Chopard’s gifted Mains d’Art celebrate Chinese tradition through a unique L.U.C timepiece.

Chopard introduces a new timepiece honouring the perpetuating artistic crafts and the traditional Chinese culture: the artisans of the Manufacture have created a case in ethical 18-carat rose gold, entirely hand-engraved and depicting the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac. Inside it beats a highly sophisticated perpetual calendar tourbillon calibre with a nine-day power reserve. This watch, a tribute to an age-old culture, is intended for the most discerning collectors.

All the animals of the Chinese zodiac are depicted on the ethical 18-carat rose gold case middle of this model. This is achieved using the champlevé engraving technique, an art that calls for meticulous patience in order to hollow out tiny cavities in a subtle play on volutes and light effects. In all, the artisan devoted more than 210 hours to bringing the 12 symbolic animals of the Chinese calendar to life on the gold case. The tiger’s head appears on the crown, for example, while its body follows the curve of the case middle. The space between the lugs is adorned with a dragon and a snake.

The enchantment continues on the solid gold dial, with hand engravings reflecting traditional ornamental motifs such as are found in the architecture of Chinese temples – and which are also picked up on the bezel and on the buckle of the rose gold bracelet. Finally, an additional hand-sewn black alligator leather strap with a brown alligator lining lends an ultimate touch of elegance to this watch.

The case houses a horological complication, combining a perpetual calendar with a tourbillon and an over one-week (nine-day) power reserve ensured by the four barrels of the Quattro® system. The perpetual calendar is not just a technical achievement, but also an ergonomic one. Indicating the complete date while taking account of variable durations of months, including leap years, is a challenge perpetually taken up by the L.U.C 02.15-L calibre. The L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of the Chinese zodiac appears proudly at 6 o’clock, topped by a meticulously polished stainless steel bridge. Its constant rotation around its axis frees the running rate of the watch from the influence of gravity.

This timepiece has been successfully submitted for testing by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, as testified on the dial by the inscription ‘Chronometer’ – a noble attribute held in high esteem by Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. It also bears the ‘Poinçon de Genève’ hallmark, one of the Swiss watch industry’s most prestigious certifications.

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