Chopard launches L.U.C XPS 35mm Esprit de Fleurier
June 26, 2015: Admired for its understated elegance and technical sophistication, the ultra-thin L.U.C XPS model by Chopard has become a classic. This year, Chopard’s L.U.C XPS 35mm Esprit de Fleurier addresses women with a subtle mother-of-pearl blue dial, while its Manufacture-made movement is adorned with fleurisanne engraving, an almost extinct artistic craft.
The diamond-set 18-carat white gold bezel delicately frames a mottled blue mother-of-pearl dial bearing hour-markers graced with brilliant-cut diamonds. This model has a matching blue alligator leather strap. The case-back reveals the beauty and delicacy of the Manufacture movement entirely decorated with fleurisanne engravings.
A speciality of the village of Fleurier, home to Chopard Manufacture since 1996, fleurisanne engraving is a now almost extinct art that enhanced the reputation of local 19th century watchmakers and their timepieces, spreading word as far as China. This highly distinctive technique is distinguished by its motifs carved in high relief. The engraver cuts away the surrounding metal to leave the pattern he wishes to make stand out. The raised surface is then engraved with a scrolling pattern known as ‘volutes’ or with flowers, and polished to achieve a shiny effect. The background is hammer-stippled to give it a grainy effect. This demanding skill requires the artisan to devote considerable time to this process. Eager to revive and ensure the future of this ancient craft, Chopard has trained experts in-house to perpetuate this traditional form of engraving that played such a key role in making the village of Fleurier known far and wide.
Housing a twin-barrel self-winding movement with a 65-hour power reserve inside an ultra-thin 7.10 mm case is no mean feat. The master-watchmakers of Chopard Manufacture have accomplished this by means of a clever micro-rotor construction that highlights the beauty of L.U.C Calibre 96.23-L which may be admired through the exhibition case-back.