It has become an annual tradition for Chopard Manufacture to honour Mexican culture with a timepiece specially dedicated to the Day of the Dead festivities. This year, a one-of-a-kind L.U.C Full Strike minute repeater model appears adorned with Mexican motifs. The L.U.C Full Strike ‘Día de los Muertos’ is crafted in ethical 18-carat white gold, with an entirely hand-engraved case topped by a bezel set with baguette-cut sapphires and framing a dial with the iconic Calavera skull symbol. It is also equipped with L.U.C Calibre 08.01-L, through which Chopard Manufacture has been demonstrating its perfect mastery of the minute repeater mechanism since 2016. Its sapphire gongs produce a sound that is unique in the world, boasting a purity and clarity hailed in 2017 by the “Aiguille d’Or” best-in-show prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. The combination of this regal horological complication with such an advanced and original design is a first, embodying a degree of excellence rewarded by the extremely prestigious ‘Poinçon de Genève’ quality hallmark. The L.U.C Full Strike ‘Día de los Muertos’ thus reveals another facet of the L.U.C collection: a capacity for boldness, for springing surprises and for pushing Haute Horlogerie to new limits.
Chopard is once again dedicating a one-of-a-kind Haute Horlogerie timepiece to the major Mexican watchmaking exhibition, SIAR. Inspired by the ‘Día de los Muertos’ and its unique graphic imagination, Chopard Manufacture has merged the aesthetic theme of the Calavera with its minute repeater watch. The Day of the Dead is a popular, joyful celebration brimming with life and sound perfectly echoed in the L.U.C Full Strike model, as the music of this festival is matched by the melody of a minute repeater unique in its kind.
This execution, imbued with a wealth of symbolism and respect for tradition, brings an additional layer of inventiveness and exclusivity to the L.U.C Full Strike timepiece in an artful blend of form and substance. The all-Mexican personality of the L.U.C Full Strike ‘Día de los Muertos’ model is immediately visible on its exceptional dial, which ingeniously transforms the movement’s visible elements into graphic elements. The minute repeater hammers become an eye; the inertia regulator defining the cadence of the strike incorporates the Calavera’s moustache and adds to its asymmetry; and the concentric power-reserve indicator forms the second eye. The bezel set with baguette-cut sapphires surrounds this skull and crossbones with a blue halo, while the hand-engraved ethical 18-carat white gold case sets the finishing touch to this creation dedicated to the Day of the Dead which above all celebrates life, memory and eternity.
A resolutely artisanal approach
Chopard remains faithful to a design principle to be found on all its one-of-a-kind Grand Complication timepieces. The entire case, including its middle and lugs, are engraved in the workshops by the artistic hands of a specialised Artisan. The motifs are drawn from the iconography of the Calavera, stemming from the syncretism between ancestral Mexican traditions and Catholicism. Every square millimetre is crafted with burin and chisel, leaving an imprint composed of skulls, guitars, birds and skeletons. The exceptional care devoted to the finishing, combined with the precision and fine workmanship of the movement, have earned the L.U.C. Full Strike ‘Día de los Muertos’ due recognition through the extremely prestigious ‘Poinçon de Genève’ quality hallmark.
The dial is also the object of particular care. The outer area of its white gold base is adorned with a guilloché pattern, before being engraved using the champlevé technique in such a way that the outlines of the skull and crossbones, along with the moustache, nose, tattoos and the L.U.Chopard signature all appear in relief. The rest of the surface is then covered with blue lacquer, followed by the final touches involving mother-of-pearl plates placed on the dial to form a quirky gap-toothed smile set with seven diamonds.
A crystal-clear sound unique in the world
Equally sophisticated inside and out, the L.U.C Full Strike ’Día de los Muertos’ watch beats to the rhythm of the exceptional L.U.C Calibre 08.01-L developed by Chopard Manufacture in 2016. This mechanical minute repeater movement strikes the hours, quarters and minutes with crystal-clear notes. The glass protecting its dial, along with its gongs providing an audible indication of time, form a single whole. Machined in one piece from a block of sapphire, without any welding, screws or glue, it gives the L.U.C Full Strike watch a unique sound intensity. This as yet unmatched construction is the object of one of the many patents filed by Chopard during the 15,000 hours required to develop L.U.C Calibre 08.01-L: a feat acknowledged in 2017 by the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève which awarded the ”Aiguille d’Or” best-in-show prize to the rose gold L.U.C Full Strike watch.
