For a few years now, blue has been one of the trend colours in watches, and the women’s watch L.U.C XPS 35mm Esprit de Fleurier by Chopard is a good example. The XPS has long been a classic men’s dress watch, and the XPS 35 mm was introduced in 2014. This year’s new version, a 25-piece boutique edition, has a light ultramarine blue mother-of-pearl dial, with a diamond-set bezel, and an alligator strap in matching hue. At 7.1 mm thickness it is prodigiously slim. It also has the merit of housing a mechanical movement, the L.U.C Calibre 96.23-L with a micro-rotor and twin barrels providing a 65-hour power reserve; precision is documented by COSC chronometer certification. The white gold case has a water resistance of 30 metres. The display consists of just the hour and minute hands, with seconds on a subdial nicely differentiated with guilloché finish.
The transparent caseback reveals the bridges that feature hand-engraved work, a technique called fleurisanne, named after the village of Fleurier where Chopard have one of their manufactures. The engraver creates a relief pattern of scrolls or flowers, which are polished, while the background is hammer-stippled. Viktor Schumacher of Ornatus watches uses a similar engraving technique, with different patterns, to craft the dials of his men’s watches.
Reference and price:
The Chopard L.U.C XPS 35mm Esprit de Fleurier, reference 131968-1002, is a 25-piece limited edition available only in Chopard boutiques. Price 45,000 Swiss francs / £32,670 / €44,330
Below, the L.U.C Calibre 96.23-L movement, 27.4 mm in diameter, 3.3 mm thick, automatic, 65 hours power reserve, running at 28,800 vph:
Below, fleurisanne engraving: