Swiss Haute Horlogerie meets Chinese zodiac tradition
Steeped in the aesthetic codes of Chinese culture, the L.U.C XP Urushi Spirit of Shí Chen is the first L.U.C timepiece to display the traditional Chinese timekeeping system, Shí Chen. The animals of the zodiac that symbolises them parade slowly by on an Urushi lacquer disc, accompanied by the symbol of prosperity and its god Lu Xing. This creative new complication exists as an 88-piece limited edition. Its L.U.C 96.29-L Chopard Manufacture movement is housed in a 40 mm ethical 18-carat rose gold case of peerless symbolic and physical finesse.
Carved from a block of ethical 18-carat rose gold, the L.U.C XP Urushi Spirit of Shí Chen is a talisman timepiece, an allegory of beliefs related to the Chinese zodiac and luck. It represents the first time that an Haute Horlogerie watch displays Shí Chen, the traditional Chinese time system, as a complication. It consists of twelve two-hour units, each one represented by an animal from the zodiac cycle. The day thus begins at 11pm with the hour of the Rat and ends with the hour of the Pig, while noon is in the middle of the hour of the Horse.
The Chinese zodiac bestiary enhanced by the art of Urushi:
The procession of 12 animals slowly parades through a large aperture at 12 o’clock, enabling a dual time read-off: one traditional and the other based on the international system. This succession of zodiac signs also underlines the creativity and mastery of the Chopard Manufacture artisans. In addition, the dial and Shí Chen disc of this timepiece are made of Japanese lacquer. Faithful to Asian traditions, Chopard has worked right from the start with the finest Japanese lacquer artisans, who craft dials using the traditional Urushi lacquer technique.
The 88 dials of the L.U.C XP Urushi Spirit of Shí Chen are produced by the workshops of the century-old Yamada Heiando company and crafted by Master lacquer specialist Minori Koizumi. In accordance with the distinctive Maki-e technique, gold flakes sprinkled between the layers of lacquer illuminate the 40 mm ethical 18-carat rose gold case from within.