CHOPARD once again honours Asian traditions, as the ancestral Japanese art of Urushi is enlisted in creating an L.U.C XP inspired by the “Year of the Goat” theme. The most artistic of the Chinese zodiac signs provides an ideal subject for a refined dial, the face of a watch driven by an ultra-thin L.U.C movement. The quintessence of Urushi, the ancestral Japanese lacquerwork, combines with the ultimate degree of Swiss horological refinement on giving rise to the new L.U.C XP Urushi “Year of the Goat”. Chopard has now established a tradition of celebrating each new cycle of the Chinese calender begins on February 19th 2015 and will end on February 7th 2016. The dial of this new Zodiac watch is entirely crafted by hand. It places Asia in the limelight by using the traditional Japanese lacquer technique, Urushi. The scene depicts a serene goat, viewed from the side. Portrayed on a bed of flowers beneath colourful stylised clouds, it inspires a sense of merriment and tranquillity. As traditionally represented in the Chinese zodiac, the goat is a peaceful creature, even if it cannot bear injustice, which it is always keen to oppose. Endowed with a creative rather than a belligerent personality, it draws upon art to assert its point of view. Easy-going and generous by nature, it is the bearer of soothing virtues and heralds a sense of harmony associated with values relating to the land and to family. It is the sap of the Urushi tree, known as the “lacquer” or “Japanese varnish” tree and found in Japan and China, that secretes the varnish which gave rise to this ancestral form of lacquerwork. Its resin is harvested once a year in extremely small quantities. Only after three to five years and a specific treatment will this resin become a highly resistant lacquer with a honey-like consistency. Maki-e, a technique stemming from the art of Urushi, consists of sprinkling the lacquer with gold dust in order to create or accentuate a motif. The precious dust, applied using bamboo tubes or tiny natural bristle brushes, traces exquisitely fine lines. This art requires a skill and a degree of meticulous care acquired only by a handful of Urushi Masters after years of assiduous practice.