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In keeping with a longstanding tradition, in 2023, Chopard will celebrate the Lunar Year of the Rabbit with the launch of two exciting new 88-piece limited Swiss watch editions: a L.U.C XP in ethical rose gold with a hand-crafted Urushi lacquer dial and a 33 mm Happy Sport diamond watch in stainless steel with festive red and gold accents.
Chopard annually produces a series of luxury watches dedicated to the lunar zodiac sign of the current year. The unchanging characteristics of this creation – always eagerly awaited by collectors – include an ultra-thin L.U.C XP case in ethical rose gold and L.U.C Calibre 96.17-L with automatic winding via a micro-rotor, and a dial crafted each year in Japan by a world-renowned artisan specialising in the Maki-e technique. The variations of each edition stem from the interpretation and symbolism attached to the zodiac sign that Chopard portrays on this dial from year to year. A work of gold and lacquer, mechanics and craftsmanship, the 2023 L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit rose gold watch celebrates the advent of the lunar Year of the Rabbit through an original 88-piece series. Entirely sculpted from a block of 18-carat rose gold, sourced from an ethical supply chain pioneered by Chopard, its 39.5 mm-diameter case frames a dial portraying the rabbit – a cautious and alert animal – and its relationship with the moon. Graced with Urushi lacquer, gold powder and mother-of-pearl inlays, and in keeping with tradition, its dial is made by a Japanese artisan drawing on centuries of expertise. Finally, its L.U.C 96.17-L in-house movement endowed with a 65-hour power reserve testifies to the watchmaking expertise of Chopard Manufacture’s skilled artisans.
Chopard’s theme in honour of the Year of the Rabbit is subtly linked to the zodiac symbolism of this creature. In the foundational legends of the zhānxīngshù system, the rabbit inhabits a moon where it keeps company with the beautiful goddess Chang'e. It represents prudence and agility. In combination with the element that characterises the Year of the Rabbit, it heralds longevity, peace and prosperity. The Japanese master lacquerers called upon by Chopard have accordingly created a dial on which two rabbits – one grey and the other red – frolic under a full moon in a landscape dotted with lunar olive trees – a fragrant Asian native shrub symbolising success and achievement, qualities often associated with the rabbit. The scene unites the animal’s essential symbolic elements while suggesting its energy, intelligence and alertness. Finally, the pair’s sharp eyes and pricked ears remind us that the rabbit is always on the alert.
Chopard works with the finest Japanese artisans specialised in the traditional Urushi lacquer technique. The 88 dials of the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit are thus produced by the workshops of the century-old company Yamada Heiando and crafted by master artist Minori Koizumi, a meticulous task requiring no less than 160 hours of work. In accordance with the Maki-e technique, gold flakes – placed between layers of lacquer made from the sap of the Toxicodendron vernicifluum tree – light up the background. The artisan's attention was focused on each detail of the little scene so as to reveal its realism and lyrical beauty.
The extreme thinness of this magnificent ethical rose gold watch is enabled by the use of the 3.30 mm-thick in-house L.U.C 96.17-L self-winding movement, equipped with an off-centred micro-rotor in 22-carat gold, incorporated into the overall thickness of the calibre. Its strong inertia ensures efficient winding of the two barrels, which are stacked according to Chopard Twin technology and store the energy required for the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit Swiss watch to offer a total 65-hour power reserve. Once off the wrist, it will remain on time and accurate for more than two and a half days, neatly corresponding to a long weekend.
Happy Sport is the story of watchmaking icon whose charm has been distilled through hundreds of variations since its invention in 1993. As the lunar zodiac calendar’s Year of the Rabbit dawns, the icon is treated to a festive new outfit for a year that is all about Joie de Vivre. Crafted in a 33 mm-diameter combining stainless steel and ethical 18-carat rose gold, the embodiment of the sporty-chic trend sends five dancing diamonds whirling around a splendid mother-of-pearl dial adorned with a rabbit. Combining red, another symbol of good fortune and joy in China, with sparkling ethical rose gold accents on the diamond-set bezel, cabochons and crown, the Happy Sport Year of the Rabbit rose gold and diamond watch features a ruby red dial and strap. It measures 3.65 thick and beats to the rhythm of the Chopard 09.01-C movement with a 42-hour power reserve.
Iconic since their invention by the Chopard workshops in 1976, five dancing diamonds stage their joyful flurry on this creation. Their perpetual spinning holds the promise of renewal for a Year of the Rabbit that will begin on 22 January 2023. Against the backdrop of this merry dance, the dial of the Happy Sport Year of the Rabbit rose gold and diamond watch is distinguished by the boldness with which it portrays this creature. Profoundly respectful of tradition, Chopard is always keen to associate its creations with local history and customs and the artisans of the Manufacture have thus placed the transferred golden outline of a rabbit on a textured mother-of-pearl base featuring a red gradient enhanced by a wave motif. Symbolising strength and bravery, the luckiest animal in the lunar zodiac calendar is depicted seated, with its muzzle pointing towards 2 o'clock and its long ears raised. Its posture, like the stylised drawings on the animal's coat, lend it an elegance and a touch of mischief perfectly suited to the identity of the Happy Sport diamond watch collection.
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