Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

A staple of the Chopard L.U.C collection, the Chopard L.U.C Lunar One perpetual calendar, has been an underdog hero for high-end watch collectors since the model's debut over a decade ago. Today, I review a newer limited edition version of the L.U.C Lunar One (reference 161927-9001) in a 950 platinum case with a trendy blue dial. It's a very Chopard product, showcasing a lot of what the brand does best, and at a price which, comparatively speaking, is very decent.

A few years ago, I visited Chopard's manufacture facility in Fleurier where they produce L.U.C collection watches. While all Chopard watches are technically speaking luxury products, the L.U.C collection is where collectors really put their attention given the movements. Most L.U.C watches are more traditional in their style, but with a healthy dose of (tasteful) masculinity as evidenced by the proportions, sizes, and strong presence of the watches overall.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Each L.U.C movement is produced in-house by Chopard, and includes finishing (decoration to the metal parts) which in my opinion rivals those which are considered the very best in the industry. A close look at the in-house made caliber L.U.C 96.13-L automatic movement through the rear of the case reveals careful attention, beautiful classic lines, excellent surface treatments, and a focus on practical utility that we watch lovers seek in timepieces we actually wear.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The only legitimate complaint I feel merits the presentation of the movement is that it only seems to take up 60% or so of the caseback. It is typical for picky watch collectors to have cases sized around the movement (in this case the case is 43mm wide and the movement is 33mm wide), as opposed to movements put into cases which are larger than necessary. This is a tricky discussion point because at the end of the day, Chopard (along with pretty much any other watch company), doesn't want to be limited in how they size cases based on the movement sizes. With that said, there is a special appeal in viewing a sapphire crystal display caseback on the rear of the watch that takes up almost the entire space – as opposed to situations where the case size and movement don't necessarily seem to match. Again, this is a small point that allowed me to simply discuss the subject. I really don't think anyone is going to avoid buying this otherwise good watch because of the movement to case size ratio.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

A discussion of the Chopard L.U.C 96.13-L mechanical movement should begin with the fact that it is both COSC Chronometer certified for accuracy, as well as certified with the Geneva Seal (Poinçon de Genève). The former is a more basic certification of movement performance and accuracy, whereas the Seal of Geneva is a bit more complicated in what it claims about a watch. In its most modern form, the Seal of Geneva at the same time attests to the fact that a movement was produced in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, abides by particular decoration standards, and also conforms to certain performance standards. In a lot of ways, having COSC certification in addition to the Geneva Seal is a bit redundant. Though with both, Chopard gets to add extra bragging rights to each piece, while printing "Chronometer" on the Lunar One's dial.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I would have loved for the movement to have Chopard's "Quattro" system of four stacked mainspring barrels – that offers up to eight days of power reserve. I'm not sure if Chopard plans to update its core perpetual calendar movement in the future with more power reserve, but the L.U.C 96.13-L isn't lacking. It has two stacked mainspring barrels which offer 65 hours of power reserve. Of course, the movement is also an automatic with a solid 22k gold micro-rotor.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews
The Chopard LUC Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

Chopard recently released a similar looking watch in the L.U.C Perpetual Chrono (hands-on here in the same platinum/blue dial combination). The Perpetual Chrono adds a 12 hour chronograph to the perpetual calendar set of complications – though it is based on an entirely different movement, and unlike the L.U.C Lunar One, which is an automatic, the Perpetual Chrono is manually wound. If you are dying for a chronograph/calendar combo, then the choice for you will be obvious – though as a more practical daily wearer, I like the Lunar One a bit more.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Not only is the Lunar One free from the sub-dial "ears" (an aesthetic thing) which aren't popular with all people on the Perpetual Chrono's dial, it is also cheaper by about $40,000 (when comparing platinum models). The L.U.C Perpetual Chrono is also a larger watch coming in a 45mm wide case, versus the Lunar One's still big (for a dress watch) 43mm wide size. Speaking of size, the Lunar One isn't a small watch, and given the wide lugs, wears large for a 43mm wide watch. That's not a bad thing, and I know of many people who like traditional watches in this particular size. With that said, given that watch lovers are very particular about the sizes they like, if you are interested in a more modestly-sized dress watch, then look for perpetual calendar watches elsewhere (there are arguably many).

