Chopard updates the wardrobe of the L.U.C XP with an on-trend blue dial and a blue Merino wool strap. Although it is the simplest, most Spartan member of the L.U.C watch family, indicating just the hours and minutes, the watch is teeming with subtle details. Exploring the route of casual elegance on the dial, the specifications are identical to the 2017 model and the watch is fitted with the ultra-thin in-house L.U.C automatic calibre with its patented Twin architecture.
Launched in 2006, the L.U.C XP was the first ultra-thin watch in the high-end L.U.C collection and won the 2006 GPHG prize in the ultra-thin watch category. Revisited along with the L.U.C XPS model by designer Guy Bove (former creative director of Ferdinand Berthoud), the 2017 model signalled a new direction for the L.U.C ultra-thin models. The objective was to refresh the looks of the dial and offer a more contemporary, more casual product that would appeal to a wider audience. The L.U.C XP was presented in a stainless steel case with a matte silver-toned satin-brushed dial with vibrant blue numerals and a blue woven cashmere strap. The 2019 L.U.C XP pursues a similar vein and is dressed with a handsome navy blue dial and contrasting rose-gold colour indications.
The Elements of Style
Although the 40mm stainless steel case might not be a purist’s ideal dress watch size, and a case thickness of 7.20mm is no longer considered the epitome of ultra-thin, the case diameter is deliberately contemporary and the height is still very slim. Another consideration is the choice of a stell case: not only does it go a long way in containing the price, it is eminently practical on a daily basis. The polished bezel and surface of the lugs contrasts to the elegant vertical satin-brushed casebands for a sleek, urban feel. To enhance the comfort of the watch on the wrist, the area of the lugs that comes into contact with the wrist has a soft, rounded edge.
The dial respects the minimalist, less is more appeal of the 2017 L.U.C XP but comes with a more fashionable navy blue colour offset with rose gold-plated indications. That might not sound like an earth-shattering change, but the blue dial increases the ‘casual-chic’ factor of the watch noticeably. With its deep vertical satin-brushed finish that echoes the finish on the flanks of the case, the blue dial offers a perfectly matte background for the applied rose gold-plated tapered hour markers and Arabic numerals at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The attention to detail of L.U.C’s watchmakers extends all the way to the finish of Arabic numerals, polished and slightly curved for additional volume. The hands are finished in the same rose gold-plated material as the other indications and are Dauphine-fusée style, meaning that they taper towards the tip.
Automatic Calibre 96.53-L
The Calibre 96.53-L is an in-house automatic movement with a tungsten micro-rotor. An ultra-thin movement with a height of just 3.30mm, the advantage of it being powered by a micro-rotor means that you can see a lot more of the mechanics, including parts of the gear train, the balance and the different levels and bridges that compose its architecture. Operating at a frequency of 28,800vph, the movement is equipped with brand’s patented Twin® technology in the form of two stacked mainspring barrels for 58 hours of autonomy. The bridges are decorated with Côtes de Genève and display nicely bevelled edges and there are black engraved texts on the rotor and bridges.
Asserting the casual-elegant, dapper, fashion-forward spirit of the watch is the blue Merino wool strap with a brown leather lining. The watch also comes with a Cognac-coloured alligator strap, both options fitted with a steel pin buckle. The price of the L.U.C XP is EUR 8,100. More details at www.chopard.com.