By Rebecca Doulton
Last year, Chopard watches made headline news with the debut of its L.U.C Tourbillon QF men's model, the world's first watch made from Fairmined gold, proving that luxury, sustainability and responsible mining practices are perfectly compatible partners.
Sustainability is a word we are hearing a great deal these days, but not very often in the watchmaking world. Chopard's decision to use gold that has been sealed with the Fairmined Standard for Gold - designed to support sustainable development of artisanal and small-scale mining communities - was big news at Baselworld 2014.
Eco-Age creative director Livia Firth and her husband Colin Firth were on hand to introduce the tourbillon watch, a limited edition of 25 pieces with the Au 750 Fairmined gold certification hallmark stamped on the caseback.
Once again this year, Chopard watches has opted for ethically sourced metals for its new L.U.C XPS Fairmined gold watches. The gold, which originates from artisanal mines in South America, has been used for the caseback, the middle case and bezel. The luxurious 39.5mm rose gold case houses an ultra-thin movement, giving the case a thickness of just 7.13mm and making it an elegant dress watch for men.
Perhaps the most eye-catching feature of the watch is the dial. With its galvanised sunburst motif in a slate-grey colour, the effect is reminiscent of the symmetrical designs that can be created with magnetic shavings.
The mechanics of the watch have also been meticulously treated, and the hour, minute and small seconds functions are kept in time with a movement entirely designed and produced in-house at Chopard. Not only has the movement obtained approval as a COSC-certified chronometer, the calibre is a svelte 3.3mm thick thanks to the offset gold micro-rotor, which generates energy from the wearer's movements and transmits it to the two barrels for a power reserve of 65 hours.
Elegant, classical, ethical and absolutely original, the new Chopard L.U.C XPS Fairmined gold watch, worn on a black alligator leather strap, is limited to 250 pieces and available exclusively in Chopard boutiques.