Passion & Excellence: Swiss Watchmaking meets Aussie Gastronomy

In Partnership with Blancpain

As the world’s oldest active watch brand, Blancpain comes backed by nearly three century’s worth of passion, precision, and innovation. To this day, the Swiss watchmaker remains synonymous with some of the finest in Haute Horlogerie, which is no small feat. One look at the epochal Fifty Fathoms Diver’s Watch or legendary Villeret Collection and you’ll know why.

Meanwhile, the brand has expanded its proverbial scope over the last few decades, collaborating with Michelin-starred chefs for epic tasting dinners around the globe. Drawing parallels between master watchmakers and master chefs, Art of Living is a universe that’s truly worthy of its distinguished name.

Most recently, Blancpain partnered with luxury hotel group Relais & Châteaux in an effort to further fortify the bond between these two respective worlds. As a direct result, two seemingly unrelated arenas continue to find a firm common ground, where the tenants of passion, excellence, manual precision, craftsmanship, and innovation constantly emerge.

Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Jumping Hours Retrograde Minutes

What you begin to grasp is a solid foundation of creativity and expertise, which flows upward in two starkly different directions. Even at the surface level, however, the commonalities between Haute Horlogerie and Haute Cuisine remain perceptible. It’s then no surprise that Blancpain has been fostering ties with award-winning chefs from around the world for over 30 years.

To highlight the comparisons between watchmaking and cooking, we created a short video that alternates between both worlds. It comes on the heels of our trip to Blancpain’s manufacture, where we saw master watchmakers do their thing first hand.

We then visited Australia’s own Hentley Farm Restaurant, an exclusive partner of Relais & Châteaux. Here at this premier dining destination, acclaimed Chef Lachlan Colwill crafts meticulous cuisine using local ingredients from the restaurant’s Barossa Valley farm.

As evidenced by the video, a chef’s work and watchmaker’s work call upon similar drives, skill sets, and concepts. In the same way that a master chef combines assorted ingredients to create a single dish, a seasoned horologist unifies various complications and design elements within the parameters of a single watch.

Taking the analogy one step further, mastering either craft represents an ongoing fusion of innate talent, endless dedication, and insatiable curiosity. Through this constant interaction of nature and nurture, boundaries aren’t just pushed, they’re downright shattered. It rings true in the Blancpain manufacture and in Michelin-starred kitchens alike.

Ultimately, top-tier watchmaking and top-tier cooking mutually emphasise the following tenants:

Passion

Have you seen “Chef’s Table” on Netflix? With its sweeping classical score and intense visuals, the show gets downright melodramatic in its depiction of world-class chefs and their delectable creations. But at the end of the day, it works and here’s why: passion.

When one has a deep-rooted love for his or her craft, the output itself takes on a new dimension. You’ll find this same level of passion inside the Blancpain manufacture, which is why the brand’s watches continue to exist in a class all their own.

Excellence

What causes a dish or a watch to stand out from the herd? To radiate among casual fans and hardcore enthusiasts alike? To put it in a word: excellence.

Excellence might also be described as the initial spark that drives genius in the first place, only to manifest itself through every creation. An elusive concept perhaps, but nevertheless a tangible one. That is to say, you know excellence when you see or taste it.

Manual Precision

A classic Blancpain watch or unforgettable dish interweaves various manual components to create a brilliant unified whole. Assembled (largely) by human hands, each detail is like a mini-masterpiece unto itself. Meanwhile, there’s not a single element out of place, even on the most microscopic level.

Craftsmanship

This one pretty much speaks for itself, especially when it comes to high-end watches. For an example, look no further than Blancpain’s 1735 Grande Complication, i.e. one of the most complicated mechanical watches ever created. To gaze upon its symphony of moving parts is to witness a tiny miracle.

When creating delicious cuisine, world-class chefs similarly demonstrate the utmost tier of expertise over flavours and ingredients, approaching every component from the ground up. Upon taking a bite, you notice that the taste unravels in waves and seems to touch upon every nerve in your body. It’s a thrilling experience, to say the least.

Blancpain Villeret Complete Calendar

Innovation

Blancpain’s mantra is “Innovation is our Tradition” and the brand doesn’t take it lightly. To put it another way, the watchmaker is always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and revolutionising complications, movements, and designs in the process.

In the kitchens of renowned restaurants, master chefs are similarly pushing past their own boundaries in the pursuit of something new and extraordinary. It’s here more than anywhere else that these two respective worlds find their common ground.

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