Chopard @ 2014 “Year of the Horse” Special Edition

Chopard honors traditional forms of craftsmanship by associating the charms of Urushi, an ancestral decorative technique, with the understated lines of its L.U.C XP: an extremely refined ultra-thin timepiece equipped with a mechanical self-winding movement, L.U.C Calibre 96.17-L. The quintessence of the ancestral Japanese art of Urushi, combined with the ultimate degree of Swiss horological refinement: such in a nutshell is the nature of the new L.U.C XP 2014 “Year of the Horse” special edition. Its entirely hand-painted dial honours Asia by celebrating the year of the horse in the Chinese calendar using Japanese-inspired traditional artistic techniques. It depicts a noble prancing horse, adorned with lotus flowers, a plant symbolizing personal fulfillment due to its ability to rise unsullied from the muddy waters where it is rooted, in order to blossom in the light. The horse, the seventh sign of the Chinese calendar composed of 12 animals, loves to travel towards new horizons. It is a free-spirited creature endowed with a nomadic spirit. Ancestral wisdom credits it with a strong attachment to defending family values and the cause of the weak. Tradition thus holds that people born in the year of the horse are generally characterised by their devotion, their energy and their creativity. Urushi is a long-established lacquering art. The varnish is derived from the sap of the Urushi tree, also called the “lacquer tree” or “Japanese varnish tree”, mainly found in Japan and China. Somewhat like rubber from the hevea brasiliensis tree, the resin can only be harvested once a year, and in very small quantities. Three to five years after it is collected, the resin is treated to transform it into an extremely resistant, honey-textured lacquer. It is applied in very thin successive layers, traditionally on everyday objects such as bowls or boxes. Maki-e, a technique derived from the art of Urushi, consists of sprinkling the lacquered coating with metal powder – in this case gold – in order to accentuate its outlines. The gold dust is applied using bamboo tubes and small natural-hair brushes in order to trace extremely fine lines. This art requires a degree of skill and meticulous care such as only a few experienced Urushi specialists still master. 

No comments:

Post a Comment