Continuing their commitment to ethical gold mining, Chopard has released the Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF watch. Crafted from 18k white gold, which has been certified “Fairmined,” this 40mm timepiece draws your attention toward the sub-seconds dial at 7 o’clock, thanks to the “twisted” movement. The official Fairmined website offers the following definition, “Fairmined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations who meet world leading standards for responsible practices.” We’ve reviewed the previous iteration of this model, but the new addition sees slightly different dial printing, a new dial finish, and white as opposed to rose gold for the case.
Model: Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF
Water Resistance: 30m
Case Material: 18k Fairmined white gold
Crystal/Lens: Sapphire crystal
Movement: Mechanical self-winding L.U.C 96.26-L
Frequency: 28,800vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 65 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Blue alligator leather
Price & Availability: Limited to 250 pieces, priced at $20,400
Beneath the brand name on the dial, where the word “chronometer” would normally be located, the mark Qualitie Fleurier is printed. This certification is regarded as one of the most rigorous in our industry. The model has already been put through the COSC test and has additionally been tested by the Fleuritest simulator. This device is designed to simulate actual wear, and the test runs for 24 hours.
In addition to the strict performance criteria a watch must also meet to bear the “Qualitie Fleurier” label, so too must aesthetic demands be met. The Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF watch has achieved this standard in order to earn the Fleurier Quality Foundation certification.
Caliber 96.26-L is listed as the movement within the Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF watch, but having scrutinized the above press pack shot, I’ve noticed that the watch pictured is driven by the 96.12-L. The bridge layout of the two movements is identical (see below for reference), with the most obvious difference being the rotor weight design. Additionally, the gilded engraving on the below 96.26-L appears to be much deeper and features a serif font. Perhaps the above image is a pre-release render the PR team let slip through the net. Either way, the functionality of both movements is identical. The biggest talking point is its orientation. Within the case, it has been turned 30 degrees from its normal position. The crown now sits at 4 o’clock, and the seconds sub-dial has shifted to 7 o’clock.
Crucially, there is no practical difference to the caliber from its standardly oriented counterpart. It still measures an impressive 3.3mm-thick. This enables the case, itself, to be very thin. The watch is wound automatically by way of an engraved 22-karat gold micro-rotor. And the excellent power reserve of 65 hours is derived from twin barrels stacked atop one another. As a result, the wearability of this slim, highly accurate, automatic timepiece is through the roof.
The Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF watch is limited to just 250 pieces. How quickly it sells will be down to the interpretation of the price, and whether or not the ethical gold and the extra performance criteria met by the movement warrant such an amount. But aesthetically speaking I find the watch very pleasing on first glance.
There a several elements that make this design work. Although the 7 o’clock sub-dial and 4 o’clock crown are well balanced, it might have been more interesting if they’d left the crown at 3 o’clock and modified the winding work.
But there is a saving grace. The surface finish of the dial perfectly draws focus to the sub-dial and ties the whole thing together brilliantly.
I also like the fact that the date window remains at 3 o’clock. Positioning dates anywhere on the dial is easy enough. One must simply adjust the angle of the type during the printing phase. Its 3 o’clock location adds a sense of deliberateness to the shifted seconds sub-dial that an angled date might have compromised.
As a result, I think the Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF watch seems to be a successful design on a first look. With a retail price of $20,400, it is out of reach for many, but would be a discerning choice for a collector looking for a visually interesting watch that is able to fly under the radar. Add to that the generationally relevant design and you have a pretty tidy package. Visit chopard.com for more information.