Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain—making it the oldest watch company in the world—Blancpain is firmly anchored on a harmonious balance between tradition and creativity, a philosophy also reflected in the imaginative culinary flair of Le Du's owner-chef, Thitid Tassanakajohn.
In 2013 Thitid, known to most as chef Ton, founded Le Du modern Thai restaurant and has since been heralded as one of Thailand’s brightest culinary talents. His distinctive artistry of combining of progressive techniques and bold Thai flavours has earned him recognition both on local and international stages.
“As a chef, your cooking changes almost every day and you never stop looking for a better way to cook. You try to evolve and create your identity. And for me, that is reflective of the art of living,” says the 30-year-old.
The pursuit of excellence, passionate dexterity, meticulous craftsmanship and a spirit of authenticity are all values that Swiss watchmaker Blancpain shares with the world of gastronomy. Blancpain’s classic collection Villeret, for instance, gets its name from the brand’s native village. The purity of their contours, the sharpness of their dials and the sleekness of their double stepped cases illustrate a timeless elegance.
Another common ground shared between the Swiss watchmaker and Thai chef is their sense of responsibility and sustainability for the ecosystem, specifically that of the sea. In an industry teeming with competitors, Thitid sets himself apart with a profound passion for using local and sustainable produce. “At Le Du, we only use sustainable seafood from local fishermen. This way, we know how the sea creatures were caught and that they were landed via methods that are respectful to the ocean,” he says. Chef Ton's fascination for the underwater world and commitment for ocean conservation are no surprise—he is an avid scuba diver.
“I love the ocean, that’s why I started diving,” he says. “The best thing about being underwater is that your time is truly your own and there is nothing else in between. You only hear your breathing and the sound of the ocean. That is my kind of sanctuary, my peace.”
Blancpain, on the other hand, has a historical connection with diving that dates back to 1953 with the development of the world’s first modern diving watch—the Fifty Fathoms. Since then, the fine watchmaker has been committed to raising awareness of ocean conservation through explorations and has supported many major scientific expeditions. The maison believes that people can only respect and protect what they love, and can only love what they know.
“We work against time, at least that is what we say in the kitchen,” says Thitid. Equally a tangible reminder that time is invaluable, a Blancpain watch is more than a result of technical and aesthetic achievement. It is perceived from its inception as an object of grace—a moment of pure emotion. These are creative sentiments that both the maison and chef Thitid know only too well.