As a watch enthusiast, any Chopard L.U.C should pique your interest. L.U.C is a tribute to the brand’s founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard, and represents Chopard’s haute horology wing. With the new Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Chronograph, the brand elevates the hand-wound movement we know and love from the 1963 Chronograph with an eye-catching and wonderfully detailed new model.
The Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Chronograph uses a 45mm-wide 18k Fairmined white gold case. Thickness is 15mm, and while the watch is undoubtedly large, its short lugs make it quite wearable on my 7-inch wrist. Fairmined gold is a result of mines being certified for a variety of factors including safety, social concerns, and environmental protection. This is a more responsible way of sourcing gold, one that is designed to ensure the long-term viability of smaller operators.
The Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Chronograph’s dial is a work of art, ruthenium-coated and host to a lovely hand-guilloche that radiates from the big date display. The rhodium-plated roman numeral markers are applied and match perfectly with the lumed hand set, which features a long minute hand promising strong legibility. The moonphase display is slightly recessed but adds a richness to the dial, with a deep blue and silver layout. As is common with moonphase complications, the display on the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Chronograph is impressively accurate to within one day in every 122 years (assuming you kept the movement running for that period of time).
With a twin register layout, the perpetual calendar display is complex but easily absorbed. The chronograph scale is represented in white on the outer perimeter of the subdials while, moving left to right, the am/pm, day, month, and leap year indicators reside within the subdials, with a distinct handset over a grey background. With first-rate finishing, the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Chronograph’s balanced dial design is a mix of traditional elements blended with red accents and asymmetrical sub dials.
That complexity and fine finishing is perhaps even better understood when viewing the caliber 03.10-L through the wide sapphire display case back. The movement is rendered in nickel silver, which is known for being both beautiful and difficult to work with. The 03.10-L is based on Chopard’s 03.07-L hand-wound flyback chronograph movement, which is a stunning movement by any measure and one that we’ve seen used in their L.U.C 1963 Chronograph.
The COSC-certified 03.10-L operates at 4Hz with 42 jewels and a power reserve of 60 hours supporting a flyback column wheel 12-hour chronograph with a vertical clutch and the myriad functions of the perpetual calendar. Manufactured and hand-finished entirely in-house by Chopard, the L.U.C Perpetual Chronograph also passes the muster of the Poinçon de Genève (fully explained here), which now considers the watch in its entirety, rather than just the movement. This highly regarded hallmark is a tribute to the considerable quality of all aspects for the design and execution of the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Chronograph.
Delivered on a hand-sewn alligator leather strap with a matching Fairmined 18k gold tang buckle at a list price of US$95,630, the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Chronograph is limited to just 20 pieces. While Chopard’s bread and butter is likely from more mass-produced pieces, I think watches like this remarkable perpetual chronograph represent a sometimes overlooked element within Chopard, a heart for haute horology that is the equal of anything in top tier watchmaking. chopard.com