September 21, 2020
In this age of smartwatches and perfectly accurate clocks on everything from phones to televisions, a mechanical watch is in some ways as much a fashion item as it is a functional tool. Rather than trying to avoid this truth or harken back to a time when mechanical timepieces were still cutting-edge, Chopard has leaned into this reality with its latest L.U.C release. The brand has partnered with Italian tailoring house Kiton to create a limited edition variant of its slim and dressy L.U.C XP line with a few stylish menswear cues. The resulting limited edition Chopard L.U.C XP II Sarto Kiton is one of the brand’s most distinctive offerings in years, with a fashionable and instantly recognizable look.
The 40mm stainless steel case of the standard L.U.C XP receives a unique bead blasted DLC finish for the L.U.C XP II Sarto Kiton, leading to a grainy matte look that contradicts traditional dress watch norms. The form remains elementally simple with a svelte 7.2mm overall thickness, and it maintains the wide sapphire display caseback of its standard production stablemates. For this variant, however, the sapphire is tinted to a smoky gray, partially obscuring the movement within. Likewise, the standard water resistance rating of 30 meters is left unchanged. Overall it’s a striking look, but initial images are unclear whether this look will work fully in the dressy context of the L.U.C XP’s design.
The dial of the Chopard L.U.C XP II Sarto Kiton is where the design truly starts to come alive, starting with the black and gray houndstooth pattern main dial surface. The distinctive stepped dauphine handset is rendered in gilt here, as are the mix of applied indices and open, airy Arabic numerals. This black and gold combination is set off with subtle punches of bright fire engine red at every 15 minutes on the outer track, as well as in the small Kiton button emblem at 6 o’clock. It’s a classic colorway, but the execution and balance keep the look fresh and handsome.
Like its regular production counterparts, the Chopard L.U.C XP II Sarto Kiton is powered by the in-house L.U.C 96.53-L automatic movement. Measuring in at only 3.3mm thick thanks to a tungsten microrotor layout, the L.U.C 96.53-L uses Chopard’s unique twin mainspring barrel layout to achieve a robust 58 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Decoration looks to be simple, but nicely executed, with Côtes de Genève across the movement bridges.
For the strap of the L.U.C XP II Sarto Kiton, Chopard turns to Kiton’s fabric expertise to create something suitably striking. The resulting strap is a marled weave of gray and black cashmere wool, lined with bright red alligator leather for both comfort and visual contrast. For those looking for something a bit more traditional, Chopard also includes a simple black alligator leather strap with the watch.
The Chopard L.U.C XP II Sarto Kiton is one of the more dramatic interpretations of the two hand L.U.C XP formula, but one that looks to capture the sartorial spirit of Italian menswear nicely. The Chopard L.U.C XP II Sarto Kiton is limited to only 100 examples and is available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $10,800. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.