Chopard displayed four supreme watches in an effort to impress the visitors of World Brand Piazza exhibition, held at Hong Kong Watch & Clock Show. One of them is L.U.C Tourbillon Heritage skeletonized watch in a palladium case, made in the limited edition of just 25 pieces. Three other watches are ornamented in the tradition of Japanese art of lacquering, called Urushi. Each of the three displayed L.U.C XP Urushi watches features a peacock, a tiger and a jungle on its dial.
L.U.C Tourbillon Heritage (Ref. 161911-9001) timepiece is a wristwatch that draws its basic characteristics from the L.U.C Calibre 02.01-L (L.U.C 1.02), the very first tourbillion movement Chopard had created. Just like its first tourbillion mechanism from 2003, the L.U.C Calibre 4TT3N used in this timepiece is also hand-wound movement with an amazing power reserve of 9 days. It is made from solid 18-karat gold and exposed through a skeleton dial. It is worth noting that it runs on 4 Hz and has 33 jewels.
Just like the movement, the dial and its hands are made from gold. There is a large power reserve indicator at the three o’clock position. The watch is fitted into a round case, made from 950 palladium alloy of exceptional characteristics. The case is 40.5 mm wide and 10.9 mm thick. The face is, as expected, guarded with a sapphire crystal, while the strap is black crocodile leather with a buckle.
The Japanese Art of Lacquering
The hand-wound tourbillion is not the only lovely product that Chopard had displayed at Hong Kong, and it will be in the company of three L.U.C XP Urushi timepieces. These watches have exceptionally decorated dials. Created under the supervision of Kiichiro Masumura who holds the title of “Living National Treasure” in his homeland, the dials were lacquered in a maki-e technique. This Urushi technique consists of successive application layers of Urushi tree sap (by the way, the collected resin can be drawn in a minute quantity only once a year, and then it has to rest three to five years). The applied layers are then sprayed with the metal of choice (which is gold, in this particular case),so the colors would be accentuated. It is an extremely difficult task, and there are only a few “Urushi Masters” capable of practicing this ancestral Japanese art form.
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi was in fact the first timepiece ever to be graced with this sort of dials (Vacheron Constantin also decided to present watches with these types of dials in Hong Kong) and the collection consisted of nine different styles. The watches at the exhibition feature dials with a peacock (Ref. 161902-5049), a tiger (Ref. 161902-5048) and a jungle (Ref. 161902-5050).
The watches are supplied with mechanical self-winding movements L.U.C 96HM. The movement has 29 jewels, runs on 4 Hz, and is only 3.3 mm thick. It provides a power reserve of 65 hours. The automatic movement is in an 18ct rose gold case with the diameter of 39.5 mm and the thickness of 6.8 mm. Both the front and the back of the watch which is water resistant to 30 meters, are protected with glare-proof sapphire crystals.