Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer is close to being a perfect watch for me. It isn't the only watch I'd want to own, but as a dress-style watch - there is little else I could ask for when blending design, materials, artistic technique, and utility into a single timepiece. As a limited edition released for 2017, this is the Chopard L.U.C reference 161242-1001. Let's take a close look at what it is all about and why I like it.

Chopard's L.U.C collection of watches comes out of their higher-end facility in Switzerland. Not that "core" Chopard watches aren't high-end or really nice, but L.U.C products up the ante in terms of the movement quality as well as the inclusion of (occasional) hand-applied artistic techniques to the movement, dial, or case. In many ways, L.U.C are the most traditional in style timepieces that Chopard makes, and are exactly what many timepiece enthusiasts are looking for.

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

When it comes to important factors such as movement finishing and decoration (not to mention mechanical design), L.U.C can regularly compete with best the industry has to offer from brands such as Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Breguet, and Vacheron Constantin. L.U.C watches nevertheless tend to be a bit better priced, have more original designs, and feel a bit less as though they were designed by a committee (this latter statement is a bit of a generalization - but it does feel as though many Chopard L.U.C watches have distinct and individual personalities).

The Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer is a limited edition watch that builds on an existing L.U.C XPS model by adding some artistic embellishments. These embellishments don't really add utility value, but rather the type of emotional value that helps convince otherwise practical people like me and you to buy luxury timepieces in the first place.

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

According to Chopard, this reference 161242-1001 watch celebrates when "distinction meets discretion," and is the type of product that "harbours a wealth of secrets and symbols." So what exactly is there to discover in the Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer watch? For one, it is an homage to one of the first Chopard L.U.C watches from 1996, which was known as the L.U.C 1860.

Let's begin with the basics. The watch case is 40mm wide, 7.7mm thick, and water resistant to 30m. The case is produced in 18k white gold, and has a hunter-style case back. This is rather uncommon for a Chopard watch, and is one of the distinguishing factors of the watch (at least for the brand). The case back on the outside is decorated with hand-operated machine guilloche engraving, and the inside of the case back is further decorated with hand-engraved text and imagery. More on that shortly.

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Hunter-style case backs are sometimes called "officer-style" ones - hence that part of the product's name. The motif on the inside of the cover is supposed to be Chopard's "historic" (from the 1990s) logo, along with a beehive. This latter part might be quizzical to many people, until you realize that in Fleurier where Chopard is, it isn't uncommon to have honey-making bees around. More so, according to Chopard, in the early days of the brand's thematic founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard (where "L.U.C" comes from) the movements were "all engraved, both on their movements and inside their cover, with a beehive surrounded by bees." I believe Chopard may have sent me Chopard-branded honey before. I know for a fact that I received very delicious honey from Jaeger-LeCoultre (from the beehives which operate right across the street from the manufacture).

I find the hand-engraving charming, and I also find that it adds immensely to the personality of the product. More importantly, it is a touch of hand-applied work done by someone talented and with special training. This type of attention is exactly what we dream our high-end luxury watches have, and this engraving is proof that this watch has at least some of that. Though, as you will learn, the watch has even more hand-applied artistic effort.

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer dial and case back have similar engraving patterns which are also hand-applied, but rather than being engraved, are produced from a guilloche machine (rose engine). This requires a trained operator and it certainly isn't easy to get a design like this. Masculine and even a bit modern, the machined guilloche engravings on the case back and dial are referred to as (unsurprisingly) a "honeycomb" motif (I wonder what that is meant to go with... this is one sweet watch...). I happen to think that this particular style of "honeycomb" motif is cool looking and very fitting for a high-end timepiece like this.

