“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

Chopard L.U.C novelties at Baselworld 2016

The sunray pattern on the dial originating from the large date window makes the L.U.C Perpetual Chrono appear like a religious painting. The glow of the fairmined gold enhances this impression, just as the eternality of time counted second-by-second by the perpetual calendar mechanism hiding behind the rays.

We met this astonishing piece at Baselworld 2016, where Chopard introduced a number of novelties in the L.U.C. collection, named after Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the founder of the Manufacture. The line is the manifestation of Chopard’s top watchmaking skills, which amazes with elegant beauty and engages the mind with fine-engineering. In 2016 the novelties included two perpetual calendar pieces and a classic XPS ultra-thin model.

L.U.C Perpetual Chrono

20-20 pieces of 18ct white and 18ct rose gold versions will be produced of the limited edition L.U.C Perpetual Chrono. The gold used is sourced from Fairmined mining cooperatives in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, a fact that has been promoted by the company on the red carpet in Cannes, just as in the timepieces since 2014. The certification ensures that this gold is extracted by smaller mining organizations in a responsible manner and a premium is paid by buyers on top of the fixed gold price, that is reinvested in local community projects.

The motif on the grey ruthenium-coated dial is hand-guilloché, which leads the eye up to the date aperture. There is some kind of duality between the perpetual calendar complication continuously measuring the passing of time through centuries and the flyback column-wheel chronograph, which slices it up into tiny pieces. On the dial however they live in harmony, sharing the displays at 3 – (chronograph minutes and months) and 9 o’clock (chronograph hours and days). Leap years and day/night are indicated on offset circles. Moon phases are shown with the accuracy to a one-day deviation per 122 years, at 6 o’clock.

The magic is performed by the L.U.C Calibre 03.10-L that is a COSC certified movement, which is the first completely in-house perpetual calendar calibre of Chopard. It bears the Poinçon de Genève, too.

L.U.C Perpetual Twin

A sober looking steel perpetual chronograph is what made us sigh with longing. It is quite an unusual combination from Chopard (and also in general), but definitely refreshing. The movement encased in steel is the L.U.C 96.51-L self-winding COSC chronometer. Twin, in its name, refers to the two barrels wound by the micro rotor seen on the back. The twins provide energy for 58 hours of running.
The dial plays with contrasts: matte and polished, black and light. The outer stripe of the perpetual calendar sub-dials is dark, that separates the date indication well from the time. Leap years, just as on the Perpetual Chrono are marked in a small circle at February.

L.U.C XPS 1860

Louis-Ulysse Chopard was a watchmaker, who established his company at the age of 24 in 1860. In 1996, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele gave more emphasis to in-house developments and mechanical movements: the company produced over 10 base calibres and many variations in the past 20 years. Looking back at the start of its modern history as well as at the foundation of the company, Chopard created the L.U.C XPS 1860, a timepiece with the very first contemporary calibre and pure classical aesthetics. It is an ultra-thin model, enabled by the slim Calibre 96.01-L, which on the other hand is equipped with the twin barrel system. The excellence of the movement is acknowledged with the COSC certification as well as the Poinçon de Genève. It provides date function, made visible on the lower edge of the seconds sub-dial.


Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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