“Macabre” is how most foreigners would describe Día de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead, but for Mexicans, it is a day to pay homage to Santa Muerte, the patron saint of healing, protection, and safe delivery to the afterlife. It is a day of remembrance for the deceased, to renew family bonds, and to indulge in ornamental parody. To honour this day, Chopard has produced an exceptional one-of-a-kind and a highly complicated timepiece; the L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of ‘La Santa Muerte.’ It was unveiled this October at Salon Internacional Alta Relojeria (SIAR), Latin America’s premier watch exhibition and trade show.
After its tribute to Chinese culture with the L.U.C Perpetual T – Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac series which includes all the signs of the zodiac in chronological order, Chopard has turned its attention to Mexico. Día de Los Muertos is a festival that traces its origins to the Aztec civilisation which has been layered with Catholic sensibilities to produce something uniquely Mexican.
The Caseband of the 43 mm, 18-carat rose gold case is adorned with skulls, flowers, suns and guitars. The Bezel has patterns inspired by Mexican iconography. A stylised Mexican Calavera skull, dotted with sun and floral-themed patterns dominates the dial.
All the patterns on the case, bezel and dial are hand-engraved by Chopard’s artisans.
The skull and patterns on the dial are formed by the contrast between the brightness of the 18-carat gold and the mother-of-pearl teeth against the darkness of the black-varnished background. A Hand-guilloché outer area, also made of gold, forms the outline of the inoffensive skull. The tourbillon bridge appears as a moustache above a gentle grimace, and the perpetual calendar counters form the sunny eyes.
A hand-sewn black alligator leather strap with alligator leather lining lends a final touch of elegance to this finely crafted watch.
Behind the golden skull is one of the most prestigious horological combinations: a perpetual calendar, a gravity-proof tourbillon and a nine-day power reserve achieved by the four barrels of the Quattro system. The Spirit of ‘La Santa Muerte’ is COSC certified, and as the entire L.U.C 02.15-L calibre is decorated by hand, it has earned it the ‘Poinçon de Genève’ quality hallmark.