As usual besides jewellery, Chopard showcased sophisticated timepiece novelties too at Baselworld.
The L.U.C line is the manifestation of Chopard’s top watchmaking skills. Pieces in this collection have COSC certified movements and a number of them bears the Fleurier Quality Foundation certification, acknowledging the extremely high technical and aesthetical standards (see more about FQF here.)
In 2017 L.U.C novelties included two haute horlogerie pieces and three very nice thin models in the XP and XPS lines. XP and XPS watches are clean and very wearable everyday pieces, but always on point.
Getting ready for the 90th Mille Miglia (18-21 May 2017), the team of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele came out with the new Chopard Mille Miglia collection, including an anniversary piece too.
L.U.C Twist XPS Fairmined
Just like in jewellery, Chopard aims to use more “Fairmined” gold in timepieces too. The new limited edition XPS model received the self-winding L.U.C Calibre 96.09-L equipped with two barrels for 65 hours power reserve, wound by a 22-carat gold micro-rotor. Interestingly, the crown is located somewhat lower at 4 o’clock and the small seconds sub-dial is off-centred. The 18k rose gold case has a warm shine, which harmonizes with the slate-grey galvanic dial.
An important addition is that Chopard aims to guarantee the traceability of the “Fairmined” gold used in-house. The company has set up a specific operational protocol in its Geneva workshops, so that “Fairmined” gold is never mixed with other gold alloys and even the waste is dealt with separately.
L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer
One of our favourite novelties is the L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer (issued in a limited edition of 100 pieces). It is an elegant, understated 40mm white gold watch with superior details.
The dial of the timepiece is solid gold with two sections: the outer ring is sunburst satin-brushed, while a hand-guilloché honeycomb motif adorns the central part. The honeycomb returns on the case back too. The officer’s watch is a style dating back to around the WWI. Typical characteristics are the round case, a clean round dial sometimes with sectors, small seconds and a hinged case back is often used. The L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer has a hand-engraved back cover and you can open it by the press of the crown-integrated pusher.
A beehive and bees are engraved on the internal side of the back cover. Bees are the symbols of community and cooperation, honesty and hard work. The little flying insects appear in a random manner on each watch, making it unique.
The L.U.C XP is a 40mm steel timepiece; daily wear for (gentle)men of taste. The main visual attributes are the vertically satin-brushed silver-toned dial, applied hour-markers, four broad blued numerals and blue Dauphine fusée-type hands. The sharp silver and blue look is completed with a blue cashmere woven strap with brown alligator leather lining.
It houses the L.U.C 96.53-L automatic movement from the Manufacture Fleurier workshop.
L.U.C Perpetual Chrono and L.U.C Lunar One Limited editions
Last year marked an important milestone in the history of Chopard. It was the 20th anniversary of opening a separate haute horlogerie facility in Fleurier dedicated to the production of mechanical movements. This manufacture (and the L.U.CEUM Museum, which displays historic pocket watches and wristwatches with different complications and decoration techniques) clearly shows Chopard’s long-term dedication to “haute-horlogerie”. At the end of 2016, the exhibition titled “L.U.C – l’Art d’une Manufacture – the creation of a watchmaking legacy” was installed at Phillips Auction London to celebrate the exceptional pieces.
In 2017 two collectors’ models joined to the illustrious group. The L.U.C Perpetual Chrono received a 20-piece limited edition in platinum with a deep blue dial decorated with a hand-guilloché motif. See more about this perpetual calendar chronograph here.
L.U.C Lunar One
The L.U.C Lunar One was launched in 2005. Its Calibre 96.13-L has a perpetual calendar and orbital moonphase function, which requires no manual correction until 2100.
As we mentioned before these timepieces are meant to meet the highest technical and aesthetical standards. Accordingly, the finishing is superb, the movement is attested by the Poinçon de Genève comity, and its precision certified by the COSC.
The new model has a deep blue sunray-patterned dial. It shows the date at 12 o’clock, the small second at 6 o’ clock, day and night indicator plus the day of the week at 9 o’clock. The moon-phase display is not only a disc rotating beneath the dial, but the entire indicator rotates too, in order to imitate the path of the moon.
Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition
Chopard has sponsored the “la corsa più bella del mondo” since 1988 and they have produced dedicated Mille Miglia sports watches each year (check out our story from the ground from 2015 here). The manufacture always creates a limited “Race” edition, which becomes the Official Timekeeper to the Storica event. Each contestant including the driver and the navigator receive one.
On the 90th anniversary of the race, Chopard launched a Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition in a 46 mm wide and 13 mm-thick rose gold case. The piece recalls the elegance and the spirit of the legendary cars that have competed in this historical race. All the details are in line with the Italian car racing spirit: piston-inspired chronograph pushers, the vintage calfskin strap and the “curved design of a Ferrari 250 GTO, as well as the taut lines of an Alfa Romeo 6C”.
The porcelain white dial has Arabic numerals, snailed counters with the 12-hour counter at 9 o’ clock, the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock.
To mark the anniversary, Chopard included the hand-wound in-house L.U.C Calibre 03.07-L flyback chronograph movement.
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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