In addition to the hand and specialized hand-operated machine decoration on the case and dial, you also have decoration on the movement. While all L.U.C movements are hand-decorated, not all are decorated to the degree required by the Seal of Geneva. Accordingly, the Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer watch is among the rare (but not only) Chopard watches that have the "Poincon de Geneve." If you are not familiar with what getting that seal entails, then click on that link to learn more. It is a complicated requirement, but in short involves a few key areas of effort. First the movement must be made in the Canton of Geneva (origin), then it must perform according to a particular set of standards (durability and accuracy), and last it must have a range of specific decorative applications given to it.

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The movement which has been awarded the Seal of Geneva is the in-house made Chopard L.U.C caliber 96.01-L. This micro-rotor based automatic movement offers the time with subsidiary seconds dial and date. My only complaint about the watch is that the date window on the dial seems a bit unfinished (like a gaping hole), and might have looked a bit better with a handsome little frame around it. The movement uses a 22k gold rotor, and dual mainspring barrels for 65 hours of power reserve. The movement also operates at 4Hz (28,800 bph). Oh, and in addition to the Seal of Geneva, the 96.01-L movement is also a COSC certified Chronometer.

Chopard is a fan of stuffing certain limited edition watches with a list of appealing things which makes the pieces feel that much more "high-end Swiss watch." The majority of these things don't really add functional value, but do add a lot of value to the watch as a prestige item. Each of these particular traits (Geneva Seal, hand-engraving, gold case, etc...) together make for an emotionally charged product that also happens to be comfortable and beautiful.

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer is meant for daily wear, but is produced to be treasured. It also doesn't cost the price of a house, but rather of a family sedan (which feels a lot more fair). On the dial you have a distinctive Chopard L.U.C style, with legibility and a handsome, masculine sense of purpose and poise. The all silver-tone colors also make the watch very versatile from a fashion perspective. This is just a beautiful watch, that has "Swiss timepiece luxury" [metaphorically] written all over it, and is priced fairly. The Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer reference 161242-1001 is a limited edition of 100 pieces (though oddly it says 250 pieces on the case back of this piece - so I'll leave it to Chopard to decide how many they are going to make) in 18k white gold, and has a retail price of $31,710 USD. chopard.com

What do you think?
  • Classy (19)
  • Thumbs up (18)
  • I want it! (6)
  • I love it! (5)
  • Interesting (5)
  • Word Merchant

    Very nice, but marred by that date window. If they’d made the window smaller and circular, it would’ve fit the rest of the design far better. Then they’d have been closer to perfection – although still not as good as this: http://www.vacheron-constantin.com/en/watches/quai-de-i-ile/quai-de-l-ile-4500s-000a-b195.html

    • Circular date would have been very interesting! A three-circle motif with perhaps a silver stroke framing the date window.

    • I agree a circular date opening would look better. But when you do that you are really cutting off the corners so to get dates like “22” (usually the widest date) you have to make the font on the date wheel smaller. You can’t go wider without showing the adjacent dates. This all assumes a date wheel of a given diameter. I know people often say, just give the date wheel a larger diameter, but that often means the dial feet become an issue. With larger diameter movements you have more to work with. I wonder what the diameter of this movement is…

      • Lincolnshire Poacher

        I’d have never thought that. I think perhaps if they bevelled the date window edges, it wouldn’t look so unfinished.

      • Word Merchant

        Good points. But this is one of those rare times when I can compliment B&R. They’ve nailed circular date windows including matching colours to dials.

    • egznyc

      I am not terribly bothered by the window as is – not perfect but pretty good. The VC you link to is very nice and a more interesting solution, but I find it less dressy and more sporty – to me – which was probably not their intent.

  • Pete Pete

    beautiful watch. love that hunter-style caseback!
    only the hands are a bit weird.

  • BrJean

    Chopard continues to rock. I wish more watches on the market have hunter-styled case because it would satisfy both lovers of engravings and those who like to appreciate movements.

    I see only one possible improvement for this watch. Guess what? … Right, remove the date window!

    • Saddest Factory

      De-fenestration

      • Lincolnshire Poacher

        Giggity

  • R.O. Ferrer

    wow wow wow. very lovely! i feel like those old cartoons where the character’s eyes pop out!

