THE MASTER OF TIME MARC A. HAYEK, PRESIDENT& CEO, BLANCPAIN, SWATCH GROUP
BLAZING THE TRAIL
Marc A. Hayek’s journey began in the family business (renamed Swatch Group) in 1992, and in the early years, he spearheaded the revival of the Blancpain brand, inspiring the release of close to 40 new calibres over the last decade.
A passionate diver, his first project was the re-birth of the Fifty Fathoms – the first modern diver’s watch created in 1953 by former CEO Jean-jacques Fiechter. What debuted was the 2003 anniversary Fifty Fathoms in a limited series of 150 pieces. Harkening back to the Fiechter era, the anniversary edition was far from a mere re-creation of the past, as Hayek saw an opportunity to marry its vintage spirit with modern innovations. In 2007, Hayek initiated another ambitious project: A new Fifty Fathoms with a new highperformance movement. The result was the calibre 1315, a triple barrel, high-power, and shock-resistant movement with a useful date-complication.
He also re-vitalised Blancpain’s connection to the ocean community and started the Blancpain Ocean Commitment. Blancpain was a founding partner of the National Geographic “Pristine Seas” Program; of the 14 expeditions supported by Blancpain, 10 resulted in doubling the surface area of protected oceans, with an addition of more than 4 million sq km. Blancpain is also a founding partner of Laurent Ballesta’s Gombessa projects to explore marine creatures and phenomena on Earth.
Hayek is an epicurean who appreciates the art of living and the close bond between gastronomy and traditional watchmaking, which are united by values such as passion, pursuit of excellence and meticulousness. Blancpain therefore nurtures special relationships with multi-starred chefs – such as French Chef Julien Royer. Blancpain’s circle of friends hold more than 100 Michelin stars among them. In 2020, Blancpain expressed its close ties with the Michelin Guide by announcing a long-term partnership that will make its mark on the international gastronomic scene.
Hayek is focused on pushing the boundaries of watchmaking to even higher levels of achievement, as is his passion for driving impactful BOC projects. A sixth Gombessa mission may take place in French Polynesia next year. The positive impact of BOC projects has also led to a collaboration with the Mokarran Protection Society to study the natural behaviour of the great hammerhead shark in Rangiroa, French Polynesia for the first time.
In the world of gastronomy, Blancpain will continue to collaborate globally with renowned chefs and foster its ties with the Michelin Guide through events that celebrate haute cuisine, from Shanghai to Paris via New York and Tokyo, to name a few.
THE OM FACTOR
“Authenticity is the key: do what you feel passionate about and never lose your inner child.”