The Chopard L.U.C XP 35 mm Esprit de Fleurier Peony is a limited-edition watch for women, with a dial in Tahitian mother-of-pearl, and a movement decorated with Fleurisanne engraving. Inside, the L.U.C 96.23-L calibre is very slim, contributing to the watch’s graceful lines. It is a new version of the Esprit de Fleurier launched in 2015.
The flower on the dial is the peony, depicted in Tahitian mother-of-pearl, which is engraved to reveal the rose gold dial base, creating areas that are then set with diamonds. The motifs themselves are just outlines, a sort of deconstructed drawing. The movement, visible through the sapphire caseback, shows a smaller image of the same flower, created using an inverse process, the Fleurisanne engraving technique, in which the motifs are raised above the background. Working on the rose gold bridges, the engraver removes material around the raised areas, which are then polished, while the surrounding areas are stippled to create a grainy texture. It is a traditional technique, performed entirely by hand. After engraving, the bridges are rhodium-coated and the raised areas are polished again, to produce the final two-tone appearance.
Why the peony? It originated in central Asia and over the centuries came to symbolize good luck, abundance, happy marriages, wealth and honour. So I think that we could all venture a guess as to where these eight watches are going to be sold.
L.U.C 96.23-L movement
This is a beautiful movement, 3.3 mm thick and 27.4 mm in diameter, perfect for the 35mm case, just 7.5 mm thick. Its slimness is in part attained by means of the micro-rotor, set within the thickness of the bridges. It provides a dynamic element on the caseback, and, unlike a conventional oscillating weight, it doesn’t obscure the movement, providing the opportunity for complex embellishment as in this piece. The movement has two barrels, arranged in the brand’s patented Twin pattern, in which they are stacked and coaxial, but operate in series, one barrel coming into action after the other, for an extended 65 hours power reserve, and a good uniformity of power delivery.
The case is set with diamonds on the bezel, lugs and caseband, and it has a water resistance of 30 metres. It has a brushed pink canvas strap with a diamond-set rose gold pin buckle.
L.U.C XP 35 mm Esprit de Fleurier Peony – price
The Chopard L.U.C XP 35 mm Esprit de Fleurier Peony is reference 131944-5001, an 8-piece limited edition available exclusively in Chopard boutiques. Its price is €96,530, 98,000 Swiss francs, US$98,000.