15 November 2017
Pursuing its longstanding involvement in celebrating life’s finest milestones as well as honouring traditional Chinese arts, Chopard is taking things to a new level with an extraordinary new one-off creation: L.U.C Perpetual T – Spirit of the Chinese zodiac. Chopard artisans have created an entirely hand-engraved rose gold case depicting the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac. This comprehensive work of artistic craftsmanship, paying tribute to a millenary-old culture, is intended for the most discerning collector.
With the L.U.C Perpetual T – Spirit of the Chinese zodiac, Chopard is further extending the approach that has driven the Manufacture to create a yearly edition of the L.U.C XP Urushi, in tribute to the zodiac sign of the year in progress. This year, the entire Chinese zodiac is portrayed on the case middle of this stylised unique piece, with a black patina coating adorning 18-carat rose gold. The 12 signs are individually represented using the champlevé engraving technique. The latter requires meticulous patience in order to hollow out little cavities that are then filled with black patina. The engraver devoted 200 hours to creating this tribute to the richness of Chinese culture. The artisan’s expert hands deftly formed the 12 animals ordered chronologically and symbolising the Chinese calendar. The tiger’s head is perched on the crown while his body fits the case. A dragon and a snake are coiled between the lugs. Naturally rare by its sheer complexity and the work involved in its making, as well as by the mastery of artistic crafts it entails, the L.U.C Perpetual T – Spirit of the Chinese zodiac is a limited edition of one piece. It will be the object of an exclusive presentation to Asian collectors at a private exhibition in Beijing.
This case houses one of the most prestigious horological complication – a perpetual calendar, a tourbillon and an over one-week power reserve ensured by the four barrels of the Quattro® system – raising this timepiece to the ranks of the noblest in its category. The perpetual calendar carries technical as well as ergonomic significance. Indicating the complete date while taking account of the variable durations of the months, including leap years, is a challenge ably met by L.U.C Calibre 02.15-L. The tourbillon of the L.U.C Perpetual T – Spirit of the Chinese zodiac sits enthroned at 6 o’clock on the dial, topped by a meticulously polished and blackened steel bridge. By constantly spinning on its axis, it releases the rate of the watch from the influence of gravity. The L.U.C Perpetual T has successfully undergone testing by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, as recalled by the “Chronometer” inscription appearing on the dial.
The solid gold dial of the L.U.C Perpetual T is adorned with a hand-engraved motif inspired by traditional Chinese iconography and also featured on the bezel and the rose gold buckle. Moreover, the entire L.U.C Calibre 02.15-L has been hand-decorated in keeping with the traditions of Haute Horlogerie. The quality of these surfaced treatments, combined with the construction choices, entitles the L.U.C Perpetual T – Spirit of the Chinese zodiac to bear the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark, one of the most prestigious certifications in the Swiss watch industry. A hand-sewn black alligator leather strap with alligator lining lends an ultimate touch of elegance to this finely crafted watch.
Chopard is a family business with a strongly ingrained philosophy of independence. The steps involved in making L.U.C watches are all performed in-house at the group's Meyrin and Fleurier production sites. Movement development, finished product design, gold foundry work, case stamping and machining, movement components, traditional hand engravings and decorations, surface treatments, polishing, assembly, adjustments and quality controls: such is the comprehensive range of watch production operations fully mastered by Chopard and applied to the making of each watch in the L.U.C collection.