  • Abdul Kalik Abdul Razak

    Another excellent in depth review by abtw! Very informative and educational.. I also love reading the comments section, very amusing..

  • Marius

    I find this to be quite an exquisite watch. The case and dial are extremely elegant and timeless, whereas the movement is one of my favourite calibers. Interestingly enough, this movement came to life as the caliber 1.96, and was developed and designed by Michel Parmigiani from 1993 to 1996. In 1996, this timepiece won the title “Watch Of The Year” and even Walt Odets described this caliber as “Probably the finest ultra-thin automatic caliber to have recently come out of Switzerland.” Nevertheless, I have two slight problems with this watch.

    1. I find the guilloche pattern on the dial as well as the engraving on the caseback a bit ugly, and clashing with the elegant nature of this watch. Now I know that Chopard wanted to add a touch of flair, but personally, I would have used a more elegant pattern.

    2. Although this is a great watch, I find the $32,000 price rather high. At this price point, Chopard is entering into a direct competition with the Patek 5227 and Lange 1, and to be honest, I like these watches more — the case and case back execution (Patek), and the movement & dial (Lange). What’s more, I would never buy a Chopard 1860 brand new. Instead, I would look at the pre-owned market, where you can find the amazing Original Chopard LUC 1860 for around $12,000. Besides the fact that the original reference is slightly more elegant & classy, it’s also one of the best value deals that you can find on the market today: $12,000 for a gold watch with a beautiful design + limited edition + Geneva Seal movement.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/904befe53531ca08c938d980ebca94da2c1be5a127e7a65da0b68ecb55bcfd62.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/baca467d7c71c7c5d348fdb64d4a49948a17c0b4db7aaf5cd09ec99a9d7eb355.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f10d962ac924d5c12d4c2fedd95e155980b9f5b48231c3ba461b7160b8c531b3.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb31fbe5730a56f371d88108d83dd41299edca53bc0da0db9b9624ac2ccbe17f.jpg

  • Rob D

    Really is a gorgeous looking watch, I agree about the date window, just looks a little like a slice taken out of the dial, doesn’t quite match everything else. I’m not 100% on the hands either, a bit too chunky at the centre, but even so, if I could justify spending this much money I might even be able to see past these.

  • Mikita

    Absolutely gorgeous. They managed to create an original look in a most subtle segment – and that’s remarkable. I have only one problem with this watch: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0f3679bd6f8fcc9dced4ab39dff3d4ae8baa42386fe73fa660c5686465cd41a0.jpg

    Maybe I’m a bit mental, but I hate it when the hand is ALMOST reaching the border of the manege. I prefer when it is either considerable shorter or longer, but not this damn 1 mm!!

    • Well when making a thin watch you usually assume that the hour hand won’t have vertical clearance over applied hour markers. So to be a smidge short might just be a clearance issue. I know the hour hand has to have clearance over the small seconds, but on this watch the sub-dial appears to be sunken, so I’d say the hour hand is pretty close all things considered. Cheers.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Smidge………good word

      • SuperStrapper

        While I certainly agree, allow for a dash of autism: the applied markers don’t actually reach the periphery of the inner dial, and if they did they are certainly beveled to slope down to meet if not so slighly above the surface. So extending the hour hand just a smidge to meet that line shouldn’t interfere with anything?

      • Mikita

        Indeed, this may be the reason.

    • Polerouter

      Seems perfectly fine to me: there seems to be the exact same distance between the tip of the hand and the circle as between the circle and the indexes…

    • Raymond Wilkie

      No , you’r not mental ( unless i am to ). This annoys me no end.

      • Mikita

        Glad I’m not alone about that.

