Chopard’s enigmatic XPS Twist comes in an entirely new flavour for 2019.
by James Buttery
Gone is the pepite-finish black dial and rose gold case of the 2017 limited-edition run. In its place is an altogether more dressed down, but no less stylish variant.
This time 18ct white gold, sourced ethically via Chopard’s trailblazing Fairmined project of course, is employed for case duties while a metallic, blue grey circular grained dial proves that cyan shades are no longer a trend but an obligation for any right-thinking creative director looking to shape a watch collection.
The titular Twist is the watch’s off-centre choices for crown, which rests at the four o’clock position rather than the more traditional three, and the small seconds dial, which sits at the seven o’clock rather than six. Here Chopard has opted to use this asymmetrical dial position as the centre point for its brushing, lending the watch an unexpectedly mysterious quality. The Twist also gets special dispensation to ditch the Arabic numeral at the 12 o’clock, a standard feature of almost all L.U.C. pieces, in favour of dual spear tip applique indices.
Ironically the positions of crown and small seconds, while irregular, counterbalance each other to create a pleasing sense of symmetry. Chopard refers to these measured, logical quirks as ‘controlled eccentricity’ in its press release and, for once, I wouldn’t disagree.
Inside is an automatic 4Hz LUC 96.26L movement with a 22ct gold microrotor and 65 hours power reserve. It is the movement that conforms to the QF quality mark referred to in the name. QF not only means the movement has been verified as a chronometer by COSC but also by meeting certain other criteria for durability, reliability, precision, craftsmanship and 100% Swiss manufacturing.
Chopard is revealing many more exotic watches this year, but this is the one I didn’t want to hand back. Its 40mm case sits beautifully on the wrist and while its 7.7mm height might not suggest an ultra-slim watch but it certainly wears that way.