A collaboration between Vietnamese artisans and Swiss watchmakers
To commemorate 1010 years of Thang Long – Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, Hanoia – the leading premium craftsmanship house in Vietnam has recently been chosen by a first-rate Swiss watch company, Chopard, to create three limited edition watches, making Hanoia the first Vietnamese lacquer producer to work with internationally known watchmakers.
L.U.C Urushi Vietnamese edition is a three-model watch project created as a gift to the Vietnamese watch market by Chopard, an internationally recognized watch brand established in Switzerland since 1860. Each model features the intricacies of a Chopard watch with a dial creatively designed by Hanoia, crafted by Japanese masters of the Urushi technique, and contained within a lacquer gift set – akin to a work of art – skillfully crafted by Hanoia. L.U.C Urushi Vietnam is a limited edition with only 15 pieces available, each numbered from 1 to 6, and sold exclusively at Chopard stores in Vietnam.
Honoring the Vietnamese cultural spirit through touching visual narratives
The three dial designs paint different scenes of Vietnam’s culture and history – the lotus flower and Turtle Tower, the boy sitting on a buffalo and playing flute, and the old quarters of Hanoi – that Hanoia has depicted in the most elegant and exquisite manner. In the first scene, a Hanoi of yesterday and today is symphonized harmoniously through the symbol of the Turtle Tower, the heart of Sword Lake where the ups and downs of a thousand years have been witnessed, and the image of a modern woman in a white áo dài peacefully bringing in the lotus season to the city. In the second scene, a simple and pure Vietnam is conveyed through the narrative of the boy sitting on a buffalo and playing flute, inspired by the Vietnamese folk paintings Đông Hồ. The buffalo is associated with the wet rice civilization of Viet people over 4,000 years ago, and it is also the zodiac sign for the upcoming 2021 year of the buffalo.
In the last scene, the old quarters of Hanoi with tiled roofs, moss-covered ancient walls, tall rows of trees and light polls which intimately foster the spirit of the capital, is a place where many generations of famous artists were born, grew up, and left behind the skills and values that still apply to people today.
Three stories, three color palettes of a vivacious culture on the dial of the watch become even more wholesome with the accommodated gift sets. If there was not a frame to represent the floral peddler’s basket, both used as a watch holder and a decoration, then the scene of the lotus and Turtle Tower alone will not be able to convey the poetic tranquility of Hanoi. If there was not a graceful, dainty cycling rickshaw then the painting of Hanoi’s old quarters will lack its unforgettable bustling liveliness. And the buffalo with its rattling collar piece that generates merrily sounds meanwhile links appropriately with the buffalo in the folk painting; Hanoia’s alternative way of maintaining the traditional values of Vietnamese ancestors.
Striving towards the zenith of Vietnamese arts and crafts
Hanoia did not only design the watch dial but also designed and crafted the gift and box set that come with the watch, in a sophisticated and elegant manner such that it is worthy of collaborating with the leading luxury Swiss watch brand. Moreover, the dedication and passion that go into creating these masterpieces can be seen through how Hanoia’s artisans had researched and developed their own complex lacquer techniques, using the highest quality of handmade materials, and collaborated with the best masters of traditional crafts in the country to conceive these uniquely cultural gift sets.
As such, the peddler carrying-frame and the cycling rickshaw were designed with a perfect balance and sturdiness to uphold the watch, evoking through elegant details the beautiful symbols of Vietnam. As such, the rattling collar of the lacquered buffalo can project a sound akin to the herder’s signaling bell to call the buffalo back to its stable. And with them, the lustrous watch boxes of classic black and ruby red, featuring gold- or silver-inlaid motifs, are worthy of representing the quintessence of Vietnamese craftmanship.
Lifting Vietnamese handicrafts to international standard
Since it was established, Hanoia has always chased its dream of preserving and promoting the traditional values that our Vietnamese ancestors have left behind, at the same time never ceasing to find opportunities to bring Vietnamese craftmanship to worldwide recognition. In 2017, Hanoia exclusively collaborated with female artist Trần Nữ Yên Khê to create a lacquer artwork that conveys a contemporary spirit of Asian culture. This masterpiece is currently being displayed at the Guimet Museum in Paris, France as part of the largest collection of Asian art abroad. In 2019, through the connection of the French Embassy and the French Institute in Vietnam, Hanoia worked with three French designers to bring their dream of working with lacquer to reality, and collaborated in creating new pieces that were featured in the Bangkok Design Week in February 2020 and the Paris Design Week in September 2020. With this project to design and produce three gift sets for the L.U.C. Urushi Vietnam limited edition, Hanoia once again proves its dedication in lifting the values of traditional Vietnamese handicrafts with all its passion and love for lacquer.