A collection of three special limited edition watches has been crafted exclusively for the Vietnamese market on the occasion of 1010th anniversary of Thăng Long – Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of Hanoia
HÀ NỘI - Symbolic images of Hà Nội such as the Old Quarter with mossy roofed houses and the legendary Turtle Tower have been depicted on watch dials of a luxury Swiss watch brand.
Chopard, which has been manufacturing watches since 1860, has created a collection of three special limited edition watches exclusively for the Vietnamese market on the occasion of 1,010th anniversary of Thăng Long – Hà Nội.
The L.U.C XP Urushi Vietnam Edition combines Swiss watchmaking techniques, the Japanese Urushi lacquer and the design of Vietnamese haute lacquer house Hanoia, with each watch costing VNĐ868 million (US$37,500).
Alongside Hà Nội's Old Quarter and Turtle Tower, the image of a Hanoian woman wearing the áo dài (traditional long dress) and nón (palm leave conical hat) and carrying a shoulder pole filled with lotus flowers also features on a dial design.
The Đông Hồ folk painting Chăn Trâu Thổi Sáo (Playing Flute while Herding Buffalo) is the inspiration for another watch dial in the collection.
As the Đông Hồ folk painting Chăn Trâu Thổi Sáo (Playing Flute while Herding Buffalo) is the inspiration for a watch dial in the collection, the version is accompanied by a a small lacquer buffalo wearing a tinkling cowbell. Photo courtesy of Hanoia
“The buffalo plays a very important role in the Việt Nam’s 4,000-year-old wet rice culture. In addition, the coming lunar year is the Year of Buffalo. Going together with this special watch is a souvenir gift – a small lacquer buffalo wearing a tinkling cowbell. Moreover, aiming to present completely this special feature of Vietnamese culture, our design team also has fashioned the buffalo-horn-shaped latch on the watch case of these exclusive watches,” said Hanoia co-founder Nguyễn Thị Nhung.
Only 15 watches of the three designs were crafted. Each of these exclusive items is placed in a lacquer box that also was handcrafted by local craftspeople of Hanoia.
“This is our first time to design and craft watch dials. Therefore, there are some new techniques that we have developed during the craft process of these watch dials,” Nhung said.
To satisfy the very tough requirements of the Swiss luxury brand on quality and aesthetics, the Hanoia design team had to adapt their ideas to the art of luxury watchmaking as well as the traditional Japanese Urushi lacquer.
“This is a big challenge for Vietnamese handicrafts that Hanoia has overcome with a lot of determination, effort, passion and patience. In addition, in order to craft delicate gifts that match with the exclusive watches, alongside using only the premium materials, we also had to go through several experiments before getting the final products,” Nhung added.
Before this co-operation with Chopard, Hanoia also had a collaborative project with the Paris-based Vietnamese actress and designer Trần Nữ Yên Khê to create the handmade lacquer work Borderlin, which is now on display at the Guimet Museum of Asian Art in Paris.
The haute lacquer house Hanoia has also worked together with a group of French designers to create handmade products that were presented at the D17/20 exhibition in Bangkok in February and the Paris Design Week in September. VNS