The L.U.C family of watches from Chopard represents the very best of timepieces that the maison creates. It was in 1996 that current co-president of Chopard, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, decided to set up the Chopard L.U.C manufacture in Fleurier, as a tribute to the company’s founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard but also with the desire to create movements that were designed, developed and produced in-house. Every year the brand presents a selection of finely crafted watches so needless to say, the new Chopard L.U.C timepieces are a must-see at Baselworld. Here are the novelties you should take a close look at for 2019.
Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin
The Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin is the maison’s first calibre featuring a flying tourbillon, it turns out to also be an automatic which makes it a double first for the brand. On top of that, the in-house chronometer-certified movement features a stop-seconds mechanism which enables precise time-setting and is rarely paired with a tourbillon. Testifying to the fine craftsmanship of the manufacture, the movement also bears the “Poinçon de Genève” quality hallmark.
The complexity of Calibre 96.24-L does not make the movement any bigger and retains the 3.30mm thickness found in the first Chopard manufacture movement, Calibre 96.01-L, from which it was evolved. This allows the calibre to be fitted inside a slim 40mm 18K ethically certified “Fairmined” rose gold case. If you remember well, at last year’s Baselworld, Chopard announced that starting July 2018 the maison would be using 100% ethical gold for the production of all its watches and jewellery.
While the technical achievement of this timepiece should be acknowledged, elegance is the predominant feature of the L.U.C Flying T Twin. The size, thickness and material of the case are one part of the overall package offered by this watch. The other part being the finesse and charm of the hand-guilloché ruthenium grey dial crafted by Chopard artisans. Around the chapter ring appears a snailed motif while the centre of the dial carries a honeycomb design. Further contrast is created with the rose gold hands and hour markers against the grey dial.
The large aperture at 6 o’clock allows the flying tourbillon to flow freely on the wrist while creating a sense of transparency and depth, constantly reminding you that the dressy slim elegance of the watch also holds immense technical and horological excellence.
Self-winding Caliber L.U.C 96.24-L; one-minute flying tourbillon; hours, minutes, small seconds affixed to the flying tourbillon cage; 65-hour power reserve
40mm 18K ethically certified “Fairmined” rose gold
Black alligator strap with 18K rose gold pin buckle
Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of the Dragon and the Pearl
In Chinese mythology there are many legends and stories referencing dragons and the sacred pearl with a general consensus that the dragon represents imperial power while the pearl embodies wisdom and knowledge. Often in Chinese art, you’ll find the depiction of two dragons chasing the sacred flaming pearl.
It’s this legendary vision of China that Chopard has chosen for this piece unique. The task of engraving this depiction on the 18K rose gold case was entrusted to the “Mains d’art” (artistic hands) of the maison. Using the fine line engraving technique, two dragons take up the full space available on both sides of the case as well as the space between the lugs. The dragons’ bodies start on the left side of the case with the tails, continues between the upper and bottom lugs, and come around with their heads on the right side chasing after the sacred pearl depicted on the crown. The master engraving work took 200 hours to finalise.
Completing the scenography is the engraved motif drawn from traditional Chinese iconography which appears on the bezel, pin buckle and the solid gold dial of the timepiece.
Don’t think that all the work went only into the decorative artwork of the watch. The L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of the Dragon and the Pearl is powered by the hand-wound Caliber L.U.C 02.15-L equipped with a one-minute tourbillon and a perpetual calendar which won’t require any correction until the year 2100.
The dial is perfectly balanced with the calendar indications spread over two sub-dials. The one at 3 o’clock is for the month and leap years and the one at 9 o’clock is for the day and the 24-hour indication. At 12 o’clock you’ll find the large twin-aperture date while at the bottom part of the dial, the small seconds sits on the tourbillon carriage.
As with all L.U.C watches coming out of the manufacture, the movement is COSC-certified in addition to bearing the “Poinçon de Genève” quality hallmark
Hand-wound Caliber L.U.C 02.15-L; hours, minutes, small seconds; large date; one-minute tourbillon; perpetual calendar; Quattro technology; 9-day power reserve
43mm 18K rose gold; case middle hand-engraved with motifs inspired by the imaginary world of the tale of The Dragon and the Pearl; bezel hand-engraved with motifs inspired by Chinese iconography
Black alligator strap; 18K rose gold pin buckle hand-engraved with motifs inspired by Chinese iconography
Chopard L.U.C Quattro
A mainstay of the L.U.C collection of Chopard watches, the L.U.C Quattro underwent a redesign last year. For 2019, the timepiece continues its ongoing transformation with a new pared-down dial which is satin-brushed and comes in a modern grey-green colour with rhodium-plated hour-markers and Arabic numerals.
The name of the watch, Quattro, stands for the two pairs of stacked barrels giving the watch an incredible 9-day power reserve. This patented Quattro technology is what distinguishes Caliber 98.01-L. An indicator at 12 o’clock will help you keep track of how much power reserve the watch has left while the sub-dial at 6 o’clock displays both small seconds and the date. Despite the technological feat, the movement manages to retain a slim profile with a thickness of only 3.7mm while receiving a COSC certification and a “Poinçon de Genève” stamp.
The case is 43mm in diameter and now in 18K white gold.
Hand-wound Caliber L.U.C 98.01-L; hours, minutes, small seconds; date; Quattro technology; 9-day power reserve
43mm 18K white gold
Brown alligator strap with 18K white gold pin buckle
Chopard L.U.C XP
If you are in a search for a time-only dress watch, Chopard has the answer for you with the L.U.C XP.
This timepiece encompasses just the essentials: two hands, no seconds and no date. A pure and simple design which characterises the L.U.C collection of watches from Chopard. Attired in a 40mm stainless steel frame and enhanced by a satin blue dial with rose gold accents, this ultra-thin and chic timepiece is of course much more sophisticated than it looks.
Powering the watch is the in-house Caliber L.U.C 96.53-L finished to the high standards set by the Chopard L.U.C manufacture. The engraved tungsten micro rotor feeds two superposed barrels based on the brand’s Twin architecture which guarantees a comfortable 58 hours of power reserve.
The deeply blue satin-brushed dial is enhanced by applied hour markers and Arabic numerals delighting the eyes whenever the wearer looks down to check the time. As part of Chopard’s couture capsule collection, the L.U.C XP, dressed with a merino wool strap, provides a casual elegance and presents the modern gentleman with a variety of styling options.
Self-winding Caliber L.U.C 96.53-L; hours, minutes; 58-hour power reserve
40mm stainless steel
Blue merino wool strap with brown alligator leather lining; second strap included, in cognac-coloured alligator leather with brown alligator leather lining