March 27, 2023
by Matt Reudink
In 1997, Chopard launched the L.U.C. Collection — a series of watches crafted in Chopard’s Geneva and Fleurier workshops. The L.U.C. line embraces artisanal crafts, like guilloché and Urushi Maki-e dials, combined with innovative and often complicated movements. In other words, the L.U.C. Collection is pure Haute Horlogerie. The first watch to debut within this high-end collection was the L.U.C. 1860, a watch that immediately garnered accolades, such as winning “Watch of the Year” by Montres Passion. For Watches and Wonders 2023, Chopard returns to this modern classic with a new L.U.C. 1860 in a Lucent Steel case and solid-gold guilloché dial.
The case on the new L.U.C. 1860 measures in at a classy 36.5mm diameter and is crafted from Chopard’s proprietary Lucent Steel. This alloy is comprised of 80% recycled materials and its properties are similar to those of surgical steel, albeit with a brilliance you won’t find with standard 316L stainless steel.
The steel case, though refined and elegant in its own right, provides a visual counterpoint to the dial, which is pure luxury. The dial is crafted from solid gold, but a galvanic treatment gives the dial a salmon hue. The contrasting finishes give the dial a dynamic, three-dimensional appearance. Chopard includes finely guilloched rings to demarcate the minutes scale, central zone, and small seconds counter, while using a hand-guillochéd radiating pattern to surround the Chopard logo on a cartouche at 12 o’clock. The chapter ring receives satin brushing and the small seconds counter utilizes snailing. That’s an incredible amount of detail and hand-finishing. Popping against the salmon backdrop are white gold chevron indices, complemented by a facetted white gold Dauphine handset.
The L.U.C. 1860 is powered by the L.U.C. 96.40-L movement produced the Chopard Manufacture watchmaking workshop. The movement is incredibly thin at just 3.3mm, thanks in large part to the off-center 22-carat gold micro-rotor that winds the twin barrels that provide 65 hours of power reserve. Chopard has also added a stop-second function and a swan’s-neck index assembly, which helps to calibrate the active length of the balance spring.
The movement is just as gorgeous as you’d expect from Chopard. Though the micro-rotor is the centerpiece, you also get chamfered bridges and ample Côtes de Genève finishing. That said, the L.U.C. 1860 is more than just a pretty face; it’s also chronometer-certified by COSC and receives the Poinçon de Genève quality label. The latter certification is particularly impressive, with independent certification that guarantees the quality of watches assembled within the Canton — a certification typically reserved for precious metal watches and rarely applied to steel-cased watches. But, as is clearly the case, the Chopard L.U.C. 1860 is not your typical steel watch.
The new L.U.C. 1860 in Lucent Steel is a fitting tribute to the original L.U.C. 1860, showcasing the brand’s dedication to both high-end watchmaking and traditional craftsmanship. The dial alone is absolutely mesmerizing, made even more so when combined with the refinement of the micro-rotor movement.
The L.U.C. 1860 In Lucent Steel is priced at $23,200 USD. For more information on Chopard and the L.U.C. 1860, please visit the brand’s website.