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Returning to the discussion of the movement, the automatic L.U.C 96.13-L operates at 4Hz (28,800bph), has 65 hours of power reserve, and is produced from 355 parts. In addition to time, complications include a perpetual calendar as well as a 122 year accurate moon phase indicator. The calendar system indicates the date (via big date display window), month, day of the week, leap year, and 24 hour (day/night) indicator. The overall layout of the dial is logical, and about as busy as you can get without it feeling overly cluttered. My only issue with the dial is that while some of the sub-dial hands are easy to see, others are not. For example, two of the sub-dials have a stubbier, lume-filled hand which is easy to spot. At the same time, those same dials also have a thinner, polished hand that doesn't benefit from having a contrasting color. These thinner hands easily disappear given the lack of effective contrast, and make it challenging to see the day of the week and the month if you want to read them at a glance.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Legibility isn't an issue with the most important hands, which are those for the hours and minutes. Beautifully perfect in size, the hour and minute hands further benefit from having luminous material, which contrasts well with the glossier tones of other dial elements.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Over the rich, metallic blue face are applied 18k white gold Roman numeral hour markers. Chopard designed these elements cleverly, as they are rounded in only one direction. That means they play with the light, but not so much as to cause reflective blur. I will, however, request that moving forward Chopard opt to coat the sapphire crystal over the dial with AR-coating on both sides (not just the underside as is done here).

What do you think?
  • I want it! (24)
  • Thumbs up (14)
  • Interesting (8)
  • I love it! (7)
  • Classy (6)
  • Pete Pete

    they had a nice run of very convincing elegant watches lately. this isn’t one of them. the dial is quite a mess – no sign of elegance whatsoever.

  • Terance Hill

    It’s a little busy for my taste and Way Beyond what I can afford. It’s actually just the oversized Roman numerals

  • Tea Hound

    “Best characteristic of watch: Well-priced for what you get…”
    I’d buy IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar, and use the $30k saved for something interesting…

    • Spangles

      LGBTQPC

  • Yan Fin

    “calendar-curious lovers”

  • I actually like it more than the PP from a few days ago. I love busy dials, as long as they are legible — and this IS legible! Oh, and the hands are really growing on me!

  • IanE

    Their designer is obviously not a fan of empty space! Some nicely done elements (esp. I like the moonphase), but the Roman numerals look like cheap stick-on numerals and give the whole watch a very blingy feel, really spoiling the whole watch for me – not that I am a perpetual calendar-curious lover anyway!

  • SuperStrapper

    While LUC watches have been steadily growing on me, this one has a few shortcomings in just not into. The movements presence in the case, pointed out by Ariel, is not exactly the most luxurious view. And this movement, while obviously well crafted and finished with excellence, doesnt have the most exciting architecture to it. Even compared to other recent LUC calibers. Does the Geneva seal not need to be directly on the movement itself, not just the caseback?
    This case is not all it could be either. Seems a little crude and blocky in design. And all the external inset pushers take away from the elegance significantly. I understand they are often necessary, But I also know that truly refined watchmaking can replace them with more meaningful methods of operation.

    Nice, but the chronograph is just simply a better watch.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Reign it in people ! are you going for the most complications on a single dial ?. As most of you know who read my ramblings I’m a sucker for a moon phase ( and this one is lovely ) and i hate unnecessarily busy. Look out the window, is it dark ?, if so that means it’s night time. Date ?, handy, day, I quess you can sometimes lose track, month ? are you on medication ?.Numerals to big and hands although matching the case, i don’t like. It’s undoubtedly well made and finished but it gives me a headache.

    • Berndt Norten

      The reins in Spain fall mainly on Ray’s veins, a lad, insane.

      • DanW94

        Ray doesn’t feign disdain, his talk is plain and you can’t contain, he brings the pain.

        • Berndt Norten

          Watchu gonna do
          When Raymond Mysterio sicks the Hulkster
          On you?

      • Raymond Wilkie

        ” Who you tryin’ ta mess with ese?
        Don’t you know I’m loco? ” : – )

        • Berndt Norten

          Come on Raymond
          Do the loco-motion

  • BNABOD

    As Ariel points out its worse characteristics is that it looks dated. the numerals cut out is old school it feels, the movement while too small is well made but makes the case look like a over-sized donut. the engraving on the clasp is weird looking and the worse offense to me are as the amphibian on steroid points out the pencil pushers. they simply just cheapen the watch (especially the one between the lugs). I don’t know but for 60Gs I would expect more.

    • SuperStrapper

      Steroids? That’s a new one.

