Chopard runs the options with two new L.U.C. watches ahead of Baselworld
By James Gurney
With so much focus on last year’s 20th anniversary of the L.U.C. manufacture, Chopard might be expected to take it a little slower going into 2017, but striking while the iron is hot seems to be the order of the day as Chopard’s pre-Baselworld releases include a new L.U.C. Lunar One and a new Fairmined L.U.C. Twist (as well as a pair of Mille Miglia chronographs).
The L.U.C Lunar One is Chopard’s flagship complication, featuring a perpetual calendar watch with large date and moon-phase display (both of which are trending at the moment). The watch was first presented in 2005 and the new version, a limited edition of 100, is the first in platinum.
The Lunar One is a complicated watch and Chopard’s design does nothing to hide that, but the information is nicely organised with the calendar functions confined to the date windows and the two sub-dials at 9 and 3 – the lower sub-dial being given over to a sky-chart / moon phase (the moon phase follows the position of the moon in the sky), the design being brought together by a royal blue dial with a sunray finish focussed on the “o” of the L.U. Chopard legend.
Fairmined gold is a project that Chopard continues to invest heavily in, rightly believing that luxury needs to be ethically neutral at least. Meeting the criterion and putting the systems in place to guarantee the production is “clean” is demanding and expensive, which is why only a minority of Chopard’s output qualifies at the moment. Nevertheless, the brand is steadily increasing its capacity to produce these watches and the latest to be produced under the scheme is the L.U.C. XPS Twist.
Super-slim at 7.20mm in height, the XPS Twist has an eccentric layout with its crown at 4 and subsidiary seconds at 7 and, for the Fairmined rose gold edition, brings back the grainy curved sunburst texture that made its debut on the XPS Fairmined limited edition two years ago. The standard XPS Twist is no longer in the collection, but the irregular orientation of crown and small-seconds (effectively just rotating the movement 30 degrees within the case) lives on in the L.U.C 8HF Power Control.
Inside is Chopard’s chronometer grade Calibre 96.09-L and the whole watch is tested to the Qualité Fleurier standard, a process that involves certification from COSC, the Swiss chronometer commission, Chronfiable, which tests for endurance, and the QF Foundation, which runs a series of specially designed tests. It’s the first time a fairmined piece has been submitted for QF certification.