  • SuperStrapper

    I would certainly agree that the watch is lovely. Im really digging that honeycomb motif, although it can have a tiled shower look at a glance. As Ariel and others have rightly mentioned, the date window is a small clash, due both to the unfinished look to it in a sea of highly finished everything, as well as the shape not really matching much else. A hex shaped window might be a bit much, but something more incolved should have been employed here. I would personally prefer a centre seconds hand and omit the subsidiary dial (which would leave an excellent opportunity for an interesting and elaborate counterbalance) and I alaobfind this handset to be slightly underwhelming. It just looks like its missing an element to them.
    I could take or leave the hunter style case: I don’t think It adds much (aside from a platform for the nice engraving) but I don’t find it offensive either.

    All In, far from my perfect watch, but certainly worth high praise nonetheless.

    • Saddest Factory

      You get some extra white gold and can still see the micro-rotor.

    • DanW94

      Reserve final judgement on the bathroom tile motif, it hasn’t been grouted yet…

  • Beautiful, inside and out. The hunter-style caseback is a very cool touch…I can picture the dramatic flair with which one pops it open to show off that spectacular movement. But, yeah…oof…that date window. Maybe they were trying to be subtle with it, but a frame, or at least some beveling, would have been A Very Good thing.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    What’s not to like. Beautifully etched , lovely proportions. ( except the second hand being a little short ) The hunter back is a nice touch. Beautiful watch, shame about the date window.

    • David Rolls

      Contrived hexagon motif to reflect bees, crap date window, Boring design. Yawn. Clunk Tm

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I disagree Mr Grumpy.

    • Sevenmack

      The date window is perfectly fine and well-placed. Besides, time is not just about seconds, minutes, and hours, but about days, weeks, months, and years. Since adding the remainder would be clutter in this case, a date window nicely done and well-placed is good to have. Besides, casual watch buyers demand it.

      Often, the only reason why collectors hate date windows is because they have too many watches to set. Reduce the number of watches down to one and a date window is no big deal at all.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Thank you for sharing you’r opinion,…………i don’t share it.

        • Sevenmack

          That’s fine. Since this is a forum and responses are part of the equation, I will continue sharing my opinion. As will you.

  • Nice but I would have left out the date display (useful as they are).

  • BNABOD

    It certainly is pretty and like Mark said I would have dropped the date but it is the more useful complication out there. Ariel bonus points for the precise measurements. The price as usual is high but again here it doesn’t bother
    me as some of the other watches presented on a abtw

  • John Stevens

    Beautiful watch and I love the hunter caseback, I would however prefer a straightforward taper on the hands if I’m being honest.

    • ???

      Agreed. Aside the date window, its hands also bug me a lot. Traditional dauphine hands will be much better to me.

  • Sevenmack

    The textured inner dial. Those sensual teardrop indices. That movement. Those hands. And that gorgeous hunter case with the engraved back. This is one sexy Chopard. I love it!

  • Travis Cannata

    Well this just got added to my Grail list. As much as I love guilloche, I’ve noticed that a lot of brands recently are veering into the “Too Busy” with some of these new designs. I feel like Chopard nailed it with this while giving a great nod to it’s roots.

  • Jon Heinz

    Big price tag, but holy Jeez is that ever sweet. Only gripe is the hand shape; it could be worse but I’d prefer narrower at the middle. Otherwise, it’s drool-worthy af.

    • Berndt Norten

      Little in the middle but she packs much back?

  • Yan Fin

    What kind of army of 250 this watch is designed for?

  • Luciano

    This is a great piece, but for 1/4 of the price you have the steel version with almost the same look (missing the honeycomb dial). So you end up paying a lot for the movement decorations and better finish. I understand these add value, but with $32k you can buy the XPS 1860 steel AND still have $23k for another interesting watch (for example, the Breguet Classique 7147 if you want a guilloche dial in a white gold case). https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/48a6e8bd3b6884e1319651c355e3790039213476dc0f2d97544ba8f2e626b3ec.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/41c73b33607fbf604fa0232ac2a24f5ee8de0c9ffad1169fd087f7eae50a63e4.jpg

    • SuperStrapper

      Inb4 someone asks you if they are sold out.

