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Chopard L.U.C 8HF
Those who often travel by plane will be offered a frequent flyer loyalty bonus in the form of points, miles, stars or some other unit of measure bearing a notional value. The airline wants to encourage repeat business.
There is an assumption that few will actually cash in their loyalty miles, however, those who choose to do so will have to perm their travel requests, via a myriad of airports, travel at ungodly hours and leave their wife and offspring at home as the allocation of “loyalty seats” has been exhausted by your lone request.
Don’t ever think of asking for a flight in school holidays. Not in this millennium!
The value of a frequent flyer loyalty bonus is of little value in the real world only to the airline who has managed to dupe the executive into blindly paying over the odds on expenses for his business flight. No doubt they misguidedly think one day they will be luxuriating on a beach in the Maldives for gratis.
My mid-life rant is for a reason.
I have been amazed by the volume of new watches entering the market place with calibres that shout about dizzyingly high frequencies.
I have managed all my adult life with beautiful watches with frequencies of 2.5 Hz, 3Hz, 4 Hz or even 5 Hz. Why do I need a watch which has a frequency of 50 Hz? Will it offer more accuracy?
Some brands tell me their chronograph can measure 1/1000th of a second and the hand whizzes around the dial like a Catherine Wheel on Bonfire night, an unintelligible blur. The time taken for my brain to initiate my finger to press the chrono-button has negated any benefit of measuring such a small integer of time.
Is there any merit in these watches or do they have the same net value as my accumulated airmiles?
Is this progress? I like watch brands that push boundaries, but with the passage of time I have grown increasingly cynical. Can these watches stand the scrutiny of a independent testing laboratory such as COSC?
In the case of the latest offering from Chopard, the answer is an emphatic, “Yes”.
The new Chopard L.U.C 8HF was launched at Baselworld this year. It has a frequency of 8Hz or 57,600 vph. This is far from the highest oscillating frequency on the market but it is the first timepiece with a frequency of more than 5 Hz which has been independently tested and has achieved COSC certification.
Those who share my passion about haute horology will already be familiar with L.U.C and know that Chopard is a brand with great horological competence. Chopard make beautiful jewellery which graces the bodies of the most attractive starlets and royalty, but it is also a master of matchless watchmaking.
Moreover, this Chopard watch carries three special letters L.U.C, Louis-Ulysse Chopard. This is the rarefied excellence of manufacture movements, embodying all that is magnificent about haute horology.
The dial is silver grained with a black small seconds dial located at 7 o’clock. This immediately marks it out as contemporary and differentiates it from the more traditional offerings from Chopard.
The rhodiumed hour and minute hands are dauphine-shaped and gracefully sweep the clean dial.
Large and small indices mark the hours and integers in between. Small Arabic numerals are used to show “15”, “30”, “45” and “60” minutes on the dial in subtle delivery.
Returning to the black small seconds dial, a mischievous flourish of devilish red is used for the subsidiary seconds hand. It does not distract and works in accord with the whole. It’s fiery hue is fun and I love it.
Between 5 o’clock and 6 o’clock sits the date aperture. An arrow to the right of the aperture guides the eye to the day of the month.
The diameter of the case is 42mm and perfectly judged. I placed the watch upon my wrist back in March and immediately fell for its handsome charms.
Titanium is used for the construction of the case, highly polished on the upper surfaces with a mirror-like finish but with a matt case back.
The strap interfaces with the case using hexagonal bolts set within matt titanium lugs.
The case back features a magnifying glass to provide a close up of the beating heart of the watch, titillating lovers of haute horology.
The crown is located at 4 o’clock, made of titanium and bears the L.U.C nomenclature on its vertical flank.
My heart initially sank when I was presented with yet another high-frequency movement at the Chopard presentation at Basel. However, I was soon engaged by the L.U.C 8 HF.
This is a high-frequency movement with true worth. It offers high levels of accuracy, confirmed with the COSC certification conferred upon it. It eschews gimmickry, no foolish showboating.
The finissage is superb. Côtes de Genève features on the bridges and perlage is perfectly applied to the plate.
New technologies have been embraced with the use of silicon for some of the escapement components. Chopard have pushed the boundaries but not in an outré way.
The onslaught of high frequency movements entering the market place makes this die-hard traditionalist a little nervous.
I wonder about the longevity of some offerings with double digit frequencies and question the accuracy of some models recently presented by some brands.
My confidence in Chopard remains unwavering. There is merit and value in the Chopard L.U.C 8 HF.
Marvellous mechanical integrity is harnessed within an exquisite case delivering sublime style.
This is one frequent flyer programme in which I wish to partake.
- Model: Chopard L.U.C 8HF
Reference: 161938-3001 First experimental series of 100
- Case: Titanium; diameter 42.00 mm; height 11.47 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front; magnified window revealing the high-frequency escapement.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; subsidiary seconds; date.
- Movement: L.U.C 01.06-L, self-winding; frequency 57,600 vph ; 31 jewels; power reserve 60 hours.
- Strap: Hand-sewn matt black alligator leather with cognac-coloured alligator lining with titanium pin buckle