The Chopard L.U.C XPS series of watches represents a reserved and simple elegance within the brand’s Haute Horology collection. Chopard partnered with the Cannes Film Festival in 1998 — since then, Chopard has become a fixture on the film festival’s red carpet. That’s where the Chopard L.U.C XPS Azur Watch comes into play. This is an elegant watch for a beautiful setting, meant to catch the cameras and elicit the feel of the Mediterranean. Chopard created the watch to be worn on the red carpet where the men are just as interested in standing out as the women wearing Chopard Jewelry. The Chopard L.U.C XPS Azur is being released in a limited edition of 10 pieces, all made from ethically sourced 18k white gold.
This is a beautiful timepiece, and while I find the narrative of an azure dial that references the Mediterranean a little difficult to accept, no one can deny that Chopard has created a looker here. The XPS line has, traditionally, been simpler pieces in the L.U.C line which is reserved for Chopard’s higher-end and more complicated pieces. You can read about the stainless steel version and the Officer Watch here. Chopard executed this watch well: The blue dial is exceptionally done with a textured hand-guilloché radiating out from the brand’s name. This is a sub-seconds watch with a recessed sub-dial sitting nicely at 6 o’clock and a date window intersecting that. The date is nicely balanced on the dial, making it easy to appreciate the added functionality. The hour indices are rectangular and rhodium-plated.
The movement is nearly as lovely to look at as the dial. The L.U.C 96.01-L features a 22k gold micro-rotor and Chopard’s Twin Technology dual-barrel power reserve, giving it at least 65 hours of operating time. Chopard is apt at communicating its attention to detail with movement finishes. Côtes de Genève decorates the bridges of the movements, as well as chamfered edges and an engine-turned mainplate.
The watch features a 40mm 18k white gold case; Chopard really highlights the fact that its precious metals come from sustainable or ethically sourced suppliers; this is a nice touch with so many precious metals coming from conflict zones. While a little superfluous on a piece like this, the watch does feature 30 meters of water resistance.
This is a good lookin’ watch. I’ve always thought that Chopard, in general, had a good grasp on style. It’s always been a brand that could put a little flare on a piece effectively. In my opinion, however, the brand narrative can have a polarizing effect on potential watch buyers. This is a lovely watch and, I suppose, the partnership with the Cannes Film Festival is a neat touch, but might not be needed. This watch stands on its own merits: A well-executed dial, balanced and featuring everything you’d practically need in a timepiece; a movement that stands up to a lot Switzerland can throw at it; and exclusivity in the form of a limited edition that will make this desirable from day one. Chopard will be releasing the L.U.C XPS Azur Watch in a limited edition of 10 pieces. Pricing has not been announced, but for additional information keep an eye on ABlogtoWatch and chopard.com.