Here it is one more interesting watch created to honor the Chinese Year of the Snake. Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Snake Watch is an exceptional special edition timepiece that boasts beautiful and complex dial created by using traditional Japanese decorative techniques.
The dial of this exquisite wristwatch is made by using a long-established lacquering art – Urushi. Its dial features entirely hand-painted flowering bush, a symbol of good luck, with a golden snake coiled around it. The glaze is derived from the sap of the Urushi tree, also known as “Japanese varnish tree” or “lacquer tree”.
The Urushi tree grows in many parts of East Asia, but mainly inJapanandChina. Collecting Urushi is like collecting gum from rubber tree. First you need to cut the bark of the tree and then the tree yields a milky-white sap to cure the wound. The resin can only be harvested once a year, and in very small amounts. Three to five years after it is collected, the resin is treated to transform it into the thick honey-textured lacquer.
This rare material is extremely resistant to acid, alkali and alcohol. Furthermore, it withstands almost 600 degrees Fahrenheit heat. Unfortunately, Urushi is vulnerable to ultraviolet rays, just like other natural finishes. The lacquer is applied in very thin and successive layers on various decorative objects, such as boxes and bowls and other everyday household items.
The technique used for the dial of this particular watch is a little bit different of the classic Urushi technique. This lacquering art is called Maki-e and it consists of sprinkling the lacquered coating with metal powder. It is mainly used to accentuate the outlines of the figures. Maki-e is a very complicated technique because the dust – in this particular case, gold dust – is applied with bamboo tubes and small natural-hair brushes in order to trace thin lines.
On the other hand, the mechanical art of the Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Snake is showcased by the L.U.C Caliber 96.17-L self-winding movement. Although the watch itself is ultra-thin – only 6.8mm, its case houses two barrels, ensuring full 65 hours of power reserve. The mechanism is entirely hand decorated by the House artisans in accordance with the principles of traditional fine watchmaking and fitted with an off-centered micro-rotor, which can be viewed through the see-through sapphire case-back. The 29 jewels mechanism oscillates at the rapid frequency of 28,800 beats per hour (4Hz).
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Snake Watch is housed in an 18-karats rose gold case with the diameter of 39.5mm. The gilt dauphine-styled hour and minute hands are also made from rose gold.
The watch comes with a black alligator leather strap, ending with a rose gold pin buckle. It is presented in a special presentation box which is also encrusted with Urushi technique. The outside of the box is black, whereas the inside boasts a Maki-e gold surface. Finally, the octagonal shape of the box was chosen because it symbolizes the gaiety (octagon is the oriental symbol of gaiety).
The referent number of the new Chopard watch that is created to celebrate the year of the snake according to the Chinese calendar is 161902-5051.