With no false modesty – if anything, this is pure understatement – Chopard describes the L.U.C Perpetual Chrono as “the collector’s watch”. Manifestly, it will take a seasoned horophile to appreciate all that Chopard has managed to accommodate in a 45mm case. That, however, suggests the usual grand-complication/kitchen-sink approach in which a watch positively bursts with myriad functions, both useful and ludicrous. Uh-uh. Chopard is also emphasising the ethical element, making this very much a product of – no pun intended – our times.
For the L.U.C Perpetual Chrono, Chopard has produced a combination that, at first, seems almost ordinary in the world of high-end watchmaking: a manually wound chronograph and a perpetual calendar. Patek Philippe and others have issued these, but while there are many from which to choose, production is always limited.
Inside Chopard’s interpretation of this classic hybrid is the superb, COSC-chronometer-certified L.U.C Calibre 3.10-L, designed and manufactured entirely in-house at the Chopard Haute Horlogerie workshops. It is built around a column wheel for controlling all chronograph functions, including flyback capability. In addition to all of the usual chronograph operations, as well as conventional hours, minutes and small seconds at 6 o’clock, the deceptively uncluttered dial accommodates a host of displays that address the requirements of a perpetual calendar element.
Just study the photo for an eyeful of watch-lust: the dial features a large date aperture at 12 o’clock, days of the week display at 9 o’clock and months shown at 3 o’clock, off-set day/night display at 10 o’clock and offset leap-year indication at 2 o’clock. Remember, too, that these sub-dials also contain the chronograph recorders, with the 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock and the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. Below and between the two main sub-dials is the orbital moon display at 6 o’clock; Chopard claims “a mere one-day deviation in 122 years” for this function.
In addition to its COSC testing, every L.U.C Perpetual Chrono, 20 each in Fairmined-certified ethical rose and white gold, including both their movements and their cases, met the evaluation criteria of the Poinçon de Genève. This now tests the whole watch, not just the movement.
All of this is put to good use for the decorative elements. The dial is coated with a satin-finish, silver-toned gold and its surface features a sunburst hand-guilloché motif which draws the eye up to the large twin-aperture date display. Added thought has even gone into the strap: Chopard has fitted the L.U.C Perpetual Chono with a hand-sewn, double-sided alligator-leather strap, dyed with CITES-certified, plant-based pigments.
If the rarity and complexity of this magnificent timepiece are not enough to make you feel good about yourself, note that CITES stands for “the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora”. Even a vegan can’t argue with that.
Hand-wound L.U.C 03.10-L; perpetual calendar; flyback chronograph, vertical clutch and column-wheel controlled; hours, minutes, small seconds; large date; moon phase; centre chronograph seconds, 12-hour and 30-minute counters; day of the week and leap year; 60-hour power reserve; Geneva Seal and COSC-certified
45mm; 20 pieces in Fairmined rose gold and 20 pieces in Fairmined white gold; water resistant to 30m
Hand-sewn double-sided alligator leather dyed with plant-based pigments