n the occasion of the TimeForArt auction, Chopard Manufacture presents an exclusive edition of its exceptional jumping-hour timepiece: the L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 TimeForArt Edition is a one-of-a-kind creation featuring pure lines and a dial with a hand-engraved stylised skull motif inspired by the ‘vanitas’ theme.
Housed in a 40-millimetre case crafted from ethical 18-carat rose gold, its innovative and sophisticated L.U.C 98.06-L movement is equipped with four barrels based on the exclusive Chopard Quattro technology enabling up to eight days of power reserve – making the Chopard Manufacture jumping-hour watch one of the rare models in this category endowed with such a degree of autonomy. From the movement to the dial on which the hours aperture appears at 6 o’clock, the entire watchmaking creation is produced in-house in keeping with the tradition of artistic crafts, thus ensuring a high level of finishing duly rewarded by the prestigious Poinçon de Genève.
In 2021, Chopard Manufacture introduced its first-ever jumping-hour watch: the L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25. Much prized by collectors, this horological complication is now given an extremely pure interpretation combining boldness and technical brilliance in a new one-of-a-kind model dedicated to TimeForArt. Offering a blend of tradition and modernity, its ethical 18-carat rose gold case features rounded shapes inspired by the hunter-type cases of the pocket watches once designed by Louis-Ulysse Chopard.
The L.U.C 98.06-L movement equipping this timepiece is one of the few in this category of watches – which generally consume a great deal of energy – to offer up to eight days of power reserve. Thanks to the four stacked and series-coupled barrels based on the exclusive Chopard Quattro technology – which usually allows up to 216 hours of autonomy – the L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 TimeForArt Edition maintains a reserve above 190 hours despite the amount of energy required for the rotation of the hours disc.
Visible through an exhibition case-back, this mechanical hand-wound movement measuring just 4.85 mm thick features considerable complexity guaranteeing both reliability and accuracy. The balance-spring is equipped with a Phillips terminal curve that precisely controls the oscillations of the regulating organ – a feat of which only authentic Fine Watchmaking manufactures are capable. The movement is also fitted with a swan’s neck regulator enabling finer adjustment of the watch.
Inspired by the Mexican ‘Dìa de los Muertos’ mysterious calavera, the eye-catching visage of this L.U.C’s dial is a universal theme also used in the ‘vanitas’ paintings, and a constant reminder of the inevitable passing of time, designed to remind the viewer of the shortness and fragility of life. A theme Chopard is familiar with, having already daringly reinterpreted it in certain watch special editions.
Equally noble both inside and out, the L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 TimeForArt Edition displays the time on an entirely hand-engraved dial. The white gold background of the dial is first adorned with a radiating pattern, by which the engraver traces a few reference lines with a scriber before engraving the rays with a chisel. These regular concentric lines evoke sunbeams lighting the path of the dead to facilitate their return to Earth. With the help of a scorper, the master artisan engraver then sketches the skull motif, so as to add depth to the single millimetre-thick dial. The elements and details thus drawn are then modelled using a burnisher that crushes and pushes back the material, along with scorpers and gouges.
The calavera is then satin-brushed with fibreglass, while the other dial decorations are hand-polished using boxwood sticks coated with polishing paste. The petals of the flowers surrounding the orbits are given a shiny exterior using diamond pate, while their interior is endowed with a matt effect to recreate the depth of the cavity.
Finally, the engraver coats the dial surface with a thin layer of silver, which is oxidised with ether to blacken the hollows and accentuate the patterns. When the artisan applies the ether with a brush, the liquid spreads over the surface and the raised surfaces are then retouched to ensure that only the hollows are blackened by oxidation. The richly detailed dial thus comes to life under the humble and sensitive gaze of the artisan. Patience, constancy and meticulous care were essential in the creation of this dial, which took four weeks to complete.
The hours appear through an aperture positioned at 6 o’clock in the mouth of the calavera, so as to ensure that the minutes hand does not obscure the sight of the hours change, which takes place instantaneously. The white gold aperture frame accentuates the sobriety of the large black Arabic numerals showing the hours against a white background.
The high-quality work devoted to the L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 TimeForArt Edition has earned it the Poinçon de Genève. Governed by strict criteria of excellence, this highly coveted label is awarded exclusively to a few watchmaking creations whose beauty provides the perfect setting for a flawlessly functioning mechanism. It guarantees not only the quality, precision and reliability of the movement and the watch as a whole, but also ensures that the assembly was carried out in the canton of Geneva, the historical cradle of Fine Watchmaking.
Precise adjustments, wearer comfort and readability, movement bridges entirely adorned with the côtes de Genève motif and finely bevelled components: these are the characteristics that make the L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 TimeForArt Edition a refined timepiece from both aesthetic and technical standpoints.
This one-of-a-kind art watch will be part of the TimeForArt event, an auction of exceptional timepieces by the world’s greatest master-watchmakers, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to support the world’s most visionary contemporary artists through Swiss Institute’s exhibitions, public education programmes and free community engagement workshops. TimeForArt provides a year-round platform for exchanges between the world of watchmaking and the visual arts.
Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele commented on this exceptional collaboration: “TimeForArt allows me to play my part both as a keen art enthusiast and passionate watchmaker; it perfectly reflects the Maison’s values. I love the idea that our highly skilled artisans are taking part in an endeavour to support art. We at Chopard have an amazing team of craftspeople who master the different steps of exceptional timepiece creation, thanks to the independent approach and integrated skill set that the Manufacture has been cultivating for 25 years.”
- Ethical 18-carat rose gold
- Total diameter: 40.00 mm
- Thickness: 10.30 mm
- Water resistance: 50 metres
- Crown in 18-carat rose gold with L.U.C logo
- Vertical satin-brushed case-middle and interhorn space
- Polished bezel and case-back
- Glare-proofed sapphire crystal
- Exhibition back engraved with the inscription: “Time For Art Unique Piece”
- Mechanical movement with manual winding L.U.C 98.06-L
- Number of components: 240
- Total diameter: 31.80 mm
- Thickness: 4.85 mm
- Number of jewels: 42
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 192 hours (8 days)
- Jumping hours
- Four barrels – exclusive Chopard Quattro technology
- Bridges with côtes de Genève motif and gilded engravings
- Swan’s neck fine adjustment
- Balance-spring with Phillips terminal curve
- Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark
Dial and hands:
- Dial in ethical 18-carat white gold with hand-engraved calavera motif
- Gilded Dauphine fusée minutes hand
- Gilded baton-type power-reserve indicator hand
Functions and display:
- Instantaneous hours display in a 6 o’clock aperture
- Central display of the minutes
- Power-reserve indicator on the back of the watch
- Balance-stop function enabling accurate adjustments
Strap and buckle:
- Hand-sewn matt black calfskin leather strap with grey bridle stitching and tone-on-tone calfskin lining
- Polished and satin-brushed pin buckle in ethical 18-carat rose gold