The Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a day of celebrating the lives of our deceased loved ones, instead of mourning over their passing. It is a day of remembering the good times and cherishing valuable memories. While primarily celebrated in Latin American cultures, it is embraced by an increasing number of people outside of that. Dedicated to this rather special day, Chopard has created a one of a kind Haute Horlogerie piece. This is the Chopard L.U.C Full Strike “Día de los Muertos”.
The Día de Los Muertos is a rather joyous occasion, dedicated to life instead of death in contrast to what the name might imply. Celebrations often include the use of bright coloured depictions of skulls, called Calaveras, and lots of music. In that sense, creating a minute repeater in honour of this day seems like a logical choice, even if it is a one-off only. It’s also not the first time Chopard has embraced the Day of the Dead as inspiration for a unique piece.
The Chopard L.U.C Full Strike was introduced in 2016 and featured a unique sapphire crystal set of gongs, which won Chopard the coveted Aguille d’Or at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve a year later. The contemporary take on the minute repeater concept is stunning, and for this unique piece, it goes without saying the visual impact is even greater.
The 18k fairmined white gold case, measuring 42.50mm in diameter and 11.55mm in height, is fully engraved around the caseband. The bezel has additional engraving on the vertical lower half and a ring of baguette-cut sapphires in the sloped upper half. This ornate decoration on the outside sets the scene for the watch’s unique dial. Made in 18k white gold, the dial is decorated with the image of a Calavera, a skull, using a champlevé technique. The blue lacquered skull has a set of mother-of-pearl teeth with diamonds and is complemented by a guilloché pattern on the outer edges. One ‘eye’ of the Calavera gives way to the minute repeater’s running gear, while the other shows the dual power reserve indication.
Driving this impressive metiers d’art watch is Chopard’s L.U.C 08.01-L calibre. This in-house developed movement uses no less than 533 components and comes with the Poinçon de Genève hallmark. As explained in our in-depth review, the movement has several innovations, the first and foremost being the use of monobloc sapphire gongs. With the hammers on display on the dial side, the minute repeater is activated via the pusher in the crown instead of the more traditional slider on the left-hand side of the case. The hammers hit a sapphire gong system that starts out as a solid block. It is machined to incredible accuracy to produce an as pure as possible C and F note for the hours, quarters and minutes. The crystal piece includes the top glass as well, to amplify the sound outside of the case instead of containing it.
The governor driving and regulating the energy to the hammers can be seen at 8 o’clock. This has been engineered to reduce the traditional humming sound it makes, and also shorten the interval between the striking of the hours and quarters. The minute repeater mechanism comes with its own barrel and power reserve indicator, and will not activate when there’s insufficient energy stored in the barrel. The remaining energy is displayed along with the power reserve indicator for the time in the right ‘eye’ of the Calavera. Rhodium-plated Dauphine-style hour and minute hands revolve on a central axis.
Chopard is very serious about using ethically sourced materials, as evidenced by the fairmined 18k gold used for the case. This also extends to the alligator leather strap the Chopard L.U.C Full Strike “Día de Los Muertos” comes on. Sourced from ethical farms, and CITES-certified by the way, it is stained with natural pigments only. The blue leather strap has matching stitching and a brown alligator leather lining. It comes on a white gold folding clasp with hand-engraving, fairmined of course. The Chopard L.U.C Full Strike “Día de Los Muertos” is a unique piece, with a price of EUR 448,000.
Whichever way you turn it, there’s no denying the Full Strike “Día de Los Muertos” is a proper Haute Horlogerie stunner, even if you might not personally relate to the theme. The level of detail, paired with the incredibly complex and meticulously finished movement is the very best Chopard is capable of.
For more information, please visit Chopard.com.