L.U.C Tourbillon Esprit de Fleurier Tribute to a proud local tradition

by 01 December 2010

In homage to an artistic craft for which the village of Fleurier achieved fame from the 18th century onwards, Chopard is marking its 150th anniversary by presenting the L.U.C Tourbillon Esprit de Fleurier, a white gold timepiece issued in a 15-piece limited edition. Housing L.U.C Calibre 4TT3NGM, a movement chronometer-certified by the COSC, this watch gives pride of place to fleurisanne (Fleurier-style) engraving, a traditional and now virtually extinct form of local expertise.

Created to celebrate Chopard’s 150th anniversary, the L.U.C Tourbillon Esprit de Fleurier is both a concentrated blend of technical expertise and a demonstration of a craft that has disappeared overtime. Beneath the generous satin-brushed dial, its broad opening beats the remarkable L.U.C Calibre 4TT3NGM, a mechanical hand-wound movement chronometer-certified by the COSC. The L.U.C Tourbillon Esprit de Fleurier model is endowed with an over 8-day power reserve thanks to its four barrels. In addition to the tourbillon, it indicates the hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock and the power reserve at 2 o’clock. The rectangular shape of the tourbillon bridge, which is echoed on the crown, is a symbolic reminder of the historical sign on the workshop of Louis-Ulysse Chopard. This calibre is also distinguished by its mainplate and bridges crafted in 18-carat gold, further enhanced by the entirely hand-crafted fleurisanne engraving that makes each of these models truly one of a kind.

A speciality of the village of Fleurier that has been home to Chopard Manufacture since 1996, fleurisanne engraving is an almost extinct craft that earned local watches considerable fame since the 18th century and spread the appeal of their timepieces as far afield as China. This distinctive expertise is distinguished by its raised motifs: the engraver does not sculpt and engrave the motif he wishes to highlight, but instead “spares it” by removing the material surrounding it. Fleurisanne engraving thus exquisitely highlights motifs by making them literally stand out. This extremely difficult craft calls for a great deal of time as well as absolute mastery. As part of its determination to revive historical watchmaking skills Chopard has trained expert in-house artists to perpetuate this style of engraving, which contributed over two centuries ago to spreading the reputation of Fleurier far and wide.

The L.U.C Tourbillon Esprit de Fleurier comes in an 18-carat white gold case measuring 40.5 mm in diameter and water-resistant to 30 metres. It is issued in a limited edition of 15 watches.

Chopard boutiques worldwide