Since 2010, Chopard has released a zoo of beautifully crafted Urushi dials to celebrate the animals of the Chinese zodiac. At the finish of 2017, Chopard decided to regale collectors with a superlative irregular piece. Not only did it congregate all 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac, hand-engraved on the sides of the case, but the L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit was also equipped with a perpetual calendar and a tourbillon. A similar collector’s edition, decorated with motifs of Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations was presented during the SIAR and sold in six minutes flat. For 2019, which coincides with the Year of the Pig, Chopard repeats the formula and unveils its latest respect to Chinese cultural traditions with this unique L.U.C masterpiece.
Ethical Gold Case
Earlier this year during Baselworld, Chopard made a courageous commitment to use 100% ethical gold in its jewelry and watch creations by July 2018. Ethical gold is characterized by Chopard “as gold acquired from responsible sources, confirmed as having met international best practice environmental and social standards”. Naturally, the L.U.C. Perpetual T Spirit holds fast to the brand’s commitment and the large 43mm case is crafted in 18k ethical rose gold. With its 15.02mm thick case middle, Chopard’s gifted artisans – Mains d’Art – have gotten down to business hand-etching the 12 animals using champlevé etching in which tiny cavities (a bit like a honeycomb) are hollowed out in the gold leaving the raised territories to interpret the design.
The workmanship is extraordinary and the artisan involved in the inscriptions spent over 210 hours rejuvenating the animals on the sides of the case. In the event that you look closely, you will perceive how the interpretation of the animals is both contemporary and extremely dynamic. The animals are orchestrated chronologically, in a similar request they succeed each other in the Chinese zodiac (rat, bull, tiger, rabbit, mythical beast, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, canine, pig). The tiger’s head shows up on the diminutive surface of the crown while the sinuous contours of the winged serpent and snake are engraved nearby between the lugs. The artisan’s interpretation of the animals is contemporary and dynamic. Climbing from the elaborately carved middle case, the bezel is also engraved with graceful oriental volutes. In fact, the only surfaces left untouched are the front, underside and tips of the lugs and the caseback.
Perpetual Calendar and Tourbillon
The solid 18k gold dial is also ornately decorated with a labyrinth of geometric shapes carved by hand and enlivened by traditional ornamental motifs found on Chinese temples. Against this opulent background, Chopard has introduced the perpetual calendar displays with a twin aperture for the large date just below 12 o’clock, the times of the week and 24-hour indicator in a snailed counter on the left half of the dial complemented by a counter on the right with the months and leap year indication. The one-minute tourbillon – which doubles up as a small seconds counter – is located at 6 o’clock and is held in place by the distinctive blackened stainless steel connect. To enhance legibility, the gilded Dauphine hands are treated with luminescence and the 24-hour and leap year indicators are picked out in white.
You can be assured that there is as much going on in the movement department as there is looking into the issue and dial of this coincidental collector’s watch. Chopard’s mechanical hand-wound caliber comprises 353 components and has a diameter of 33mm. Visible behind the exhibition caseback, the first thing you will notice is the force hold indicator, letting you know when the watch’s husky nine-day (216.hour) power save is slowing down. Thanks to four barrels of the Quattro system, the amount of energy stored inside this complicated watch is remarkable. The mainplate is decorated with thick Geneva stripes and reveals almost no of the moving parts, but the extensions are beveled and the polished screws and jewel countersinks attest to the hand-completing of this top-of-the-line L.U.C watch. Both chronometer-certified by the COSC and granted the Poinçon de Genève hallmark, the L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac is a unique edition.
Presented on a hand-sewn black alligator leather strap with an earthy colored alligator lining, the rose gold pin buckle is also engraved with similar motifs found on the bezel. Price is only available on request. For more information, please consult www.chopard.com .