A patented strikework-pusher disengagement system
Minute repeaters are naturally exposed to the risk of breakage when mishandled. In order to provide the owner of a L.U.C Full Strike timepiece with a perfect wearing experience, its movement has been the subject of numerous developments that secure its operation. Reactivating a striking mechanism (strikework) while a sequence is already in progress can lead to breakage of certain components. To counter this risk, L.U.C Calibre 08.01-L is equipped with a disengagement system for the crown-integrated strikework pusher. When the watch is striking, this pusher can be activated at will without affecting the movement, from which it is disconnected. Chopard has filed a patent for this ingenious feature.
Perfectly secured sound
When the minute repeater slide is not fully depressed, the striking sequence may be incomplete and the audible time indication inaccurate. For this reason, L.U.C Calibre 08.01-L is equipped with a separate barrel dedicated to the strikework. It stores enough energy for 12 complete soundings of the longest time, i.e. the 32 strokes heard at 12:59 pm (12 for the hours, two times three for the quarters, 14 times for the remaining minutes). The strikework will not be activated if the barrel has insufficient energy for the entire set of strikes required. Moreover, the constant intensity of each strike on the gongs is guaranteed by this separate barrel. Finally, in a supremely refined touch, the time units not struck are skipped. This means the L.U.C Full Strike timepiece does not make a silent pause between the hours and quarters, nor between the quarters and minutes. On the contrary, it sounds them smoothly in direct succession, whatever the time.
The strikework power reserve is indicated by the longer hand at 2 o’clock, appearing on the graduated counter topped by a bell. In the same space, on an adjacent scale, a slightly shorter hand indicates the movement’s power reserve, which is 60 hours.
The L.U.C collection: 25 years of horological excellence
In 1997, Chopard Manufacture launched the first watch to emerge from its watchmaking workshops: the L.U.C 1860, equipped with the L.U.C 96.01-L movement. Since then, through the L.U.C collection, it has acquired comprehensive mastery of all the major horological complications. Between Fleurier and Geneva, Chopard Manufacture devises, develops, produces, assembles, decorates and certifies all its timepieces. Thanks to Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s commitment to watchmaking traditions, the Manufacture maintains a high level of finishing by preserving numerous artistic crafts. Finally, it is rooted in a solid tradition of precision watchmaking, with all L.U.C. timepieces bearing a seconds indication earning chronometer certification.
L.U.C Full Strike ‘Día de los Muertos’ Technical Specifications
Ref. 171947-1003 – One-of-a-kind creation in ethical 18-carat white gold set with baguette-cut sapphires and blue alligator leather strap
- Minute repeater striking on monobloc sapphire crystal gongs (Chopard-patented system)
- Central display of the hours and minutes
- Concentric displays of the watch movement and strikework power reserves at 2 o’clock
- Mechanical hand-wound L.U.C 08.01-L
- Number of components: 533
- Total diameter: 37.20 mm
- Thickness: 7.97 mm
- Number of jewels: 63
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 60 hours
- Mainplate and bridges in non-treated nickel silver
- Bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève motif
- Minute repeater
- Patented monobloc sapphire gong
- Chopard-patented variable-inertia balance
- Clutch-lever device serving to block the strikework so as to avoid losing power reserve while information is being picked up
- Strikework activation device serving to press the pusher whether or not the mechanism is striking, and to do so in normal, slow, continuous or fast mode (patent pending)
- Balance-spring with Phillips terminal curve
- ‘Poinçon de Genève’ quality hallmark
- Ethical 18-carat white gold
- Total diameter: 42.50 mm
- Thickness: 11.55 mm
- Ethical 18-carat white gold crown with L.U.C logo: 8.80 mm
- Caseband hand-engraved with motifs inspired by the Day of the Dead
- Upper bezel set with baguette-cut sapphires, hand-engraved lower bezel
- Hand-engraved polished back
- Exhibition back fitted with glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Dial and hands:
- 18-carat white gold dial with skull motif created using the champlevé technique
- Motif filled with blue lacquer and surrounded by a guilloché contour
- Mother-of-pearl teeth set with seven brilliant-cut diamonds
- White gold-toned transfers
- Rhodium-plated Dauphine fusée-type hours and minutes hands
- Rhodium-plated baton-type hands for the movement power-reserve and strikework power-reserve indicator
- Railway-type minute track transferred beneath the sapphire crystal
Strap and clasp:
- Strap in blue hand-sewn alligator leather with brown alligator lining
- Ethical 18-carat white gold folding clasp hand-engraved engraved with a motif inspired by the Day of the Dead universe.