Friday, April 1, 2016

Chopard L.U.C XP 35 mm Esprit de Fleurier Peony Limited Edition

Among the Chopard L.U.C watches, L.U.C XP stands tall thanks to its understated elegance and its technical sophistication.

In 2014, Chopard created a ladies version with a 35 mm case equipped with the L.U.C 96.23-L calibre. It’s produced by Chopard Manufacture and graced with Fleurisanne engraving, an almost extinct handcraft. In 2015, the design codes of this supremely elegant watch took a new turn with the L.U.C XP 35 mm Esprit de Fleurier.

In 2016, this model comes in an eight-piece limited edition featuring a peony motif and fitted with a brushed pink canvas strap. It highlights an increasingly rare ancestral technique: Fleurisanne engraving. 
The dainty curves of the peony bloom on the Tahitian mother-of-pearl dial, where this majestic flower appears clothed in gold and decked in diamonds finely set into the rose gold dial base. A central figure in Greek and oriental mythology, the peony suffuses countless legends with its delicate fragrance.
It was in Fleurier, a village of the Jura region of Switzerland, that Karl-Friedrich Scheufele founded in 1996 a Manufacture dedicated to producing high-precision movements: the L.U.C Haute Horlogerie collection, thus named in tribute to Louis-Ulysse Chopard. In 20 years, Chopard Manufacture has succeeded in taking its place among the select circle of authentic watch manufactures and is unanimously acknowedged as such, both within the profession and among the public at large. All stages in the development and production of L.U.C watches are conducted in-house, in Fleurier. This vertical integration testifies to deep-seated independence, a value firmly ingrained in the Chopard corporate culture.
Fleurier is a historical cradle of watchmaking that has given rise to a number of skills that are now becoming increasingly rare. Chopard wished to perpetuate these traditions that represent a cultural and aesthetic heritage.  Fleurisanne engraving is one of these decorative artistic techniques that are an integral part of the horological heritage: in the 19th century, it contributed to the magnificent reputation of the region’s watchmakers, whose timepieces adorned using this craft were in demand as far as China.
Chopard restores the noble pedigree of this form of artistry through the L.U.C XP 35 mm Esprit de Fleurier Peony. Its rose gold movement is adorned with the peony motif according to the Fleurisanne engraving technique. This highly distinctive expertise is notably distinguished by its raised motifs. The engraver ‘spares’ the motif that he intends to make stand out; the surface thus preserved is then engraved with scrolling patterns or flowers, and then polished to achieve a shiny effect. The base surrounding the motif is then stippled dot by dot to create a grainy effect. To perform this slow and lengthy process requiring extreme dexterity, Chopard has trained expert hands in-house to perpetuate this traditional skill. After engraving, the movement is rhodium-coated to achieve an unusual two-tone appearance.
The self-winding movement that powers this timepiece is endowed with the patented Twin® technology, involving two stacked coaxial barrels ensuring a 65-hour power reserve.
Accommodating such a self-winding movement within a 7.5 mm ultra-thin case is a daunting technical challenge. The clever micro-rotor construction has enabled the master-watchmakers of Chopard Manufacture to accomplish this feat and successfully magnify the beauty of L.U.C Calibre 96.23-L. 
Technical details
Model: L.U.C XP 35 mm Esprit de Fleurier Peony
Ref. 131944-5001 – in 18-carat rose gold
8-piece limited series – Chopard boutique exclusive

Case
18-carat rose gold
Total diameter: 35 mm
Thickness: 7.50 mm
Water-resistance: 30 metres
18-carat rose gold crown with L.U.C logo: 5.00 mm
Diamond-set flanks, lugs and case middle part
Glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Exhibition back

Movement
Self-winding movement L.U.C 96.23-L
Total diameter: 27.40 mm
Thickness: 3.30 mm
Number of jewels: 29
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 65 hours
Two-tone movement with rose gold bridges rhodium-coated after engraving
Two barrels - Twin® technology
Hand-crafted Fleurisanne engravings – peony motif

Dial
Gold dial coated with Tahitian mother-of-pearl – diamond-set peony motif
Gilt Dauphine-type hours and minutes hands

Functions
Central display of the hours and minutes

Strap
Brushed pink canvas strap
Diamond-set 18-carat rose gold pin buckle

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