April 1, 2018
CHOPARD HAPPY PALM
A MODEL INSPIRED BY A PRESTIGIOUS AWARD
To mark the 25th birthday of the Happy Sport collection, Chopard has enlisted the talented exponents of the most prestigious artistic crafts in creating four exceptional models issued in 25-piece limited editions. The Mains d’Art of the Maison – meaning its most expert specialised artisans – have employed ancestral techniques in patiently crafting materials that are as precious as they are fragile. Remarkable treasures of meticulous care and creativity, these four original watches embody the excellence of the skills cultivated by Chopard.
As official historic partner of the Cannes International Film Festival, responsible for designing and producing the Palme d’or trophy since 1998, Chopard is now unveiling a model inspired by the prestigious award. Made of Fairmined-certified ethical gold – like the Palme d’or itself – and studded with diamonds, the Happy Palm reflects the quintessence of glamour. Resplendent evening gowns, sparkling jewellery, light bulbs popping around the luminous trophy: all the glittering magic of the Festival is thus encapsulated in a watch. Five moving diamonds and a miniature “Palme d’or” dance around the finely crafted mother-of-pearl dial. Masterfully reproducing the delicacy of a palm leaf, it is adorned with Urushi lacquer, a resin harvested in Asia from the eponymous trees and decorated using the ancestral Japanese art of maki-e (literally ‘sprinkled image’). Using infinitely accurate touches, the artisan traced and accentuated the dial motifs by dusting fine gold particles onto the still damp lacquer. No less than 170 hours of work were lavished on creating this dazzling plant-life motif.
Meanwhile, the case-back reveals equally spectacular artwork, since the L.U.C 96.23-L movement is adorned with slender ‘Palmes d’or’, hand-engraved using the Fleurisanne technique. This refined art, born in the 19th century in the Swiss village that is home to the Manufacture Chopard, developed a reputation that spread as far afield as China. It is distinguished by its raised motifs: instead of hollowing the motor out of the material, the engraver makes it stand out by removing the surrounding matter. Keen to perpetuate this endangered skill, Chopard has trained Fleurisanne engraving artisans within its own workshops. The Happy Palm is paired with an alligator leather strap coated with 24-carat gold or entirely set with diamond.