Thursday, November 17, 2016

Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi – Year of the Rooster

Swiss luxury watch brand Chopard presents a new limited series of its L.U.C XP Urushi watch to mark the Chinese New year: The L.U.C XP Urushi – Year of the Rooster. The Chinese New Year, which begins on January 28th 2017, appears under the sign of the Yin metal rooster, the theme depicted on an exceptional lacquered dial made using the ancestral Urushi technique. Hand-crafted in Japan by a master lacquer artist, this applied arts masterpiece adorns a new interpretation of this ultra-thin and eminently refined L.U.C watch.

Chopard dedicates an annual limited series of L.U.C XP watches to the Chinese Zodiac, thereby uniting Swiss, Chinese and Japanese traditions within these timepieces. Switzerland is represented by Chopard Manufacture and its L.U.C XP model featuring an ultra-thin movement and prestigious finishing. Japan expresses its expertise in the field of precious lacquer, enriched with mother-of-pearl marquetry. And finally, China showcases its culture through the rooster symbolism picked up on the dial of the new L.U.C XP Urushi – Year of the Rooster.
In Japanese tradition, the sap of the “lacquer” or “Japanese varnish” tree is skilfully harvested, aged and treated to become a lacquer. This extremely hard material is applied in a number of extremely thin layers. The Urushi master uses it to imprison tiny purpose-cut mother-of-pearl fragments, which further enhance the dial of the L.U.C XP – Year of the Rooster with their iridescence and radiance. The animal is depicted in all its majestic splendour, head held high and feathers puffed out, against a glowing sunset backdrop. Alongside it are eight gladioli symbolising good luck.

These techniques call for extraordinarily meticulous care. They are mastered only by craft masters with longstanding experience. The latter dedicate their life to improving their art, performing every operation with a view to achieving excellence. These virtues stem from an ethic of fine workmanship shared by Chopard. To create this precious dial, as with all previous L.U.C XP Urushi editions, Chopard has worked with its loyal partner: the Yamada Heiando firm which is an official purveyor to the Japanese imperial family. Together, they have called upon the services of Master Kiichiro Masumura, acknowledged as the finest exponent of his art. Raised to the rank of “living human treasure” in Japan, he designed and supervised the creation of all the dials, which were personally executed by the highly skilled Urushi master Minori Koizumi.
This Far Eastern nobility is matched by the Swiss nobility of L.U.C watchmaking as practiced by Chopard. This exceptional dial is housed in a L.U.C XP case. Its dainty bezel, its slimness and its restrained diameter make it a finely wrought receptacle admirably highlighting the artistic accomplishment of the Japanese craft masters. It is also complemented by the excellence of the L.U.C 96.17-L movement.

This Haute Horlogerie self-winding movement is extremely thin thanks to the use of a micro-rotor. The latter is made of 22-carat gold and incorporated into the overall thickness of the movement so as to combine slenderness with practicality. Equipped with two barrels ensuring a substantial 65-hour power reserve, this calibre is finished according to the highest aesthetic quality standards. With its bevelled and polished chamfers, polished screws, bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif, it too stems from a demanding approach firmly geared towards the long term.

A hand-sewn black alligator leather strap adds the hint of elegance inherent in each watch of the L.U.C collection, intended for modern gentlemen who love to distinguish themselves by means of watchmaking works of art endowed with unique details.

Technical details
Model: L.U.C XP Urushi – Year of the Rooster
Ref. 161902-5064 – in 18-carat rose gold 88-piece limited edition with special “Year of the Rooster” dial

Case
18-carat rose gold
Total diameter: 39.50 mm
Thickness: 6.80 mm
Water resistance: 30 metres
18-carat rose gold logo with L.U.C logo: 4.00 mm
Glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Transparent case-back

Movement
Mechanical self-winding L.U.C 96.17-L
Total diameter: 27.40 mm
Thickness: 3.30 mm
Number of jewels: 29
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: approx. 65 hours
Two barrels, Twin® technology
22-carat bevelled, engraved and guilloché oscillating weight
Bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled components

Dial and hands
Dial hand-crafted in Japan using the Urushi lacquer technique and mother-of-pearl marquetry, with a special “Year of the Rooster” motif
Gilded Dauphine-type hours and minutes hands

Functions and displays
Central display of the hours and minutes

Strap and buckle
Hand-sewn black alligator leather
18ct rose gold pin buckle

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