Swiss jewelry brand Chopard has dedicated an exclusive series of timepieces to the Chinese Year of the Monkey. Baroque Lifestyle has all the details
Beginning on the Chinese New Year on February 2016, it will be the Year of the Monkey, and to celebrate this, Chopard has had a magnificent series of its L.U.C XP timepieces designed. The magnificent watch dials have been hand-crafted in Japan in a limited edition series by a master lacquer artist. The picture features a popular scene that is believed to bring good luck. Drawn from Chinese iconography, it features a monkey in a red coat perched on a branch laden with fruit. It is gathering the eight peaches as the sun sets. Behind the monkey, the scene of valleys is painted in soft tones to match the magnificent rose gold of the watch case.
In Chinese tradition, most specifically the Chinese zodiac calendar, the monkey depicts good luck. People who are born in the year of the Monkey are considered to be intelligent, curious and drawn to knowledge. They are creative but also inventive and cultivated. The symbolism of the monkey gathering the eight peaches is of longevity and good fortune, as peaches symbolize good health, and eight is a lucky number.
The traditional Japanese artwork known as Urushi is created using a special Urushi lacquer that comes from the sap of the “lacquer” or “Japanese varnish” tree. The lacquer is skillfully harvested, aged and treated to become transparent. It is applied in a series of extremely fine layers. The Urushi master uses this fine lacquer to imprison gold dust motifs created using the extraordinarily meticulous Maki-e technique. Each of these delicate gestures is performed exclusively by experienced masters of this exceptional skill.
To create the watch’s precious dial, Chopard worked with the company Yamada Heiando, official purveyor to the Japanese imperial family. Master Kilchiro Masumura has been ranked as a “living human treasure” in Japan and acknowledged as the finest exponent of his art. He has designed and supervised the creation of all the watch dials, which were executed by Master Minori Koizumi, an Urushi master chosen by Chopard for his extreme artistic mastery.
This magnificent timepiece beats with an ultra-thin self-winding movement that is a mere 3.3mm thick and boasts a 22-carat gold micro-motor. It is fitted with a black alligator leather strap and is presented in a special box that has been handcrafted like the watch, using Urushi. The box is black with gold Maki-e inside, and it’s octagonal in shape, which symbolizes gaiety.
The prestigious Chopard brand was founded by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in 1860, and has grown to become one of the world’s most famous luxury brands. The company remains a family business. Each step involved in making these magnificent L.U.C watches was performed in-house at the group’s Meyrin and Fleurier production sites.