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Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3001 Watch Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3001 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

One of the best new casual dress watches for 2017 comes unsurprisingly from Chopard‘s lauded L.U.C (LUC) collection. The L.U.C XP model itself isn’t new, but the Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3001 is a brand new reference and given the design and colors, it really stands out from the pack.

Chopard’s main watch designer, Guy Bove, is who I give the most credit to for the brand’s best looking timepieces ranging from the Mille Miglia and Classic Racing watches to the even more high-end fare from the brand’s premium L.U.C collection items. Guy helps the brand’s in-house manufacturing team deliver a beautiful presentation for their work. While the LUC XP 168592-3001 lacks any real unique name or personality, this is a slightly different type of watch which will help collectors see it as being just different enough to merit attention.

Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3001 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3001 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

L.U.C watches are mostly dressy, but there is a casual flair to this version of the L.U.C XP – even though it is indeed a dress watch. I actually find that selecting the right dress watch can in many instances be more challenging than selecting the right sports watch. The reason is that unlike sport watches (where functionality and durability are real issues), when it comes to selecting a dress watch it is almost entirely about looks and visual presentation.

Chopard’s L.U.C XP is pretty much the most basic L.U.C watch available as it has just two hands. The XPS is the model you want if you hunger for a subsidiary seconds hand. I believe that “XP” stands for “extra plat” (extra flat) – a reference to the case design which is 7.2mm thick. That isn’t crazy thin, but it is certainly thin enough. The in-house made automatic movement is 3.3mm thick – a number which is a bit more impressive.

Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3001 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3001 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

There are times when a simple, super-legible, two-handed watch is just what the doctor ordered. Look at certain Panerai watches that also just have the hours and minutes – and I think you’ll agree there is a beautiful simplicity to the concept. Chopard playfully calls this notion “graphic restraint.” Don’t get me wrong, two hand watches beg for functionality since they only tell the time with hours and minutes. With that said, in exchange for sacrificing more hands, you do get an awful lot of sexy elegance.

Part of what makes this steel-cased with blue hands and hour markers LUC XP model great is the dial contrast, which makes it so legible. The applied hour markers and hands are blued (not painted) steel, which contrast very nicely against the “Dacron-finished” brushed silver-colored dial. Signature Chopard design elements such as the hands and hour markers exist in a dial that is about as simple as can be for the brand. What makes the watch great is a combination of the aesthetic design, as well as the particular colors and finishings that I know Mr. Bove obsesses over.

Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3001 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3001 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Married to the 40mm wide steel case (water resistant to 30m) is a strap which is actually blue-colored woven cashmere. It is soft to the touch and comfortable to wear (just don’t put it in the clothing dryer as it might shrink). What I like about the strap is that it feels versatile from a stylistic perspective. While it looks good with a blue suit, the somewhat casual style of the strap and the bold, modernity of the dial also mean that this Chopard L.U.C XP can work with a pair of blue jeans.

The inside of the strap is brown alligator, which is a good idea since wearing a cashmere strap without a liner is sure to make it not last very long. With that said, if you aren’t into blue cashmere, Chopard also offers the 168592-3001 with a blue alligator strap (also with a brown lining). I also think this type of watch could look really nice on steel metal bracelet which has been designed to go with the minimalist industrial look of the case and dial.

Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3001 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3001 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the L.U.C XP is a fine in-house made Chopard movement. It is the caliber L.U.C 96.53-L, and is a tungsten (some other models have solid gold rotors) micro-rotor automatic with a long power reserve of 58 hours operating at a frequency of 4Hz (28,800 bph). This relatively long power reserve is thanks to two stacked mainspring barrels. Chopard has a more sophisticated version of this system called Quattro that uses four mainsprings.

The 96.53-L automatic movement is very nicely decorated and in our opinion on par with pretty much the best finishing available in a watch at this price, or even a few times more expensive. Priced less than Audemars Piguet or Patek Philippe, Chopard L.U.C watches hold their own and in many instances, offer a far superior value for the money.

Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3001 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The elegant looks, masculine presentation, and calming simplicity of the legible dial make the Chopard L.U.C XP 168592-3001 a real winner from me. Though I say this as a guy who is generally very enthused by most Chopard L.U.C XP and XPS versions – even if this 2017 version is stylistically a bit different. It also happens to be very versatile and practical, which means you can get away with wearing it in many situations. While you do get a fair amount of watch for the money, I think this timepiece would have been a super good deal at 1-2 grand less. And these days consumers love super good deals. Price for the Chopard L.U.C XP reference 168592-3001 is $9,250 USD. chopard.com

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  • Pete Pete

    gorgeous. another good one from chopard.

    the only thing bothering me is their signature hands. I just can’t get convinced / convince myself that the chubby belly shape is attractive.

  • Mikita

    Best looking dressy watch below 10k I’ve for the last couple of weeks. Heated L.U.C. signature hands are lovely and distinctive, bring some character to the very conservative segment; while heated numbers compliment the hands. The 96.53-L micro-rotor movement is among my favorite movements used below 10k: perfect looking layout, lovely micro-rotor and descent finish (at least in this one – it may be worse in other SS models). The strap represents a stealth wealth idea: canvas top and genuine alligator lining 🙂

  • Moonraker

    A little power reserve on the back would have been a nice addition. Not necessary, I guess, but nice.

    • Heck, it’s an automatic, so PR is a nice to have but not as needed as on a hand winder.

  • BrJean

    Good one but I’d prefer fully-leather strap.

  • jaypea

    Fantastic effort, one of those watches that reward closer inspection. Hands, although odd at first glance, are certainly unique and I suspect would grow on you. Bravo Mr. Bove

    • Pete Pete

      I’m eagerly waiting for those hands to grow on me for quite some time already. so far with little to no success. the odd shape just doesn’t work for me, especially because those l.u.c.s all very elegant watches. but an elegant watch just needs elegant hands. this awkward clumsy chubby bottom style just doesn’t fit. a natalie portman level elegant watch and then hands which are like a weird mix between heidi klum on the top and beth ditto for the bottem part? just doesn’t fit. they should put a set of nice dauphine hands and by that keep it natalie portman elegant all the way.

      • jaypea

        Could you not just image the hands being Heidi Klum, only photographed from the ground, pointing upwards?
        On a serious note I see your point. To me, the hands looked almost art deco in styling – until I read your reply 🙂

      • Gokart Mozart

        I have never noticed Heidi Klum s hands. Must remember to have a look at them next time I see a picture of her.

  • Ade67

    I’ve been waiting for a review of this watch so nice one, Ariel. It’s lovely and I agree that it can be dressed up or down.

    I can’t see the case width in the review but I believe it’s the same case as the XPS 1860 which I own in SS. I’ve been looking for a blue strap to dress it down for the weekends and thought this cashmere strap might work well. Would like to have seen a photo of the blue alligator strap to see if it’s matte or gloss finish.

    Regarding the “cannon” hands, I wasn’t sure about them at first but I can tell you that they definitely grow on you as a fairly unique L.U.C identifier and I now really like them.

    Don’t understand the price, though. How is this more expensive than the XPS 1860 Edition SS (list $8,580 on US website) when the 1860 has small seconds, a date and a solid gold rotor?

  • John Mark Booc

    at first glance i thought the verbage on dial is read as “LuL” Chopard.. LOL

  • Rob D

    Looks really nice, minimalist watch done well. The text on the dial looks a little bit too high in some of the photos, although it’s only a tiny amount. I love that it’s a micro rotor, more of these please, it gives a much nicer view of the back of the movement. And good to see a bit of creativity with the strap material, I’d like to see more brands getting a bit more experimental with their straps, they could always offer a more restrained leather one as an included extra if they’re worried people won’t go for the alternative.

  • Moonraker

    Where do they find those blue alligators?

  • I like it…but on the first photo I thought “nice Citizen”. Maybe a little too understated?

