Swiss watchmaker and jeweller Chopard won big at the recent Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, taking home the prestigious Aiguille d’Or Grand Prix for the L.U.C Full Strike watch and the Jewellery Watch Prize for its Lotus Blanc creation. The awards not only reaffirm the maison’s watchmaking and jewellery expertise but also honour the Scheufele family’s vision and passion for excellence. Chopard’s co-presidents, siblings Caroline and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, were at the event and shared the honours on stage.
Both of the winning timepieces are made from certified Fairmined ethical gold. Together with the UK-based consultancy Eco-Age, Chopard’s Journey to Sustainable Luxury programme began with a collaboration with influential South American mining non-governmental organisation, the Alliance for Responsible Mining. The maison went on to become the world’s first watch and luxury jewellery company to directly support mining communities in achieving Fairmined gold certification as well as provide training, social welfare and environmental support.
An aural treat
Just 20 years after its establishment, the Chopard Manufacture offers an outstanding interpretation of the minute repeater watch that is suited for daily wear. It only reveals the full extent of its refinement to an attentive and expert ear.
The L.U.C Full Strike — the maison’s first ever version of this outstanding, complex complication — strikes the hours, quarters and minutes on sapphire gongs. Its original construction, the excellence of its Poinçon de Genève-certified finish and, above all, its extraordinary sound quality make it a watch that is in a league of its own. Refined and pleasing to wear, it houses the best of the expertise, inventiveness and quality that characterises the L.U.C collection. The use of sapphire is an integral part of the watch, and this unique technical solution — visible at 10 o’clock — results in a tone of matchless purity that is rich and full, powerful and resonant.
Almost 17,000 hours have been spent on the development of the calibre 08.01-L, which has three pending patents. This movement comprises a series of security systems that protect it from the inappropriate handling that can damage minute repeaters. Its crown serves to wind the movement in one direction and its striking mechanism in the other. The L.U.C Full Strike thus accumulates enough energy to strike at 12:59 — the longest time in the minute repeater repertoire — 12 times. It is equipped with a double power-reserve indicator positioned at 2 o’clock and features two superimposed hands, respectively indicating the striking mechanism’s reserve and the movement’s autonomy.
The Full Strike features a vertical satin-brushed caseband that is in striking contrast to the polished bezel and caseback. All the inscriptions on the latter are hand-engraved and the case is made from 18-carat Fairmined rose gold. Measuring 42.5mm in diameter and 11.5mm thick, this reasonably sized case has beautifully balanced lines. The watch is completed with a double-sided, hand-sewn and plant-dyed CITES-certified alligator leather strap.
It was during a trip to Southeast Asia that Caroline was touched by the exquisite refinement of the white lotus. A sacred flower in Eastern religions, this aquatic plant often serves as a throne for divinities, for its dainty petals conceal a force that enables the lotus to be daily reborn, as immaculate and pure as on its first day. Its corolla closes every night, before blooming once again at sunrise. To express this perpetual renewal, Chopard has dreamt up a beautiful secret watch.
Set with 25.66 carats of white diamonds, the Lotus Blanc jewellery watch reflects the meticulous work of Chopard’s celebrated artisans. From designer to watchmaker and from jeweller to micro-gemsetter, the full range of prestigious high jewellery craftsmen combined their talents to give life to petals, sparkling as if sprinkled with dewdrops, that open up in a smooth, flowing movement. The supple bracelet — composed of slender rows of diamonds — evokes the rippling water on which the flower rests. The plant awakens and then relapses into slumber with infinite grace, surrounded by a luminous halo.