Masterful watch and jewelry maker Chopard embraces ethical, sustainable luxury in its use of Fairmined gold.
Chopard’s L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined watch ($144,570) is made using Fairminedcertified gold from South America. The brand’s top-notch movement powers it with L.U.C Quattro technology. Wynn Las Vegas, 702-862-4522
The watch and jewelry industry can be fraught with ethical and environmental issues, especially when it comes to the mining of diamonds, gemstones, and precious metals. The 2006 film Blood Diamond brought that reality home—and spurred reform—with its depiction of the criminal activities associated with diamond mining. Now similar reforms are taking place with respect to gold mining, and the luxury watch and jewelry brand Chopard is playing a leading role.
In 2013, the company launched its Journey to Sustainable Luxury project, a multiyear commitment to sustainable and ethical practices (developed with the consulting from Eco-Age). Chopard has partnered with the Alliance for Responsible Mining—the nonprofit, nongovernmental organization behind the strict Fairmined standards for the mining of artisanal gold—and has pledged to purchase a substantial portion of the gold certified as Fairmined for use in its jewelry.
“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, a copresident of Chopard.
Going a step further, about a year ago Chopard unveiled the world’s first watch made of Fairmined gold from South America, adding timepieces to the ranks of ethically sourced luxury items. The case, caseback, and bezel of the L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined watch ($144,570) are made entirely with Fairmined gold—a certification that guarantees the metal was extracted in a responsible manner and that its miners have been paid fairly.
The 18k rose-gold watch is powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement with a tourbillon escapement and features nine days of power reserve thanks to its L.U.C Quattro technology, which employs two sets of two stacked barrels for consistent, long-lasting energy. A 43mm COSC-certified chronometer, the watch is also certified by the Fleurier Quality Foundation for its precision and durability. Just 25 pieces will be built, although Chopard plans further Fairmined watch releases.