Chopard is once again honouring Asian traditions by calling on the ancestral Japanese art of Urushi to create the dial of the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat timepiece. This work of art highlights the next zodiac sign in the Chinese calendar: the Rat. Each of the watches in this 88-piece limited edition is crafted in 18-carat rose gold. An ultra-thin movement, produced in the Chopard Manufacture workshops: the L.U.C 96.17-L calibre, powers the watch.
The Chinese calendar cycle commences with a year of the rat. A legend tells the story of when the historical Buddha summoned the animals before entering Nirvana. The rat is said to have climbed on the buffalo and arrived first, relegating the cat to 13th position. As a result, the cat is deprived of a place in the calendar. The Year of the Rat will begin on January 25th 2020 and end on February 12th 2021.
Art of Urushi
The dial of this new watch is entirely hand-crafted. Traditional Japanese lacquer technique, known as Urushi, is used, combining the lacquer with gold dust. The scene depicts a golden rat, standing on an ear of corn, a symbol of abundance, and in front of a khaki, a fruit that is picked in winter and represents longevity. It is facing a bouquet of flowers in the three lucky colours of its zodiac sign: blue, gold and green.
The varnish comes from the sap of the Urushi tree, also known as the “lacquer tree” or the “Japanese varnish tree”. The plant grows in both Japan and China. Its resin is harvested once a year in extremely small quantities. It takes three to five years for the resin to be ready to be treated. Its highly resistant, honey-textured lacquer is applied in extremely fine successive layers.
The 88 dials of this limited series were created through cooperation between Chopard and its partner company, Yamada Heinado, where the master of Urushi exercises his craft.
While measuring just 3.3 mm thick, the timepiece achieves a comfortable 65-hour power reserve. The L.U.C 96.17-L calibre may be admired through a transparent sapphire case-back.
L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat is an 88-piece limited edition.