March 20, 2019
by Carol Besler
The L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of the Dragon and the Pearl is an intense watch. Not only is every surface of the 18k rose gold case meticulously hand engraved or finished, it is also a perpetual calendar and a tourbillon, with a manufacture movement, the hand-wound caliber L.U.C 02.15-L.
Model: L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of the Dragon and the Pearl Watch
Dimensions: 43 mm wide x 15.02 mm thick
Water Resistance: 30 meters
Case Material: 18k rose gold
Crystal/Lens: Anti-glare sapphire
Movement: L.U.C 02.15-L
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Power Reserve: 216 hours: nine days
Strap/Bracelet: Hand sewn black alligator leather with alligator lining
Price & Availability: Price POA
The case middle is engraved with images inspired by China’s founding myths, particularly dragons, a central animal in the founding myths of the Celestial Empire’s first dynasties. Specifically, the engravings portray two Tian Long dragons, the fabled five-clawed creatures that served the emperor in his quest for a sacred pearl that led to wisdom and knowledge. Chopard artisans used the fine line engraving technique to depict the two dragons on the case middle and the space between the lugs, in a process that took 200 hours. They are shown chasing after their prize, the sacred pearl, which is engraved on the crown. Allegorically, the Tian Long dragons, as creatures of the sky, are symbols of the soul’s elevation to a state of pure consciousness. The dial is hand engraved in a pattern resembling those engraved on the stones of Chinese temples. All case machining, finishing, engraving, and even gold casting are done in-house by Chopard.
The movement is COSC-certified and finished according to Geneva Seal standards. It is equipped with what Chopard calls “Quattro technology”, which means that it has four series-coupled barrels that give it a nine-day power reserve (that’s 216 hours!). To track this, there is a power reserve indicator on the back of the watch. This leaves the dial reasonably uncluttered, given how much is going on here. Month and leap year are indicated in the subdial at 3 o’clock, and day and 24-hour indication are at 3 o’clock. The date is at 12 o’clock in a large aperture that balances the tourbillon mechanism at 6 o’clock, the bridge of which is finished in Geneva stripes. The 18k red gold case is 43 mm wide and 15.02 mm thick. It is water resistant to 30 meters, and has a glare-proof sapphire crystal. The strap is hand-sewn black alligator, with an 18k rose gold pin buckle that is hand-engraved with similar motifs of Chinese mythology. Crucially, it is a one-of-a-kind piece.
This is a great, one-of-a-kind watch for a collector – obviously ideal for a Chinese collector, but also for non-Chinese aficionados who simply want something that is meticulously hand-crafted, with an excellent multi-complicated in-house manufacture movement, and something that no-one else for sure has. chopard.com