It has become a tradition, each year the Chopard family house presents a new timepiece whose dial is decorated with a motif inspired by the Chinese zodiac calendar. The L.U.C collection thus welcomes this year the Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Tiger replica watch, a limited series of 88 pieces dedicated to the tiger with the L.U.C 96.17-L in-house caliber housed in an ultra-thin 39.5 mm case in ethical pink gold.
Since 2013, Chopard has dedicated a watch designed on the basis of the extra-thin L.U.C XP model to the sign of each Chinese zodiac year, featuring a dial decorated using the Urushi technique of Maki-e – which combines lacquering and gold powder. A timepiece still produced in a limited series of 88 pieces.
The year of the Water Tiger began on February 1 and will end on January 21, 2023. Earth sign, a recurring theme in Chinese artistic representations, the tiger has long been associated with the figure of the emperor and the dignitaries of the state. It symbolizes fortune, wisdom, intelligence and creativity. It is therefore a resolutely optimistic zodiac sign.
Chopard works with Japanese lacquer artisans who produce dials using the ancestral technique of Urushi lacquer. The 88 dials are produced in Japan in the workshops of the century-old Yamada Heiando company and executed by master lacquerer Minori Koizumi. They require no less than 160 hours of meticulous work per dial!
As required by the Maki-e technique, between the layers of lacquer -made from the sap of the Toxicodendron vernicifluum tree-, gold glitter illuminates a background that gives pride of place to a tiger posed overhanging a a bay surrounded by cliffs. Under a starry sky, its claws out, its mouth turned to the side, the tiger seems to be demonstrating its strength and majesty.
The case of the timepiece is entirely carved in 18 carat pink gold, from an ethical supply chain. It measures 39.5 mm and its thin bezel offers a wide opening on the dial. This extra-thin timepiece is 6.80 mm thick.
This slenderness is authorized by the use of the in-house L.U.C 96.17-L movement, which measures 3.30 mm thick. Despite these extremely small dimensions, this movement is self-winding. It is equipped with a 22 carat gold micro-rotor which is incorporated into the height of the caliber.
It has a high inertia, which enables it to effectively wind the two barrels. Superimposed according to Chopard Twin technology, they store the energy necessary for the timepiece to offer a comfortable power reserve of 65 hours. Once installed, it will remain at the precise time for more than two and a half days, ie the duration of a long weekend – a “weekend proof” watch, as they say in the industry.
This watch is worn on a hand-stitched blue alligator strap with nubuck lining on a polished ethical pink gold pin buckle.
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