Blancpain Acquires Vincent Calabrese

Blancpain SA, a company of The Swatch Group Ltd., has acquired the company Vica Sàrl and, with it, the Vincent Calabrese Swiss luxury watch brand, facilities, developments and patents. The announcement was made by both companies on June 23. Details of the transaction weren’t released.

The company was owned by innovative Swiss watchmaker Vincent Calabrese, a co-founder of Switzerland’s Horological Academy of Independent Creators (AHCI), and best-known for creating luxury watch brand Corum’s Golden Bridge watch and for designing Blancpain’s record-setting flying tourbillon watch.

According to the announcements, Calabrese “decided to expand his creative opportunities and production facilities” by selling his company to Blancpain SA.

Calabrese is joining the research and development department of Blancpain, whose managing director is Marc A. Hayek, grandson of Swatch Group chairman Nicolas Hayek Sr., and will also be a member of its executive management board.

“This will allow him to focus exclusively on research and the realization of unique projects for Blancpain,” said the announcements, while enabling Blancpain to “enhance its creative capabilities in relation to highly complex watches.”

The relationship between Calabrese and Blancpain began 20 years ago when Calabrese produced Blancpain’s world-record setting Caliber 23 tourbillon and its later automatic version, Caliber 25. At least five world records were set by their first joint project, including the first flying tourbillon in a wrist watch, the  first one-minute flying tourbillon, the  first tourbillon with eight-day power reserve, the  first tourbillon to use ball bearings, and the thinnest tourbillon.

At this year’s international BaselWorld watch fair in Switzerland, the two brands collaborated again, debuting the Blancpain Flying Carousel–the world’s first flying carousel in any kind of watch, the first one minute carousel, and the first carrousel to achieve a 100-hour power reserve.