With the release of the Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin watch, the brand has brought to market a super-slim, self-winding tourbillon of timeless proportions. It is turning out to be a busy and diverse Baselworld 2019 for Chopard. So far they have dropped a rash of new models, each with a different focus. The brand is clearly flexing its creative muscles, with forays into enameling, case-engraving, ethically sourced gold and, in this case, high-end complications.
Model: Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin
Dimensions: 40mm diameter, 7.2mm height
Water Resistance: 30m
Case Material: 18k Fairmined rose gold
Crystal/Lens: Sapphire Crystal
Movement: L.U.C 96.24-L
Frequency: 28,800vph (4Hz)
Power Reserve: 65 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Hand-sewn plant-dyed matte-black alligator-leather strap with Cognac-colored alligator leather lining, fastened by an 18k rose-gold pin buckle
Price & Availability: Limited to 50 pieces, priced at $118,500
The Case and Dial
Surprisingly, this is Chopard’s first caliber with a flying tourbillon. Chopard has really gone the extra mile in an effort to aggrandize this model. The ethical “fair-mined” 18k rose-gold case is 40mm-wide and an impressive 7.2mm-thin. It is joined by a blackened gold dial, hand-decorated with a stimulating guillochéd pattern in the center.
The ruthenium surface of the dial is achieved by galvanization. Using solid gold as the base material for the dial may seem like unnecessary posturing to some but, aside from its luxury credentials, there are some material benefits to this decision. All metals hold a finish in different ways, and gold provides an easily workable base that can be engraved with an elegant pattern without any kind of deformation or burring.
The movement, itself, is a supreme technical achievement. At just 3.3mm-thick, the L.U.C 96.24-L packs a lot into a small space. The movement is comprised of 190 components, one of which is a 22-karat gold micro-rotor. Although micro-rotors are certainly not to everyone’s taste, the decision to employ one here makes sense. The slimness manufacturers can achieve using an off-center weight is the obvious advantage, but a secondary bonus is the unobstructed view of the finishing. Visible through a sapphire crystal caseback, the L.U.C 96.24-L beats away at 28,800vph (4Hz) and will do so for 65 hours on a full wind.
And for those of you wondering, the “Twin” in the name of this watch does not refer to a twin tourbillon, but rather a twin barrel system, which is responsible for that hefty reserve.
The front sapphire crystal is treated with anti-reflective material and extends from the polished bezel, which is matched by a polished caseback edge. The flanks of the case are vertically brushed. That finishing style extends to the lugs and forges a nice contrast with the upper and lower surfaces of the watch. The brand logo adorns the 5mm crown, which has a sharp coin edge to facilitate use.
Although tourbillons are not something that cause me a great deal of excitement, the housing of this watch and its graceful proportions are extremely attractive. Consequently, I can see this model finding its feet easily. The variety of Chopard’s 2019 releases may seem a bit scattershot to some, but the wealth of stories coming out of the brand, along with its willingness to show off its ability, can only boost the brand’s profile. As a result, each individual release is likely to get a slightly easier ride with critics.
Ultimately, however, it is a watch for the few. The Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin watch has a price of $118,500. I can see this watch faring well among fans of elegant gold watches in the vein of Piaget or Parmigiani, perhaps, but the price means it will have to fight tooth and nail for serious consideration. For more information, visit chopard.com.