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Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Watches to Highlight Beauty of Maki-e Art

You probably still remember that by some brilliant creations Vacheron Constantin deeply impressed us last year. Vacheron Constantin presented the Metiers d’Art collection called La Symbolique des Laques to highlight the Maki-e art. And it seems that Chopard also shows their great interest in this ancient art form and the company unveils its L.U.C. XP Urushi, housed in their ultra-thin L.U.C XP case. The making of the dials of these timepieces were all under the supervision of Kiichiro Masumura, the artist regarded as a living national treasure in Japan.


These new watches all show superb craftsmanship. It’s never an easy job to create things as exquisite as these. Urushi, a form of lacquering, is a very intensive practice asking for lots of skills and patience. If you see the watches in person you also probably will be truly stunned. Its valuable point also lies in the rarity of some materials. The varnish is provided by the sap of Urushi tree primarily growing in Japan and China and can only be harvested once a year in very small quantities. Yet once harvested, the resin must sit three to five years and then is made to be resistant, honey-composite lacquer. And it takes a pretty long time for marinating.
Maki-e, meaning sprinkled picture, consists of painting with Urushi and sprinkling it with metal powders to create a picture. This technique, developed in the Heian Period (794 -1185), was initially applied to screens, albums, inrō, letterboxes, and ink-slab cases as decorations, yet lately also to adorning things like netsuke, tea sets and fountain pens.
On these new Chopard works you are also to find the five basic elements of the universe in the ancient philosophy of Chinese natural science, and one portrays the universe itself (Believe me; there are indeed lots of very interesting stuff in the ancient Chinese culture). There were the five legendary creatures – the dragon with a blue horn, the phoenix, the qilin in the moonlight, the crouching tiger and the genbu (a blend of snake and tortoise) -- who evoke the wood, fire, earth, metal and water.
Measuring a 6.8mm thin and crafted in 18k rose gold (or white gold for the Universe dial version), the Chopard L.U.C. XP, looks super elegant. This 39.5mm case is comes with a gorgeous alligator leather strap. Inside beats the L.U.C. 96HM movement as its heart, with two barrels and a power reserve of 65 hours.
Unlike the Vacheron Constantin, Chopard allows people to buy the models, coming in 9 different scenes, individually. But of course they are never easy to get. They are in limited edition; since it really takes time to craft a dial.
Chopard does keep presenting stuff to die for. But if you no longer want to hear the sound of your breaking heart when seeing the price tags, you can also join the smart shoppers and go for top quality replica Chopard watches, which even can also be pieces of artwork!
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