2014  “Year of the Horse” special edition
A compendium of traditional skills

Chopard honors traditional forms of craftsmanship by associating the charms of Urushi, an ancestral decorative technique, with the understated lines of its L.U.C XP: an extremely refined ultra-thin timepiece equipped with a mechanical self-winding movement, L.U.C Calibre 96.17-L.

The quintessence of the ancestral Japanese art of Urushi, combined with the ultimate degree of Swiss horological refinement: such in a nutshell is the nature of the new L.U.C XP 2014 “Year of the Horse” special edition. Its entirely hand-painted dial honours Asia by celebrating the year of the horse in the Chinese calendar using Japanese-inspired traditional artistic techniques. It depicts a noble prancing horse, adorned with lotus flowers – a plant symbolising personal fulfilment due to its ability to rise unsullied from the muddy waters where it is rooted, in order to blossom in the light. The horse, the seventh sign of the Chinese calendar composed of 12 animals, loves to travel towards new horizons. It is a free-spirited creature endowed with a nomadic spirit. Ancestral wisdom credits it with a strong attachment to defending family values and the cause of the weak. Tradition thus holds that people born in the year of the horse are generally characterised by their devotion, their energy and their creativity.  

Urushi – a time-honoured Japanese pictorial art
Urushi is a long-established lacquering art. The varnish is derived from the sap of the Urushi tree, also called the “lacquer tree” or “Japanese varnish tree”, mainly found in Japan and China. Somewhat like rubber from the hevea brasiliensis tree, the resin can only be harvested once a year, and in very small quantities. Three to five years after it is collected, the resin is treated to transform it into an extremely resistant, honey-textured lacquer. It is applied in very thin successive layers, traditionally on everyday objects such as bowls or boxes.

Maki-e, a technique derived from the art of Urushi, consists of sprinkling the lacquered coating with metal powder – in this case gold – in order to accentuate its outlines. The gold dust is applied using bamboo tubes and small natural-hair brushes in order to trace extremely fine lines. This art requires a degree of skill and meticulous care such as only a few experienced Urushi specialists still master.

L.U.C, exceptional watchmaking expertise
Such exquisite works of art could not have been better showcased than by the refinement of the L.U.C XP. A supremely elegant ultra-thin timepiece measuring 39.5 mm in diameter and 6.8 mm thick, it is the symbol of Chopard’s horological mastery. Developing and producing a mechanical self-winding movement equipped with two barrels ensuring a 65-hour power reserve that can fit into such a slender case is an impressive achievement indeed.

The watchmakers of Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier have accomplished this feat thanks to the clever construction of the off-centred micro-rotor. Entirely hand decorated by the House artisans in accordance with the principles of traditional fine watchmaking, L.U.C Calibre 96.17-L may be admired through the exhibition back of the 18-carat rose gold case. Fitted with a black alligator leather strap, the L.U.C XP Urushi 2014 “Year of the Horse” special edition is delivered in a dedicated presentation box, also decorated using Urushi techniques. Black on the outside and Maki-e gold on the inside, it is shaped like an octagon – the oriental symbol of gaiety – complete with a silk fastening cord.

Watchmaking at Chopard
Chopard is a family-owned brand with a strongly independent corporate philosophy. The various stages in the making of L.U.C watches are all conducted in-house at the group’s Meyrin and Fleurier production sites. Movement development; finished product design; gold casting; case stamping and machining; traditional hand-crafted decoration; surface treatments; polishing; assembly; adjustment and quality control: each L.U.C watch undergoes this full range of watch production stages, all entirely mastered by Chopard.
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Ref. : 161902-5052 – in 18-carat rose gold with a special “Year of the Horse” dial


  • 18-carat rose gold
  • Total diameter: 39.50 mm
  • Thickness: 6.80 mm
  • Water resistance: 30 metres
  • 18-carat rose gold crown with L.U.C logo: 4.00 mm
  • Glareproofed sapphire crystal


  • Mechanical self-winding: L.U.C 96.17-L
  • Diameter: 27.40 mm
  • Thickness: 3.30 mm
  • Number of jewels: 29
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4Hz)
  • Power reserve: 65 hours
  • Twin® Technology (two stacked barrels)
  • Bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève

Dial and hands:

  • Dial adorned with a horse motif using the Urushi technique
  • Gilt dauphine-type hour and minute hands

Functions and displays:

  • Central display of the hours and minutes

Strap and buckle:

  • Hand-sewn black alligator leather strap
  • 18-carat rose gold pin buckle