At Baselworld 2014, Chopard announced a new step in its use of gold for watchmaking, introducing the L.U.C. Tourbillon QF Fairmined, which it calls the first watch made with Fairmined gold. The new watch’s case, caseback and bezel, as well as its pin buckle, are made of gold sourced from South America that has been certified as “Fairmined,” meaning it was mined in a sustainable, responsible manner and that the miners have received fair payment. Chopard has announced that it has set the target of buying a significant percentage of “Fairmined” gold from South American cooperatives in the future.
7. Chopard makes three in-house movements that are not only COSC-certified but pass the even stricter standards of the Fleurier Quality Certification. The Fleurier Quality Foundation (FQF), which has its offices in Fleurier’s historic town hall building, was launched in September 2004. It is supported by numerous Swiss public authorities, including the Swiss Federal Government and the Canton of Neuchatel, as well as all of the Fleurier-based watch companies and movement makers, which include Chopard as well as Bovet, Parmigiani, and Vaucher Manufacture. To obtain FQF certification, a watch must meet five conditions, including being 100 percent manufactured in Switzerland and to have already met the criteria for COSC chronometer certification when it arrives at FQF headquarters for testing. In addition, the watch’s movement must have a specifically defined level of quality finishing (decorations must be visible on certain parts, other parts must be polished or beveled, et cetera) and it must pass the FQF “chronofiable” test for shock-resistance, magnetic-field protection, water resistance and other criteria. Finally, the finished watch must pass a 24-hour operating test on the so-called Fleuritest simulator, which recreates the physical movements to which the watch would be subjected, and requires the precision to fall within the range of zero to +5 seconds per day.
This article was originally published in 2013 and has been updated with new information and photos.