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Chopard L.U.C XPS
Renowned since 1860 for the creation of peerless jewellery Chopard’s foray into the world of watch making is much more recent. Its watch making manufacture was established in 1996. Recency in terms of haute horology manufacture does not diminish the beauty and reliability of their products. The tradition of craftsmanship earned as jewellers has transposed well to their watch making. Their founder’s name is honoured in the watches which bear his initials. L.U.C watches stand as exemplars of the skills of haute horology at the high end of Chopard’s watch making arm.
The L.U.C XP was launched in 2006 and has become a classic. This latest version has the same timeless appeal. It is available in several versions. The 18 Carat rose gold with a white face has a traditional appeal and warmth which is endearing but the white gold with black dial is particularly striking.
The XPS has COSC approval which means that it has been independently tested and has not been found wanting and meets their exacting criteria.
A simple, classical round face is presented.
“Sloeblack”, yes, “bible-black”, true, but unlike the night at Dylan Thomas’s Llareggub, it is not “starless”. The hour batons radiate like points of light and the subsidiary seconds rests like a star set in the lower half of the dial.
The original XP showed only the hours and minutes. The subsidiary seconds display is an addition, allowing its submission for COSC certification.
The 12, 3, 6 and 9 hour markers are in sturdy Arabic form and contrast with the understated batons, giving a solidity and strength to the dial, enhancing its masculinity.
Hour and minute hands are graceful, dauphine shaped, whilst the subsidiary seconds hand is the most delicate of batons. I love the contrasts of the dial; the sturdiness of the hour numbers and the fine lines of the batons; the strength of the black dial and the contrast of the light, bright white gold of the case.
All are enshrined behind a scratch proof sapphire crystal glass which is cambered and glare proof.
The simple case is of 18 carat white gold, pure, unadorned, sleek and shiny, refined and aesthetically pleasing.
Despite the fact that this is an automatic, Chopard manages to house the movement in a slender case of 7.13 mm height; the movement itself, only 3.30 mm in height. The slimness of the case delivers elegance. The slender bezel and case band add grace to a watch which is 39.5 mm in diameter. The lugs are simply styled not too heavy, in harmony with the understated lines of the case and the ultra slim bezel.
A pleasing addition in this version is the sapphire crystal case back which opens to view the watch’s inner secrets and the visual delights of the Côtes de Genève stripes on the bridge and the rotor finely crafted from 22 carat gold. Despite its understated elegance, its simplicity of form, this watch fully demonstrates all that is wonderful about haute horology.
The movement is automatic.
Chopard have been the originators of some remarkable calibres and the watch’s L.U.C 12.96 self winding movement offers an impressive power reserve of 65 hours, miraculously housed within that svelte case. A micro rotor which requires less room, furnishes the requisite energy and also neatly accommodated are twin spring barrels, a quite amazing achievement.
It has 29 jewels and offers water resistance to a depth of 30 metres.
The classic strap is in hand sewn alligator with buckle fastening
Sophisticated and elegant this is the perfect dress watch. Black and white, tuxedo, required. This is a black tie watch, for those who like to attend properly attired.
- Model: Chopard L.U.C XPS
- Reference: 161920-1001
- Case: 18-carat white gold; diameter 39.50 mm; Height 7.13 mm, Water resistant to 3 bar (30 m); sapphire crystal to front and solid case back.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; subsidiary seconds.
- Movement: L.U.C. 96.12-L, self-winding; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 29 jewels; power reserve 65 hours.
- Strap:Hand sewn alligator leather with buckle.