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L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony Chopard celebrates the art of Grand Feu enamel thanks to the skill of its in-house Enameller Artisan

The peony, with its luscious rounded bloom, has been a long-term inspiration for Chopard’s creativity. Since 2014, it has taken a starring role in the L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony series, a collection of breath-taking, limited edition Fine Watchmaking timepieces celebrating the variety of artistic crafts at the heart of Maison’s creative approach. For the new edition in ethical 18-carat rose gold limited to eight pieces, Chopard is marking the addition of the art of Grand Feu Enamel to its pool of in-house Métiers d’Art practices. In a design inspired by the antique decorative pocket watches found in the L.U.CEUM, Chopard’s museum in Fleurier, Chopard’s enamelling artisan has created a vibrant image of pink peonies blooming on a light green background. Visible through an open case back, the L.U.C 96.23-L mechanical self-winding movement is also beautifully decorated with Fleurisanne, an engraving technique perfectly mastered by an in-house talented artisan.

Nature, an eternal source of inspiration
The favourite flower of Chopard’s Co-President Caroline Scheufele, the fragile but fulsome peony is the traditional floral symbol of China, where it embodies prosperity and honour and is considered the queen of flowers. Regarded as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage, and hence a regular feature of wedding bouquets and wedding gifts, the peony’s beauty and mystique has been celebrated by Chopard with a multitude of dazzling metiers in the L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony series, including mother-of-pearl, gold engraving and paper cutting.

The enamelling artisan at Chopard Manufacture
A decorative technique practiced since the 17th century, Grand Feu enamel, one of Swiss watchmaking’s most prestigious traditional craft forms, is today perpetuated by Chopard and a handful of master artisans. The enamelling process involves the mixing of silica and crushed oxides to form coloured powders that are dissolved in water, before being delicately applied to the dial in minute layers. Between each application of a layer, the dial is fired in the oven at high temperatures to precise timings – a process in which the true intuition and experience of the artisan is crucial, as the rich colours emerge in the heat. Deploying skills passed on from artist to artist across the generations, it takes the enamelling artisan an entire week of work to complete each dial for one of the eight L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony watches.

Fleurisanne engraving
As with previous L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony timepieces, the flower’s blooms are not simply confined to the dial but are exhibited in a virtuosic display of floral engraving on the gold bridges of calibre L.U.C 96.23-L – a slim Fine Watchmaking movement with an ethical 22-carat gold micro-rotor and two superposed barrels enabling the 65-hour power reserve linked to the Chopard Twin technology. The engravers employ the Fleurisanne engraving technique that emerged in Chopard’s hometown of Fleurier during the 18th century. The technique requires removing metal from the surface to reveal a floral relief motif twisting its way across the surface. The background is individually dotted to create a grained surface that is rhodium-plated to contrast it with the gold pattern, creating an enticing two-tone effect. Each movement takes the engraving artisan a week and a half to complete.


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