Chopard has made history with the world’s first wristwatch made of fairly mined gold from South America. Unveiled at the BaselWorld World Watch and Jewellery Show in March, the L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined comprises a case, case-back, and bezel derived from “Fairmined”-certified gold, a mark that ensures that small-scale miners from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru receive a fair payment, plus an overall premium, for their labors.

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“The L.U.C Tourbillon Qualité Fleurier Fairmined demonstrates a strong show of support from the watch and jewellery sector for fair, sustainable and responsible gold-sourcing,” says Lina Villa, executive director of the Alliance for Responsible Mining, which administers the Fairmined stamp. “Chopard, which is a frontrunner in this field, has led the way for the entire watch and jewellery industry by adopting ‘Fairmined’ gold. We are so proud to be developing such prestigious projects with Chopard to improve the quality of life in mining communities.”

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Chopard says it has thrown its support behind the development of the Coodmilla cooperative, located in the Nariño region of Colombia. “We have also committed to purchase a substantial part of the cooperative’s output and will continue to do so once the ‘Fairmined’ standards have been met,” says a spokesman for the Swiss luxury firm says. “Moreover, we have set ourselves the target of buying a significant percentage of our gold form other ‘Fairmined’ gold stocks and are also taking an interest in other cooperatives in South America, with a view to supporting them in achieving ‘Fairmined’ certification.”

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The watch falls under the auspices of Chopard’s “The Journey,” a multi-year project of “sustainable change,” designed to set new environmental and social standards for jewelry and watchmaking, that launched in 2013 at the Cannes Film Festival.

The company will come full circle at the Cannes awards in May when it presents the winning film with the first Palme d’Or to be made from fair-mined gold.

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