Chopard is once again honouring Asian traditions by calling on the ancestral Japanese art of Urushi to create the dial of the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat timepiece. This work of art highlights the theme of the next zodiac sign in the traditional Chinese calendar: the Rat, renowned for its intelligence and perspicacity. Each of the watches in this refined and powerfully symbolic 88-piece limited edition crafted in 18-carat rose gold is powered by an ultra-thin movement produced in the Chopard Manufacture workshops: the L.U.C 96.17-L calibre.

Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat

The quintessence of Urushi, the ancestral Japanese art of lacquer, is associated with the most refined expression of Swiss watchmaking according to Chopard, thereby giving rise to the new L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat 88-piece limited edition available exclusively through the brand’s network of boutiques. Chopard, the Artisan of Emotions, is introducing its customary annual celebration of a new Chinese calendar cycle with an expressive dial brimming with symbolism.

The New Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat

The Chinese calendar cycle actually commences with a year of the rat and one of the legends surrounding it tells the story of when the historical Buddha summoned the animals before entering Nirvana. The rat is said to have climbed on the buffalo and arrived first, relegating the cat to 13th position and thus depriving it of a place in the calendar – which explains the legendary antagonism between these two creatures. The Year of the Rat will begin on January 25th 2020 and end on February 12th 2021.

Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat Dial
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat

Art and serenity

The dial of this new watch dedicated to the Chinese Zodiac is entirely hand-crafted. It gives pride of place to Asian culture by using the traditional Japanese lacquer technique known as Urushi and combining the lacquer with gold dust. The scene depicts a golden rat, standing on an ear of corn, a symbol of abundance, and in front of a khaki, a fruit that is picked in winter and represents longevity. It is facing a bouquet of flowers in the three lucky colours of its zodiac sign: blue, gold and green. Thus, as traditionally represented in the Chinese Zodiac, the rat is passionate, charming, intelligent and resourceful, as well as being a faithful friend, a generous family member and a source of optimism.

Yamada Heinado
Yamada Heinado

An age-old Japanese pictorial art            

The varnish used in this ancestral lacquering art comes from the sap of the Urushi tree, also known as the “lacquer tree” or the “Japanese varnish tree”, which actually grows in both Japan and China. Its resin is harvested once a year in extremely small quantities. Only three to five years afterwards is the resin at last ready to be treated and thus become a highly resistant, honey-textured lacquer that is applied in extremely fine successive layers.

Yamada Heinado Dial Making for Chpard
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat

The 88 dials of this limited series were created through cooperation between Chopard and its loyal partner company, Yamada Heinado, where the grand master of Urushi exercises his craft. This is one of the many demonstrations of Chopard’s deep-felt attachment to celebrating rare skills and artistic crafts.

Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat Movement
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat

Exceptional horological expertise

Such works of art are ideally framed by the refinement of the L.U.C XP. This discreetly elegant, ultra-thin timepiece is entirely hand-decorated by the artisans of Chopard Manufacture in accordance with the finest watchmaking traditions, while its L.U.C 96.17-L calibre may be admired through a transparent sapphire case-back.

Microrotor L.U.C 96.17-L Caliber Chopard
·    Chopard Caliber L.U.C 96.17-L

While measuring just 3.3 mm thick, it achieves a comfortable 65-hour power reserve, thus offering a rare compromise between thinness and practicality. With its 40 mm diameter and 6.8 thickness, the 18-carat rose gold is deliberately sized to fit the wrists of Asian customers, for whom the L.U.C XP Year of the Rat is naturally intended.

Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat Watch Review
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat

Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat

Technical specifications:

Ref. 161902-5069 – in 18-carat rose gold with special Year of the Rat dial; 88-piece limited edition


·      18ct 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

·      Vertical satin-brushed sides and inter-horn space

·      Polished bezel and case-back

·      Glare-proofed sapphire crystal

·      Exhibition caseback


·      Mechanical self-winding: L.U.C 96.17-L

·      Winding via a 22-carat gold micro-rotor

·      Total diameter: 27.40 mm

·      Thickness: 3.30 mm

·      Number of jewels: 29

·      Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)

·      Power reserve: 65 hours

·      Two barrels, Twin technology

·      Bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève motif

Dial and hands:

·      Dial hand-crafted in Japan using the Urushi lacquer technique with a special Year of the Rat motif

·      Gilded Dauphine-type hours and minutes hands

Functions and displays: Central display of the hours and minutes

Strap and buckle:

·      Hand-sewn black alligator leather strap with brown alligator leather lining

·      Polished 18-carat rose gold pin buckle

Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat
Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat

The price for the Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rat Ref. 161902-5069 is 23,300€ and is exclusively available in Chopard boutiques.

For more information visit Chopard Online.