    • I was thinking too understated as well. Nothing rally wrong with it and some subtle things to like about it. But in the end, I don’t find it to be as compelling as other LUC references.

      • Phil leavell

        I find as I get older I like more cleanliness less clutter….. less clutter your eyesight starts to go memory fades you have an aversion to things that are blue eg. watch hands ,pills

  • Phil leavell

    Another watch I’ve recently tried on the beautiful watch elegant, hardly feel it on your wrist I love the minimalism of the dial. The other watch I tried on the same time as this one was Breguet 7147 which I found to wear larger on my wrist than this I think the lug design..
    But unfortunately the small fit and if I’m a bit overpriced you’ll stay on the shelf. If it was a VC Pal Grand Tall at this price point I’d jump on it

  • SuperStrapper

    Lovely caliber largely wasted on a mostly dull and uninspired appearance.

  • Yan Fin

    Simple and sexy? Simply boring.

    • Mikita

      Sexy clunk™?

      • Berndt Norten

        RayClunk

      • Yan Fin

        Sexy skank ?

  • BNABOD

    I think I am most fell asleep. Ok to be fair,I am not in the market for a dressy watch. I simply would not wear it and if I were in the market for one i think I would aim for something w a bit more flair, something a bit less restrained. I just find two handers boring and dull even though overall it is a well made watch.

  • John Stevens

    Simple clean lines, not keen on hands, I would have preferred them to have a normal taper, nice movement, but as others have said the dial is too understated. It’s ok on that strap on a sunny casual day but better on a blue crocodile.

  • WatchNeophyte

    Boooorringggg. The movement sounds interesting but wish they had done more with this piece and it is overpriced as usual. I like some of L.U.C.’s offerings but this is one is a no for me.

  • GCabot

    A decent effort from Chopard, but the pricing seems overly optimistic when a comparable JLC with a much more sophisticated, free-sprung movement can be had for thousands less…

  • mtnsicl

    I think it’s very classy. I’ll bet it’s beautiful in person. I do wish the hour hand was a little longer. It should almost brush up against the numbers as it goes by them.

  • DanW94

    It’s a yawner. Not a lot personality with that dial. If I was in that price range for a classic dress watch, I’d certainly pass on this one.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I would wear it back to front with a leather strap and use my phone for the time. That is one super boring™ and totally uninspiring dial.

  • Word Merchant

    There’s a fine line between intriguing minimalism and torpid emptiness and, partly due to the use of what looks like Tissot off-cut hands, but many more reasons besides, this watch sits very much on the wrong side of the line.

  • Juan-Antonio Garcia

    I like it, not my cup of tea as I am not a dress watch person, but its nice. What I don’t get is, if they want a minimalist face, why add the 15-30-45 and 60 numbers on the watch? They look like dust specs on a clean dial.

  • Gokart Mozart

    Very nice and simple. Classy and not on a Ron Burgundy way.

    It would work better with the small seconds I think with the brushed dial. Hands and hour markers look great.

    Tough choice between this and the trio of JLC sector style watches they bought out recently.

  • otaking241

    Love everything except the font they chose for the numerals–with that odd serif and combination of curves they’re just awkward, somehow. Given that they’re the standout feature that gives this watch its “character” I wish they’d chose something more elegant, but maybe it’s just a matter of taste?

  • Larry Holmack

    I love the movement….but the dial looks like it came off of a $35 Timex.

  • Simon_Hell

    I would swear this is Al Bundy’s watch except his was on a that stretchy steel bracelet.

  • A_watches

    gorgeous watch

  • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    “Sexy Elegant” is a very appropriate description.
    And it is screaming out for a steel bracelet and seconds hand…IMO.

  • Dan Finch

    Micro-rotors seem to be making a big comeback! Nice to see some of the high end brands coming out with sub-$10K models. Guessing that with street pricing you may be able to get one for closer to $7,000.Not sure about that cashmere band, but the watch has a simple, elegant, understated look.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Would be nicer with dauphine hands.

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