Continuing in the tradition of releasing a new L.U.C Urushi dial for each new year of the Chinese zodiac, Chopard releases this next iteration to celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit.
Press release information with commentary in italics.
New: Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit
The new Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit is set at a retail of SGD 38,700 inclusive of GST at 8% from 1 Jan 2023. Limited Edition of 88 pieces.
Celebrating the Chinese New Year with a new zodiac themed watch in urushi with a L.U.C movement has become the tradition with Chopard. We have covered the following in recent times:
- Year of the Monkey in 2015
- Comprehensive review of the Year of the Rat in 2020
- Comprehensive review of the Year of the Ox in 2021
- Comprehensive review of the Year of the Tiger 2022
This year’s release for the Year of the Rabbit is in the same vein. The masterful application of urushi by a Japanese master artisan with urushi lacquer, gold powder, mother-of-pearl inlays remains as exquisite as in the earlier editions. The style and motif used is similar to the earlier editions, and would seem to us to be quite suitable, for those so inclined, for a collector to collect the entire series. This will make a nice set of 12 watches to represent a full cycle.
The movement remains the same beautifully crafted L.U.C 96.17-L used in earlier editions.
A work of gold and lacquer, mechanics and craftsmanship, the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit timepiece celebrates the advent of the year of the water rabbit through an original 88-piece series inspired by the Chinese zodiac calendar. The 39.5 mm-diameter case in ethical 18-carat rose gold frames a dial portraying the rabbit – a cautious and alert animal – and its relationship with the moon. Its dial graced with Urushi lacquer, gold powder and mother-of-pearl inlays is made by a Japanese artisan drawing on centuries of expertise. It brings a sense of both symbolism and prosperity to this coveted edition. Finally, its L.U.C 96.17-L in-house movement endowed with a 65-hour power reserve testifies to the watchmaking expertise of Chopard Manufacture’s skilled artisans.
The Chinese year that will begin on January 21st 2023 is that of the Water Rabbit. In keeping with a longstanding tradition, Chopard annually produces a series dedicated to the Chinese zodiac sign of the current year. The unchanging characteristics of this creation – that is always eagerly awaited by collectors – includes a limited 88-piece production run; an extremely slender L.U.C XP case in ethical rose gold and an ultra-thin L.U.C Calibre 96.17-L with automatic winding via a micro-rotor. Finally, the dial is crafted each year in Japan by a world-renowned artisan specialising in the Maki-e technique. The variations of each edition stem from the interpretation and symbolism attached to the zodiac sign that Chopard portrays on this dial from year to year.
A symbolic and artistic narrative
As the Chinese New Year approaches, Chopard is proposing a theme subtly linked to the zodiac symbolism of the rabbit. In the foundational legends of the zhānxīngshù system, the rabbit inhabits a jade moon to which it keeps company. It represents prudence and agility. In combination with the element (water) that characterises the year of the water rabbit, it heralds longevity, peace and prosperity.
The Japanese master lacquerers called upon by Chopard have accordingly created a dial on which two rabbits – one grey and the other red – frolic under a full moon in a landscape dotted with Chinese olive trees – a fragrant Asian native shrub symbolising success and achievement, qualities often associated with the rabbit. The scene unites the animal’s essential symbolic elements while suggesting its energy, intelligence and alertness. Finally, the pair’s sharp eyes and pricked ears remind us that the rabbit is always on the alert.
A meticulous approach to craftsmanship
Faithful to tradition and the preservation of craftsmanship, Chopard works with the finest Japanese artisans specialised in the traditional Maki-e lacquering technique. The 88 iterations intended for the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit are produced by the workshops of the century-old company Yamada Heiando and crafted by master artist Minori Koizumi, a meticulous task requiring no less than 160 hours of work.
In accordance with this refined ancestral technique, gold flakes – placed between layers of lacquer made from the sap of the Toxicodendron vernicifluum tree – light up the background. The artisan’s attention was focused on each detail of the little scene so as to reveal its realism and lyrical beauty.
The case of the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit timepiece is entirely sculpted from a block of 18-carat rose gold, sourced from an ethical supply chain pioneered by Chopard. It measures 39.5 mm in diameter and its slim bezel ensures a broad dial opening. In addition to its graceful design and refined ornamental execution, the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit is also an ultra-thin timepiece that is a mere 6.80 mm thick.
This thinness is made possible by the use of the 3.30 mm-thick in-house L.U.C 96.17-L self-winding movement equipped with an off-centred 22-carat gold micro-rotor incorporated into the overall thickness of the calibre. Its strong inertia ensures efficient winding of the two barrels, which are stacked according to Chopard Twin technology and store the energy required for the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit to offer a total 65-hour power reserve. Once off the wrist, it will remain on time and accurate for more than two and a half days, neatly corresponding to a long weekend.
Twenty-five years of watchmaking craftsmanship
The L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit is part of a continuing story that began when, under Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s leadership, Chopard established the L.U.C collection, devoted to the art and traditions of fine watchmaking. The first watch in the line, the L.U.C 1860, was introduced in 1997. The collection has expanded over the years, consistently offering exquisite, often highly original complications in watches devised, developed, produced, assembled, decorated and certified according to the finest traditions of Swiss watchmaking in Chopard’s Fleurier and Geneva watchmaking workshops. The audacious L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit marks the next chapter in this enchanting tale, simultaneously demonstrating Chopard’s undimmed capacity for reinvention and surprise. This 88-piece timepiece is a rare and playful interpretation of Chopard’s watchmaking and design codes that is ideal for collectors.
L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rabbit Technical details
88-piece limited edition in ethical 18-carat rose gold
Ethical 18-carat rose gold
Total diameter 39.50 mm
Thickness 6.80 mm
Water resistance 30 metres
Crown in ethical 18-carat rose gold with L.U.C logo 4.00 mm
Vertical satin-brushed sides and inter-horn space
Polished bezel and case-back
Glareproofed sapphire crystal
Mechanical self-winding L.U.C 96.17-L
Winding via a gold micro-rotor in ethical 22-carat gold
Total diameter 27.40 mm
Thickness 3.30 mm
Number of jewels 29
Frequency 28,800 vph(4 Hz)
Power reserve 65 hours
Two barrels stacked according to Chopard Twin technology
Bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève motif
Dial and hands:
Dial hand-crafted in Japan using the Urushi lacquer technique with a special Year of the Rabbit scene
Gilded Dauphine-type hours and minutes hands
Functions and displays:
Central display of the hours and minutes
Strap and buckle:
Hand-sewn black alligator leather strap with nubuck lining
Pin buckle in polished ethical 18-carat rose gold
Ref. 161902-5077 – 88-piece limited edition in ethical 18-carat rose gold with special Year of the Rabbit dial.