Our industry – watchmaking – can easily be seen as far, very far away from responsible matters. How would this be possible from an industry able to sell 40mm objects at more than 300.000 Euros? In fact, there is an organization that applies sustainable considerations to luxury, both jewelry and horology: Fairmined gold. This standard performs responsible artisanal and small-scale mining, through mining operations, environmental protection, labor conditions, traceability of Fairmined minerals and socio-economic development. Don’t expect this to come in an ugly watch (like those ugly brown recycle napkins). This responsible artisanal gold is featured in a very elegant and desirable watch, the Chopard L.U.C XPS Fairmined.
To prove the world that the watchmaking industry can also take into account the fate of people exploiting mines, Chopard has decided since a few years now to develop a partnership with Fairmined, a certification guaranteeing that the gold used to craft some of their watches has been responsibly mined and the miners have received fair payment and an overall premium. Chopard already showed in 2014 a watch using this sustainable metal – the L.U.C Tourillon 8 Days. This year, the brand shows its responsible intentions in a more affordable and classical watch, one that we had some proper desire for, the L.U.C XPS, a slim, elegant timepiece with an interesting micro-rotor ultra-thin movement.
The case-back, middle case (including the lugs) and bezel of the new L.U.C XPS Fairmined are entirely made of Fairmined gold, here a rose alloy to be precise. Nothing is different from other golds: same proportions – 18 karats – same weight, same durability. We’re not talking about a gold that could be more fragile or less proportioned even if sustainable. It’s only a matter of a responsible mining. The Chopard L.U.C XPS Fairmined comes though in 18k rose gold and the case measures a reasonable and elegant 39.5mm. It also has a very slim profile, at 7.13mm, allowing it to be called ultra-slim. Of course, we’re far from the 3.65mm of a Piaget Altiplano 900P but the Chopard was not created to be a record breaker, just a slim and elegant watch. It comes with a classical construction, a proper dial (something the Piaget doesn’t have) and furthermore, an automatic movement.
The most surprising part of this Chopard L.U.C XPS Fairmined is for sure its deeply engraved dial. It comes with an non-regular sunburst satin-brushed slate-grey galvanic dial, made to look like a gold nugget – we encourage you to zoom on the photo bellow to take a closer look at the pattern. Without being ostentatious, it give the very classical Chopard L.U.C XPS a real originality and deserves to be contemplated. On this dial are applied discreet faceted gold indexes. The dauphine hands are also made in this matching metal.
The sapphire caseback reveals a superbly finished and well constructed movement. Chopard, with the L.U.C collection, is able to achieve proper Haute Horlogerie timepieces, that can be adorned with the Geneva Seal or the even more demanding Quality Fleurier certification. The Chopard L.U.C XPS Fairmined comes with none of these standards but, nevertheless, has a superb movement. The self-winding L.U.C Calibre 96.12-L is certified chronometer and comes with a double barrel (Twin® technology) ensuring more than 65-hour power reserve and a more stable delivery of energy through the whole power reserve. The self winding mechanism relies on a nice 22k gold micro-rotor that allows the movement to be very slim at 3.3mm. It comes with a pleasant finish, as the bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève are chamfered with hand-polished bevelled angles, the main plate is circular-grained and the screws and screw-slots are polished.
The Chopard L.U.C XPS Fairmined is a watch that has to be applauded for two reasons: one that you might expect from us and another one that proves that the industry also has some consideration for its suppliers and not only its clients. We’re in front of a timepiece that allies an elegant and original feeling, with its superb dial and its pleasant proportions, an interesting horological content and sustainable considerations, something that is rare enough in the luxury world to be noticed and encouraged. This Fairmined gold remains however rare and for this reason, the The Chopard L.U.C XPS Fairmined is limited to 250 pieces, only available in the official Chopard boutiques.