If there were ever a timepiece that obligated hours upon hours of scrupulous handcrafted details, it would be the Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi bearing the honoured Monkey zodiac. Recognising this Chinese iconography that harkens back over a thousand years, it is only fitting for an equally ancestral craft to fabricate an interpretation of this long-lived symbol.
This is where the Japanese Urushi technique steps in to skillfully etch the magnificent watch face. Depicting a red-coated monkey perched atop a fruit-laden branch against the backdrop of a glimmering golden valley, Urushi masters Kiichiro Masumura and Minori Koizumi are specially commissioned by Chopard for this singular task. The masters hail from the Yamada Heiando firm — accredited to serve the Japanese imperial family — and are praised for their exacting artistry.
Wielding the meticulous Maki-e technique that seals gold dust into motifs, master Koizumi marks the dial with delicate strokes using Urushi lacquer harvested from the Japanese varnish tree. The lacquer, aged and cured, is applied in a succession of fine layers to highlight the exquisite minutiae of the dial, evidence of the outstanding craftsmanship and devoted skill that goes into every facet of the watch.
This Japanese artisanal splendour is then paired with superior Swiss watchmaking technology in the form of the Chopard L.U.C calibre 96.17-L, an haute horlogerie marvel measuring in at only a slim 3.30mm width. Completely manufactured in-house, the mechanism boasts a self-winding 22-carat gold micro-rotor and is equipped with a patented two-barrelled Twin technology for a record 65-hour power reserve.
A meeting of the utmost criterions in technical and aesthetic qualities, this limited edition Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi is an emblematic representation of the Chinese Monkey Zodiac even the most thorough of traditional puritans will attest to.
The L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Monkey is available at Chopard boutiques.