Most enthusiasts would agree that the past few years have been the age of the limited-edition watch release. More so than ever, brands are funneling their efforts and expertise into the creation of limited-run creations to a base of dedicated collectors, and while many are simply unique colorways or use a handful of unique parts, few limited editions are as radical as the Chopard L.U.C Chrono One Flyback. From a brand new 42-millimeter stainless steel case to a dramatically altered movement and unique dial, the L.U.C Chrono One Flyback is a far cry from a simple recoloring.
While the L.U.C Chrono One Flyback is not the first chronograph offered by Chopard’s high-end L.U.C line, previous L.U.C Chrono One models were all produced in precious metals and measured in at a bold 44-millimeter case diameter. The Chrono One Flyback, by contrast, is the first-ever stainless steel case for a Chopard L.U.C Chrono One and sits at a more modest 42-millimeter diameter for a more classical profile on the wrist.
The overall shape of the case is timeless and masculine, mirror-polished and with a bezel notch that flows into the tops of the broad sporty lugs giving them the look of old-school attached elements while maintaining a modern sporty feel. From the side, the profile is broad and athletic with a sharply increasing downward curve to the lugs. Around back, a wide sapphire display window gives a glimpse of the exquisitely decorated movement within.
The dial of the L.U.C Chrono One Flyback is eye-catchingly unique as well, while maintaining the strong design DNA of the L.U.C line. The main surface is a rich slate gray with aggressive vertical brushing for a masculine, dynamic look. The watch maintains the L.U.C signature truncated dauphine hands, filled with a narrow line of lume for added sportiness. The chrono subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock feature a wide brushed stainless outer ring, allowing them to stand out brilliantly at first glance without resorting to garish color or disrupting visual flow. The 6 o’clock running seconds, by contrast, is allowed to fade into the background with only small marks at 15-second increments and a matching surface to the main dial. Overall the arrangement is excellently balanced and handsome, with the minor exception of the 4:30 date window which, in addition to being slightly larger than the diamond-shaped applied indices is also a contrasting shade of black to the main dial.
Perhaps the most impressive part of this limited-edition gem is the manufacture L.U.C Caliber 03.03-L movement. Not shared with any other current member of the Chopard brand lineup, this vertical-clutch column-wheel automatic flyback chronograph is COSC-rated to chronometer accuracy. While a chronometer-grade manufacture flyback chronograph movement is rare enough, Chopard takes the Caliber 03.03-L several steps further with three patented advancements.
These include a three-hammer chronograph zero-reset mechanism, a separate small-seconds hacking and reset device, and a self-locking automatic rotor designed to ensure optimal winding in both directions. This impressive engineering is then finished off with a 22 karat white gold balance wheel and a mix of engine turning and brilliantly executed Côtes de Genève.
Chopard pairs the L.U.C Chrono One Flyback on a deeply patterned charcoal gray alligator strap with contrasting matte brown alligator lining. The deeper shade picks up on the dynamic tones of the gray dial while injecting classical texture of its own, and is neatly presented with a signed deployant clasp.
Overall, the Chopard L.U.C Chrono One Flyback is a classically proportioned and masculine take on the three-register chronograph that displays some of the finest craftsmanship the marque has to offer. With only 250 total models produced, entry into this particular limited edition owners club is rare, with a suitably steep cost of entry. The watch is available for purchase now at a price of $26,900. For more information, visit the Chopard website here.