Jewelry & Watches

This Chopard Watch Uses An Intricate Centuries-Old Engraving Technique

On your wrist, a bouquet of flowers bloom.
IMAGE COURTESY OF CHOPARD
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Three rivers run through Fleurier, a tiny village in Switzerland that is famous for beautiful things: the wild flowers that bloom on the river banks each spring and the decorative arts of fine watchmaking. Since the 19th century, the quiet town in Val-de-Travers has been known as a center for decoration techniques such as enameling, gem-setting, and the Fleuri Sanne, a style of relief-engraving that brings motifs like flowers to life.


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This precious embellishment now blooms in Chopard’s L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony watch, whose light foundation—an uncomplicated rose-gold round attached to an elegant gray fabric strap—makes it the ideal canvas for decoration.


Chopard details the careful and patient engraving process: To create a striking contrast with the background, an artisan sculpts the dial using a raised, rather than hollowed, technique. By incising the surrounding material, he forms a prominent surface that can then be engraved. He also stipples the case dot by dot to produce a finely grained appearance, which makes the metal peonies standout even more. The total effect is volume, as if flowers are abloom right on the wearer’s wrist. Further accentuating the design, a spray of diamonds is used on the flowers’ pistils and the bezel.

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The Esprit de Fleurier Peony requires a month and a half just for engraving the dial and movement. The watches are entirely crafted in Chopard’s manufacture in Fleurier, whose artisans, they note, have not taken any formal training to learn the Fleuri Sanne, instead relying on their dedication to master it. Helping preserve the centuries-old engraving technique, Chopard also provides in-house training for these magicians of decoration. Greenbelt 5.

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Clifford Olanday
Senior Fashion Editor, Esquire Philippines
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