    • Marius

      Excellent suggestion!

    • R Khalifa

      That is one big, boring expanse of guilloche on that Breguet. I find the hexagonal guilloche interesting but almost modern or sporty in a way that clashes with the dressiness of the rest of the watch. The steel 1860 certainly doesn’t have that problem.

    • Mikita

      But the problem is – the finishing of the movement in the ss version is unfortunately worse than in the gold version. Pity, but Chopard have double standards.

      • Berndt Norten

        The main thing? It’s sold out.

  • Saddest Factory

    Budget Marius: “But you could buy the Gucci Embroidered Bee watch and a fully-loaded Kia Optima and still have a little left over for a 1-person family dinner at Popeye’s!”

    • Marius

      Hahaha!

    • Mikita

      Marius Light LOL

  • Spangles

    Hi Ariel,

    Nothing on ABtW about the big Patek thing going on in NYC this weekend?

    • Marius

      Unfortunately, ABTW won’t cover the Patek Exhibition in New York. Instead, ABTW will focus all its efforts on the “Ventura Trailer Park Exhibition” taking place in Lumber City, Georgia, and featuring the following heavyweights: Don Kylne & Co., Juanita Trading, AVI-8, Gentlemen Warfare, and the unmistakable Daedalus& Aeschylus & Oedipus.

      Enjoy!

      • Larry Holmack

        WHAT…..????? Invicter ain’t a showing up fer da big watchey show???? Dang…I’s dun had the pick up tuned and 2 new tires dun put on…and my wifey dun got her hair dun up all proper fer da biig watchey show!!! I’s even got me a new shirt from da Wallymart what I ain’t dun cut off the sleeves yet!!!

        Well….I’s a guess we’ll have to go see dat der Jeff Foxworthy at the Lincoln County Mississippi Golden Corral instead….!! We’s dun herd dat Larry da Cable guy was alsa gonna be dere, an’ try ta set a new werld record fer eating mashed tater’s.

      • Rockymet

        Marius, Completely off subject: I was driving through Lumber City when a steer busted out of a railroad car. He lumbered (of course) down the street between traffic then stopped, looked around wondering what to do next. Everyone yelled run, run! Oh I was probably wearing a beater Sub, if that brings me back to subject.

  • frauss

    Hints of Simplicity?

    • Mikita

      Dufour Simplicity?

  • otaking241

    I’m on board with pretty much everything here except the officer-style caseback, which seems really unnecessary on a thin dress watch and doesn’t add anything to the overall package (except a big blank place to engrave that beehive…yeah I think that’s really integral to the overall appeal). Leave it off, save a millimeter or two and have that beautiful movement visible whenever you take the watch off.

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong but a hinged cover on the front of the watch makes it a “hunter,” while a hinged cover on the back makes it an “officer,” no? Curious because Ariel refers to it as a “hunter-style caseback” above.

  • dennis

    As a dress watch, stunning, can’t always like the price.

  • Birdsong

    Beautiful watch. In a couple of the photos the date window looks poor. For the money you can get a Patek annual calendar in white gold. I’ll buy the Patek.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Would be a nice watch with a frame around the date window, dauphine hands and without the honeycomb-dial.

  • Saddest Factory

    Just have to ask because I’ve seen it a lot…how come in certain acronyms there is no period after the last letter?
    L.U.C instead of L.U.C.? I think the band OMD is stylized as O.M.D, and I’ve seen it around elsewhere. It seems to be more of a European thing rather than an American/Canadian thing. Has anyone else noticed this?

  • Flávio Maia

    The seconds counter is much closer to the center than i would like to see…

  • Ulysses31

    It’s a beauty. The hinged-caseback, that movement (great as always from LUC) and the interesting dial texture make this a dressy watch with plenty of interesting and distinguishing details.