Those with a penchant for the finer things in life know about the L.U.C collection by Chopard. The manufacture in the Swiss town of Fleurier builds unique movements that have no trouble at all competing with the established names in haute horlogerie, and has been doing so for 20 years.
And yet, appreciation for the manufacture creations is still not quite at the level it should be. Of course Chopard also creates jewellery and the Mille Miglia models are known quantities when it comes to motor racing watches – in fact they are the patriarchs of the direct (marketing) link between cars and watches – but in the highest echelons of watchmaking more intangible elements play an important role. Reputation, history and confidence, for example, as can be seen in the auction results; the only measurable gauge when it comes to consumer valuation of watch houses. What’s certain is that establishing a solid reputation in haute horlogerie mostly takes a lot of time and patience. Certainly the L.U.C timepieces that pay tribute to founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard aren’t to blame, because they are original – just look at the Quattro movement with four spring barrels – and have an exceptionally beautiful finish.
L.U.C GMT One
The same applies to the new L.U.C GMT One. The watch is powered by the L.U.C 01.10-L calibre with integrated GMT function and that is a first for a Chopard. The steel 42mm watch (a rose gold variant will eventually also be produced) has a GMT hand that indicates a second time zone in 24-hour mode; white hour numerals show the time during the day and orange numerals represent the evening hours. The crown at 2 o’clock sets the local time and the date, and the crown at 4 o’clock operates the big GMT hand. The L.U.C movement has a 60-hour power reserve and the particularly sophisticated finish of the mechanism is visible through the sapphire case back. The Côtes de Genève motif captures the eye of the viewer. The price of the L.U.C GMT One is approximately 9,000 euro and that includes the COSC chronometer certificate.
L.U.C Time Traveler One
Those who have an extra 3,000 euro to spend can also opt for the L.U.C Time Traveler One. This watch shows the time in 24 time zones at a glance. The local time is set with the crown at 2 o’clock and the city ring is activated when the crown at 4 o’clock, decorated with a globe, is operated. Of course calibre 01.05-L is an automatic chronometer movement that has a 60-hour power reserve to boot. The steel ‘entry-level model’ costs around 12,000 euro and there is also a rose gold version of around 23,000 euro and a platinum version that will cost approximately 35,000 euro. Comparable watches include Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Geophysic Universal Time (€14,600 in steel and €24,900 in rose gold) and the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Worldtimer (the steel version stays just under 10 grand and in rose gold this model costs €24,900). It doesn’t make choosing any easier …