The Manufacture Blancpain recently invited clients, journalists and watchmaking aficionados to an unusual experience in the company of Gianluca Genoni, free diving champion and holder of more than 15 records in this discipline. Guests were treated to a two-day opportunity to (literally!) immerse themselves in the techniques related to this sport in the world’s deepest swimming pool, nicknamed the “Y-40” and located at Montegrotto Terme in Italy.
On November 12 and 13, Blancpain and Gianluca Genoni – well-known free diver and friend of the brand – hosted a dozen guests for an introductory course to static apnea at Montegrotto Terme, a favorite spot for engaging in this discipline.
By way of introduction, Ginaluca Genoni started by presenting the guests with the physical and mental rules to respect to achieve a successful dive devoid of any discomfort or distress. This was followed by a demonstration that involved a dive to 42.15 meters for several minutes, prior to ascending with the new Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC model on his wrist, which had been left at the bottom of the pool for the occasion. Participants then took their turn at practicing their breathing techniques, concentration and managing their position in the water with the guidance of the Italian champion. A sports challenge that led them to see that it is perfectly possible to remain under water without air for between two and four minutes without any major effort and in a totally relaxed manner.
During the lunch which followed this unique experience, Roberto Castagna – Brand Manager Blancpain Italy – introduced guests to the historical connections that the brand has maintained with the world of diving for more than 60 years. A commitment which began, to be precise, in 1953, the year of the launch of the Fifty Fathoms, the first modern diving watch. Since then, and over the years, Blancpain has invested in the conservation and protection of the oceans by supporting major environmental projects in close collaboration with organizations, scientists, explorers and underwater photographers. Combined under the auspices of the “Blancpain Ocean Commitment” series, to date these multiple initiatives have contributed to “doubling the surface of protected marine areas, with more than an additional four million square kilometers”, as Roberto Castagna pointed out. Values and a long-term vision that the watchmaking Manufacture shares with Gianluca Genoni, who has been a friend of the brand for the past ten years.