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Blancpain supports an extraordinary mission undertaken by Laurent Ballesta and Andromède Océanologie

Founding partner of the Gombessa expeditions, Blancpain is supporting a new mission by underwater biologist and photographer Laurent Ballesta. This project, conducted in the Mediterranean, aims to study the impact on marine vertebrate and invertebrate populations of the cessation of human activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Financed by part of the proceeds from the sale of BOC III limited edition watches, it follows on from the Gombessa V expedition that took place in July 2019 off the French Mediterranean coast.

Biodiversity is thought to be doing better than ever due to the lack of external disturbances. But is that really so? To answer this question, Laurent Ballesta and Andromède Océanologie, with Blancpain’s support, conducted a scientific mission last spring and summer to monitor the marine biodiversity of the Mediterranean coast following the cessation of human activities. This study is part of an overall two-year project that will eventually make possible to list and analyse the reference state of biodiversity in the coastal waters of the French Mediterranean.


The current initiative is part of the Gombessa expeditions, of which Blancpain has been a founding partner since 2012; and the aim of which is to promote understanding of hitherto inaccessible and little-known deep-sea ecosystems. To date, the project has resulted in five major expeditions, as well as additional missions to Reunion Island, the Philippines, Polynesia and now the Mediterranean. Laurent Ballesta is thus making a major contribution to Blancpain Ocean Commitment (BOC) activities around the world.

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