October 28, 2018
by Kenny Yeo
The Day of the Dead is a holiday that is celebrated in Mexico where the dead are honored and remembered. Its origins are Aztec and can be traced to an ancient festival that is dedicated to the Aztec goddess of death, Mictecacihuati. It is a colorful festival marked by the building of bright altars and shrines, and also by vivid multicolored costumes often with stylized skulls. This vibrant holiday is also a great opportunity for brands to flex their creative muscles. To commemorate this special day, Chopard has just unveiled the one-off Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of La Santa Muerte, a unique piece that is heavily inspired by Day of the Dead motifs.
The Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of La Santa Muerte is based on the L.U.C Perpetual T, one of the brand’s most complicated watches. It is a chronometer-certified perpetual calendar with a tourbillon that also bears the Geneva Seal. This isn’t the first time that Chopard has used the L.U.C Perpetual T as a canvas for one of its unique one-off pieces. Late last year, Chopard unveiled the L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of The Chinese Zodiac as a one-off piece as well, to celebrate the Chinese Zodiac and the Year of the Rooster.
In the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of La Santa Muerte, the 43mm 18k rose gold case is richly engraved by hand. The case middle features traditional motifs of the Day of the Dead while the bezel is decorated with Mexican iconography. It is easily one of the most elaborately engraved and decorated cases that I have seen.
The dial is made of 18k gold and is engraved by hand. In the center is a hand-engraved black varnish skull with mother-of-pearl teeth. Where the eye sockets should be are the two subdials for the day of the week, month, 24-hour, and leap year indications. In between the subdials is the oversized date display. The hours and minutes are read centrally off dauphine-style hands, whereas the seconds can be read off baton-style hands at 6 o’clock above the skull’s teeth. Finally, the periphery of the skull features hand-engraved guilloche. The dial is attractive and legible thanks to the intelligent play of gold hands and prints and the black skull.
The movement within is the caliber L.U.C 0.2-15-L. It is a hand-wound movement made out of 353 components and has an impressive power reserve of 216 hours or 9 days. It features the Geneva Seal and is immaculately decorated by hand with bridges featuring beveling and Côtes de Genève, black polish on the tourbillon bridge, polished screw heads, and more.
Watches featuring themes of death and skulls are plentiful these days. Just off the top of my head, I can think of Bell and Ross, HYT, Richard Mille, and Speake Marin, just to name a few. For skull watches with a specific Mexican Day of the Dead theme, Fiona Kruger’s Skull watch we saw hands-on here is probably the most notable, though not at all the only one. But few are as elaborately crafted as Chopard’s new L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of La Santa Muerte. This watch is clearly a showcase piece for the brand’s artistry and skill in handwork. Think of it as Chopard’s equivalent of A. Lange & Söhne Handwerkskunst watches, but more exclusive since it’s the only one of its kind.
At this point in the article, I usually urge readers to save up if they are really keen on the watch. But in this case, Chopard has not even disclosed the price and there is a likelihood that it already has been claimed. While “price on request” is the brand’s preferred verbiage, aBlogtoWatch did request the price and was met with a “price on request” echo chamber. Interpret that as “if you have to ask…,” I suppose. Learn more by visiting chopard.com.