project to difficult to access areas of the oceans – including Antarctica.
Ballesta recalls his eureka moment during the expedition: "Under the surface, these gigantic ice masses are invisible. Although there are plenty of fakes on the web, along with computer-generated images and far-fetched tales, no one has ever been able to view a whole iceberg at once, much less take a picture of one. Poor visibility, darkness, freezing water, inaccessible depths: countless obstacles have managed to keep secret this submerged side, the hidden face of the planet of ice. At this point, after 11 days of a difficult crossing, I have a sudden fantasy: could one possibly reveal the entire iceberg?"
Guests and speakers at the event included Blancpain president and CEO Marc Hayek, and Mexican Ambassador to the UK His Excellency Julián Ventura Velero. The original Fifty Fathoms watch launched in 1953 and was not only considered a pioneering scuba diving watch, but the first modern diving watch.
Adopted by the French Navy's combat swimmers corps, then-Blancpain CEO Jean-Jacques Fiechter further improved the model with a water-resistance indicator. Later versions of the watch were adopted by the US Navy in 1957.
"Since the collaborative gathering of all its partnerships in the realm of ocean exploration and preservation under the Blancpain Ocean Commitment label in 2014, Blancpain has co-financed eleven major scientific expeditions, and presented several award-winning documentary films, exhibitions and publications," Blancpain writes on their website. "The Manufacture is particularly proud of its contribution to doubling the surface of marine protected areas around the world with the addition of more than four million square kilometers of newly protected ocean."