Watch me go WOW !
After 20 years of the L.U.C Collection at the Chopard Manufacture, Chopard has garnered aficionados around the globe. Just as the Swiss & European Establishment has deigned to recognised excellence at Chopard with the “Aiguille d’Or” or ‘Golden Hand’ trophy at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2017, top collectors in the emerging markets of the Americas, Gulf States and the Far East have already switched on to their “in-house approach to watch manufacturing”.
Without a historical “brand logo bias“, these new aficionados can just focus on the merits of the watches they buy.
Rewarding the connoisseurs amongst the Chinese of the Far East and celebrating life’s finest milestones, as well as honouring traditional Chinese arts, Chopard reached an astronomical level with an extraordinary new one-off creation: L.U.C Perpetual T – Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac.
Chopard artisans created an entirely hand-engraved rose gold case depicting the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac. This superlative paragon of artistic craftsmanship, paying tribute to a culture, is intended for the most discerning collector.
After creating an annual edition of the L.U.C XP Urushi, in tribute to the Oriental Zodiac sign in-residence as reported before HERE, with the L.U.C Perpetual T – Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac, Chopard has portrayed the entire Chinese Zodiac on the case with a black patina coating adorning 18-carat rose gold. The 12 signs are individually represented using the champlevé engraving technique. Meticulous patience was the currency to hollow out little cavities that are then filled with black patina.
The engraver devoted 200 hours to create this tribute to Chinese culture with 12 animals in chronological order symbolising the Chinese calendar. The tiger’s head is perched on the crown while his body fits the case. A dragon and a snake are coiled between the lugs. Naturally rare by its sheer complexity and the work involved in its making, as well as by the mastery of artistic crafts it entails, the L.U.C Perpetual T – Spirit of the Chinese zodiac is a limited edition of one piece.
It will be the object of an exclusive presentation to Asian collectors at a private exhibition in Beijing.
As befitting a depiction of the Chinese calendar, the mechanical movement is one of the most prestigious horological complication – a perpetual calendar, a tourbillon and with more than one-week power reserve ensured by the four barrels of the Quattro® system – raises this timepiece to the noblest rank.
The perpetual calendar carries technical as well as ergonomic significance. Indicating the complete date while taking account of the variable durations of the months, including leap years, is a challenge ably met by L.U.C Calibre 02.15-L. The L.U.C Perpetual T, fully encased, has successfully undergone testing by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute to allow the “Chronometer” inscription on the dial.
The solid gold dial of the L.U.C Perpetual T is decorated with a hand-engraved motif from traditional Chinese iconography and also features on the bezel and the rose gold buckle. The entire L.U.C Calibre 02.15-L has been hand-decorated in keeping with the traditions of Haute Horlogerie. The quality of the surface treatments and construction restrictions entitles the L.U.C Perpetual T – Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac to bear the Poinçon de Genève (Geneva Seal) quality hallmark.
RMB or CNY 1,790,000.
There are many timepieces for the aficionado of fine watchmaking available today from a handful of superb watchmakers. Personally and on behalf of AlphaLuxe, I consider myself blessed with the opportunity to experience some of the best.
I am exquisitely happy with my modest personal watch collection from Chopard but this L.U.C Perpetual T – Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac made me gasp in wonder and squeal in private.
If only I had the spare quarter million dollars……
“The true cost of luxury is the choice that it affords.”
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He was also CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).