It doesn’t matter whether you consider it pandering to a market or a respectful interpretation of cultural heritage, any watch that can eloquently express the intricacies of the Chinese Zodiac is impressive. It’s a difficult element to work with, from both design and technical perspectives. When your canvas is a Chopard LUC however, things get a little easier.
The haute horology branch of Chopard have created some spectacular pieces over the years and that expertise shows in the LUC Perpetual T Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac Unique Piece.
It’s almost as much a mouthful to say as it is an eyeful to see. With its Greco-Roman touches on the bezel and black and gold colourway you could be forgiven for seeing a good deal of Versace in the piece. Fortunately, that’s about as far as that horological comparison goes.
The ‘base’ watch if you could call it that is a stunning perpetual calendar showing days and months and date on the dial amid a dial like a dark hedge maze.
Because now unique piece is complete without a tourbillon, that’s also present at six o’clock. Despite all those power-draining complications though, there’s a week-long power reserve thanks to the LUC’s Quattro system which is nothing short of miraculous.
So far so technically impressive. But what sets this above the other perpetual calendars out there? Well, turn the watch on its side and you’ll see. All 12 Zodiac signs have been painstakingly engraved around the edges of the watch, with hollows carved and then filled in with black lacquer for a magnificent contrast. It’s the same technique that gives the bezel its Versace makeover and is just something else.
It doesn’t matter why this watch was made or who for, but there’s no denying that between Chopard’s signature LUC watchmaking and the flawless – not to mention rare – craftsmanship, the Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac really is a unique piece.
- Unique horological tribute to the Chinese Zodiac
- 43mm rose gold case with champlevé engraving depicting the animals of the Chinese Zodiac
- Hand-wound calibre U.C 02.15-L movement equipped with perpetual calendar, tourbillon and a one-week power reserve
- US$ 264,380 (roughly £199,000)