Chopard L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony
2017 GPHG Artistic Crafts Category Finalist
Chopard awaken time honoured traditional mastery of Fleurisanne engraving, with intricate floral detailing in relief sculpted pink gold.
Perpetuating skills which have dwindled almost to becoming footnotes in history, Chopard, and its Haute Horlogerie L.U.C atelier have used artisan craftsmanship to create a display of exquisite freehand engraving in the XP Espirit de Fleurier Peony, a slender, feminine piece which also features a very fine in house self winding movement.
Immaculately appointed within a diamond adorned pink gold case of 35mm, the dial is white gold which has been finely tapped by hand, to create a mottled greyish surface, and a background contrast which accentuates the Fleurisanne engraving of the gilded gold vines and peony flowers with diamonds at their centres. Each dial is the work of one artisan, and requires almost two months to create, and like the other five preselected finalists in the GPHG 2017 Artistic Crafts category, it's a piece in which no effort has been spared.
Inside, the L.U.C 96.23-L self winding movement is equally outstanding, its finishing continuing the dial's theme, and every bit as meticulously too, and its plates with curving polished anglage revealing the balance and the twin stacked barrels, while the countersunk micro rotor spins flush with the plates. At only 3.3mm thick it means the Chopard L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony is a very thin 7.7mm.
Each one of the finalist watches have very unique and very different characteristics, and I must admit that of the last three editions of the Artistic Crafts category I'm not sure I would have predicted any of the winners, so my strike rate is not great. Having said that, and while the XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony is exceptional in every way, I think that the winner will not be this.
The Watch Press prediction
No. To my mind the Vacheron Constantin and Voutilainen are on another level, but even for them there's a strange and unfamiliar Joker waiting to crash the party.
CASE: Pink gold
BUCKLE: Pin buckle
MOVEMENT: Self winding mechanical. Power reserve: 60 h, 28'800 vph
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes
SIZE: ø 35 mm
THICKNESS: 7.7 mm
WATERPROOFNESS: 30 m
PRICE EXCL.VAT: CHF 130'000