23 February 2021
Elegance, opulence, mastery of ancestral techniques: the L.U.C collection once again picks up the aesthetic codes of the finest Asian craftsmanship to create the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Ox timepiece. Dedicated to this symbolic year conducive to harvests and wisdom, this 88-piece limited series is ultra-thin and exquisitely refined. Its Urushi lacquer dial made by Japanese master lacquer artisans reveals a scene evocative of ancestral toil, humble prosperity and timeless elegance. Its L.U.C 96.17-L in-house movement testifies to the horological expertise of the artisans at Chopard Manufacture.
Each year since 2013, Chopard has dedicated a L.U.C Haute Horlogerie timepiece to the concurrent symbol in the Chinese zodiac. The concept is invariably developed on the basis of the ultra-thin L.U.C XP watches; graced with a dial featuring the Urushi technique of Maki-e combining lacquer and gold powder; always features a highly symbolic setting; and always produced as an 88-piece limited series. In 2021, this commitment is embodied in an exceptional creation made of ethical 18-carat rose gold, the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Ox.
The Year of the Ox will begin on February 12th 2021 and end on January 31st 2022. An Earth sign, symbol of the twelfth lunar month, the ox represents a period conducive to both nature and agriculture. This benevolent animal ensures the prosperity of the soil and the crops, the success of which depend on a peaceful climate.
The year is a time of appeasement and thus of wisdom, optimism, restraint and dialogue. It is also based on recognising the value of manual labour in the broadest sense of the term, an auspice that Chopard has seized upon to deliver one of its most artistic achievements.
Faithful to the tradition of watches related to the Chinese zodiac, Chopard has worked right from the start with the best Japanese lacquer artisans who craft dials using the traditional Urushi lacquer technique. The 88 dials of the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Ox timepiece were produced by the workshops of the century-old Yamada Heiando company and were made by Master lacquer artist Minori Koizumi.
As the Maki-e technique requires, captured between the layers of lacquer drawn from the sap of the Toxicodendron vernicifluum tree, gold flakes illuminate a background that features a golden ox with straight horns and an abundant coat, harnessed to a wagon. Made of gold, mother-of-pearl and coloured lacquer, it conveys both agricultural symbolism and the more subtle imagery of the Emperor.
The case of the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Ox timepiece is entirely sculpted from a block of 18-carat rose gold sourced from an ethical supply chain pioneered by Chopard. It measures 39.5 mm in diameter and its slim bezel enables a broad dial opening. Featuring a graceful design and refined ornamentation, the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Ox is also an ultra-thin timepiece measuring a mere 6.80 mm thick.
This slimness is enabled by the use of the 3.30 mm thick L.U.C 96.17-L in-house calibre. Despite this extremely diminutive size, this movement offers automatic winding via a micro-rotor. This small ethical 22-carat gold off-centre oscillating weight incorporated into the calibre boasts high inertia enabling it to wind the two barrels efficiently. The latter are stacked in accordance with the Chopard Twin Technology and are capable of storing the energy necessary for the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Ox 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, the duration of a long weekend.