Masterful watch and jewelry maker Chopard embraces “sustainable luxury” in its use of fairmined gold.
The watch and jewelry industry can be wrought with issues and conficts, especially when it comes to the mining of diamonds, gemstones and precious metals. The 2006 release of the flm Blood Diamond brought home the reality of conficts in diamond mining that can fund illegal or criminal activities and spurred reform. Now the same concepts are taking shape with gold mining, and Chopard has taken a leading role.
In 2013 Chopard launched its “Journey to Sustainable Luxury” project—a multiyear commitment (in partnership with Eco-Age) to sustainable and ethical practices. For that initiative, the brand entered into a partnership with the South American Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), the nonproft, nongovernmental organization behind the concept of setting fairmined standards and certifcation for artisanal gold mining. Chopard’s support included committing to purchasing a substantial portion of the cooperative’s resulting gold—certifed as fairmined according to strict standards—and utilizing it in jewelry collections. “It is a bold commitment, but one that we must pursue if we are to make a difference to the lives of people who make our business possible,” says Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, copresident of Chopard.
Taking the stance a step further, last year Chopard unveiled the world’s frst watch made of fairmined gold from South America, marking the offcial arrival of luxury watchmaking to the fairmined ranks. Now available on the market, the L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined watch features a case, case back and bezel that are made entirely with fairmined gold. The watch holds the Fairmined Certifcation, which guarantees that the gold was extracted in a responsible manner, and that miners were paid fairly.
The 18k rose-gold watch is powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement, with tourbillon escapement and nine days of power reserve, thanks to L.U.C Quattro Technology. This technology utilizes two sets of twostacked barrels for consistent, lengthy power. The 43mm, COSC-certifed chronometer is not only certifed as “fairmined,” but it also holds the Qualité Fleurier Foundation certifcation, which attests to its precision and durability, according to many standards. Just 25 pieces of this watch are being built, although Chopard plans to release more fairmined watches.