  • Mark1884

    Beautiful watch, but just a little too complicated for my taste. Also, the finishing on the sides of the case looks out of place to me. Would prefer to see this polished. Love the blue dial and platinum though. I would not want to have to set this thing, after it sat too long.
    As has been noted, the pencil pushers always look cheap and “quartzy” to me.
    Respectful pass.

  • R Ramki

    Unfortunately the design looks dated instead of classic.

  • Luciano

    L.U. Chopard has been launching various interesting pieces, but this isn’t one of them. There is a lot of things going on on that dial, which lacks cohesiveness on its design.

  • Larry Holmack

    I really like a Moon Phase complication on a watch, ,so yes I like Chopard’s version quite a bit. But…the Month, Day of the week/am-pm indicator sub dials are not only very difficult to read, they are unnecessary on this watch. Leave the date where it is, remove those unnecessary sub dials and you have one really nice looking watch.
    Thanks for the video Ariel….I always appreciate them and the time it takes you to make them! I think even you had trouble with reading those sub dials…imagine how difficult it would be for those of us who wear glasses to read them.

  • Ross Diljohn

    I am poor.

  • Marius

    In my view, this is not a bad watch. The Geneva Seal movement is quite attractive (as well as highly-finished), and the overall design of the case & dial is quite appealing. Sure, you could argue that the dial has a rather mixed character — it wants to be elegant, casual, and idiosyncratic at the same time — but I have to say that I quite like the overall look.

    Nevertheless, the big problem that Chopard faces is that most people view this brand first and foremost as a jewellery maison, not as a high-end watch manufacturer. And, when you’re spending around $70,000 on a watch, such aspects matter because Chopard prices its watches pretty much in line with prestigious high-end watch brands such as Lange, Patek, Audemars Piguet, or Vacheron Constantin. For instance, I’m fully aware that Chopard manufactures high-quality timepieces, but if I had to spend over $70,000, I would never actually purchase a Chopard. In fact, let’s say that you were at an authorized dealer/boutique with the Chopard, and these four watches in front of you. Which one would you pick?

    1. Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Perpetual Calendar — $60,000. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4e92d025871d26d01166d0adce43bf4271d5646e5d9d4e56cfc1f1f5ab3913a5.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9f2516093b12817200ff6450a6eb70eda9a16c8f9cad4c909174e740439a2065.jpg

    2. Patek Philippe 5140 Perpetual Calendar — $79,000. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ea5f590f7c64acb6eb5f459594e3c1d3ad49398ce9798cbad039c41ee79964a2.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b19db69bfefbaf2dc9b7d400776ee3fe8865341c7e698508fa3ad5208a032fb5.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1638c50f6ecc35e0236240f4d25a2d8ca971e7d905df941d09867accb8032f98.jpg

    3. Patek Philippe 5940 Perpetual Calendar — $79,000. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f6b151f3fb8df6fd624f9a2b38a84e7447d2cc7154c34411d68ed16ca8884ec3.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/211bb4f017ed18faf97fcddaf0189dc3b6bae069b56f47dca86671e9200d3b4f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/818d2f531b37afdf75c964f2fa0d1121d302336ebb7356cda677dc8103a6ee95.jpg

    4. My personal favourite, the Lange Langematik Perpetual — $79,000. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/50bf577d7dabb85ee8a225942dc492e5ef149656153238df50ba4a5fdf890a0d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e55eef26aebd2ee05fc04e9df293030772017b75f07f42decde8cc735a415fd7.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75a768916ba3e2e16b021d382e6169aadd134777519d398949023ff71c641e95.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e317166717dd1f83b253520851d3b7cd082f9858a726576e8db3bac7656c7692.jpg

  • ProJ

    Nice review, thanks.

    If you look carefully at the date window(s) you can see part of the digit next to 1, not sure if it’s 0 or 2, but it’s very disappointing at this price level not to be able to hide the next digit.

    Overall design is not bad. But as Marius said, the ALS, although is $9k more, is the better choice here.

    Also, Ariel, can you add the case thickness under ‘necessary info > dimensions’ at the end of ABTW reviews? It’s not any less important in my opinion than the case diameter.

    • Mikita

      +100500

      I would suggest to also add the mass. Case / case with a strap or bracelet.

      • ProJ

        Absolutely! Mass plays a crucial role in the wearbility section. Unfortunately, most watch-related websites don’t pay attention for this. All what it needs is a jewelry weighing scale, sold on Amazon for $40 :))

  • Brian

    Reminds of the PP 5035, except I like that watch.