The new L.U.C XPS 35mm Esprit de Fleurier model, set with diamonds and intended for women, shines as much by its elegance as by the beauty of its Chopard Manufacture movement.
Viewed from the front, 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 is teamed with a matching blue alligator leather strap. An exhibition case-back reveals the beauty and delicacy of the manufacture movement entirely decorated with fleurisanne engravings.
A speciality of the village of Fleurier that has been home to Chopard Manufacture since 1996, fleurisanne engraving is a now almost extinct art. This highly distinctive technique is notably 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 extremely demanding skill requires the artisan to devote considerable time to this process and to display absolute technical mastery.
Eager to revive and ensure the future of this ancient craft, Chopard has trained expert hands in-house in order to perpetuate this traditional form of engraving.
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.
The L.U.C XPS 35 mm models are certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), a guarantee of precision greatly prized by Chopard and which adds to the many other intrinsic qualities of these exceptional timepieces.
Click on the image at the top of the article to see a slideshow of the L.U.C XPS 35mm Esprit de Fleurier.