Hands-on Chopard’s First Flying Tourbillon is a Case Study of Elegance

Chopard's first flying tourbillon watch is everything you can expect from a L.U.C piece.

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Tom Mulraney | ic_query_builder_black_24px 4 minute read |
Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin

Slim, sophisticated and with just the right hint of complexity, the new Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin is a collector’s dream. Recently unveiled at Baselworld 2019, it’s the first calibre equipped with a flying tourbillon from the Manufacture. Cased up in 100% ethically sourced “Fairmined” gold, it cuts a striking figure on the wrist. We managed to get our hands on one and were impressed by its perfect proportions and high-level finishing, the latter of which earned this model the Geneva Seal. Read on for a closer look at this handsome timepiece.

When it comes to finding a really nice dress watch, often the challenge is the dimensions. There is no shortage of attractive dials but sometimes case size and finishing leave a little (or a lot) to be desired. Thankfully that is most certainly not the case with the new Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin. In fact, I would almost go as far to say that its proportions are close to perfect.

Measuring 40mm in diameter, its ultra-thin case stands just 7.20mm high and sits nice and flat against the wrist. It’s thin enough to slide away comfortably under a shirt cuff but this is not a watch that will disappear on the wrist. Far from it. For a start the rose gold case is simply too attractive for that. Made from ethically sourced “Fairmined” gold, it displays the high-level of finishing we’ve become accustomed to with L.U.C models. The polished bezel catches the light nicely, drawing the eye. This effect is amplified by the subtle contrast of vertical satin-brushed finish on the casebands. The lugs are also polished and slope down slightly for a comfortable fit on the wrist.

Moving to the dial now, the major highlight is, of course, the flying tourbillon visible through a cut-out at six o’clock. I’ll come back to that in just a minute. First though, I want to focus on the other details that make this a great looking watch. As you can see, Chopard has opted for a less is more approach. Firstly, the choice to use anthracite grey for the dial instead of a more traditional black or white was a smart one. It gives the watch a bit more personality and versatility and makes it just that little bit less formal.

Less formal perhaps, but no less traditional in its finishing. The dial is actually made from solid gold, with a galvanic treatment used to achieve the grey ruthenium finish. It is then decorated by hand using sophisticated guilloché techniques. A closer inspection is really required to appreciate these finer details. The chapter ring bearing the gilded hour markers and numerals – applied and facetted – features an elegant snailed motif. The central area of the dial meanwhile displays the same distinctive honeycomb motif that was first seen on the 2017 L.U.C XPS Officer edition. According to the brand, the pattern evokes a beehive and alludes to the first logo used by founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard. Like the hour markers, the Dauphine hands are also gilded to match the case metal.

At six o’clock, a large aperture reveals the flying one-minute tourbillon, framed by a gilded ring matching the case colour. It also serves as a small seconds counter and is indicated with a small white triangle-shaped hand. Beautifully executed and tastefully finished, it’s the sort of thing that can be enjoyed by the novice or veteran alike.

I don’t want to sound too cliché here – especially with the constant chatter in the industry about attracting millennials to mechanical watches, etc. – but this looks like a high-end dress watch that will appeal to a younger generation. Yet at the same time, it won’t alienate more seasoned collectors who will appreciate its high-level of finishing and complex mechanics.

Speaking of complex mechanics, let’s turn our attention now to the movement inside. Called Calibre 96.24-L, it is an automatic movement that has been developed, produced and assembled in L.U.C’s workshops in Geneva. It’s an evolution of Chopard’s original ultra-thin Calibre 96.01-L and maintains the same dimensions (27.40mm diameter x 3.30mm thick). As you can see in the photos, it’s also equipped with a 22k gold micro-rotor. The movement offers a 65-hour power reserve thanks to Chopard’s patented Twin technology, which uses two stacked barrels.

As expected, finishing is to the L.U.C collection’s high-standard, with Geneva striping on the bridges. Certified as a chronometer, the movement has also been stamped with the Hallmark of Geneva. Completing the package is a hand-sewn plant-dyed matte black alligator leather strap with cognac-coloured alligator leather lining. It’s closed via an 18k rose gold pin buckle.

The Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin wears very comfortably on the wrist and, as I mentioned earlier, is surprisingly versatile. There’s no doubt this is a dressy watch, but you can also wear it a bit more casually. Maybe not with shorts and a t-shirt but definitely with a nice wool-knit sweater and a cotton shirt. Limited to just 50 pieces worldwide, price is EUR 109,000. More details at www.chopard.com.

3 responses

  1. I think this is one you’d have to see and hold to appreciate. In the pictures, it looks too busy and awkward, as if it is trying too hard, but I’m sure the quality of execution will lessen those feelings up close. Still, it’s a lot of money. There are many alternatives. And I think the hands look like battleship guns.

  2. I am not impartial here since I own a LUC and I think it is one of the best watches I have ever seen for its price versus quality ratio, but I absolutely love this head to toes. Chopard really needs to communicate this line better, as it’s still a big sleeper among contemporary horology.

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