To create this new eight-piece limited edition L.U.C XP Esprit by Fleurier Peony watch, Chopard called on its Mains d’art (artistic hands). The dial is a dazzling combination of crafts such as gold engraving, transfer printing and mother-of-pearl cutting; while its movement – a 35 mm L.U.C Calibre 96.23-L. designed and produced by Chopard Manufacture – is entirely decorated with floral engraving, a now rare art that is perfectly mastered by Chopard artisans.
On the purple dial of the L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony watch, eight peonies in pink monochrome shades reveal their fragile beauty. Featuring generous petals highlighted with white mother-of-pearl, they are like a silent burst of magnificence.
A favourite flower of Chopard co-president Caroline Scheufele, the peony is also one of the most popular flowers in China, where its presence dates back to the 9th century BC. Cherished by painters and sung by poets, the peony was considered as the queen of flowers, an emblem of wealth and honour, which is symbolised when portrayed in a painting.
This incomparably beautiful bloom is a motif that the Manufacture honours year after year, interpreting the delicate flower in various ways by adopting a 35 mm-diameter ladies’ L.U.C XP watch for women as a medium of expression.
On the dial side, the bouquet of peonies stands out against the purple dial. The palette of colours of this miniature garden is as voluptuous as the flowers that the artisan has brought to life on the dial. A camaieu painting of pink hues, ranging from the palest to the darkest and even verging on purple, contrasts with the tender green of the leaves. The customary shading is replaced by light, since in order to render the depth of the petals, Chopard’s Mains d’art(artistic hands), did not shade the flowers, but instead highlighted their details thanks to skilfully hand-cut white mother-of-pearl appliques.
A mother-of-pearl made from the most beautiful shells as Chopard selects only the best quality mother-of-pearl. An 18-carat rose gold butterfly cannot resist the call and is about to land on the heart of a flower.
The movement side reveals the L.U.C Calibre 96.-23-L, entirely hand-engraved using the delicate art of Fleurisanne engraving. This decorative technique enjoyed its heyday in the 19th century, when artisans expressed their dedication to perfection by engraving movements with dainty scrolling patterns and floral motifs. The Maison Chopard consequently decided to restore the noble reputation of this patient and accurate art form.
Discovering the engraved movement of an 1870 carriage watch inspired Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufeleto revive a rare craft and convinced him to engrave some of the L.U.C. movements in the Fleurier style.
The artist first drew the motif freehand on the movement bridges, subsequently marking it with an engraving tip, before patiently removing the material surrounding it, making the peonies appear, like precious sculptures, in bas-relief. Their delicate petals seem ready to quiver at the slightest breath of wind. But the picture could not be complete without the profuse foliage that casually teases the beautiful symmetry of the flowers. The background is then finely chased, dot by dot, and the floral motifs are polished. This contrast between the matt material and the brilliant motifs brings the calibre to life and embellishes time. Once the engraving is finished, the movement is rhodium-plated, giving birth to a two-tone work imbued with distinctive elegance.
The diamonds set on the bezel and case middle set the crowning touch to this miniature work of art and highlight the work of each craftsman. This timepiece is an alliance of crafts, from the master watchmaker to gemsetters and jewellers, right the way through to the artist who engraves the movement, the painter who creates the miniatures by hand, and all the craftspeople who decorate and polish down to the smallest screw, the tiniest apparently insignificant detail. This exceptional watch is issued in an eight-piece limited edition and will be sold exclusively in Chopard boutiques.
The new L.U.C. XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony has taken this exceptional path, notably leading it to be powered bythe L.U.C Calibre 96-23-L equipped with patented Twin technology, meaning two stacked coaxial barrels delivering a 65-hour power reserve. Housing such a self-winding movement within an ultra-thin 7.50 mm case is a true feat. It was made possible by an ingenious construction with a micro-rotor that may be admired through the exhibition back of this fascinating timepiece issued in 18-carat rose gold.
Model: L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony
Ref. 131944-5004 –in 18-carat rose gold
Eight-piece limited edition – Boutiques exclusive
18-carat rose gold
Total diameter: 35 mm
Thickness: 7.70 mm
Water resistance: 30 metres
18-carat rose gold crown with L.U.C logo: 5.00 mm
Upper crystal with glare-proofing treatment
Bezel, flanks, lugs and case middle set with diamonds
Polished exhibition back with glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Mechanical self-winding movement L.U.C 96.23-L
Winding via in 22-carat gold
Number of components: 168
Total diameter: 27.40 mm
Thickness: 3.50 mm
Number of jewels: 29
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 65 hours
Two-tone movement in 18-carat rose gold – rhodium-plated after engraving
Hand-crafted Fleurisanne engraving – peony décor
Two barrels – Twin technology
Balance-spring with flat terminal curve
Hand-painted dial with peony décor
Peony made of white mother-of-pearl and butterfly engraved in 18-carat rose gold
Gilded Dauphine fusée-type hours and minutes hands
Central display of the hours and minutes
Strap in pink alligator leather
Polished pin buckle in diamond-set 18-carat rose gold