Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Chopard L.U.C Louis-Ulysse – The Tribute

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Angus Davies | ic_query_builder_black_24px 6 min read |

There has been a much publicized concern within the watch industry about over reliance on one or two key suppliers of components. Some companies have addressed this by purchasing their own case makers, developing their own movements and seeking greater independence. 

Chopard, the family owned concern, has sought vertical integration, with virtually all components being made in- house. I recently toured one of their production facilities in Meyrin on the outskirts of Geneva. The breadth of skills within the company is staggering. They even have their own foundry where ingots of precious metals for case making are formed!

Chopard LUC Louis Chopard Tribute

Ad – Scroll to continue with article

My admiration for Chopard’s L.U.C models is immense. The finishing of the watches surpasses many timepieces with greater brand awareness. Several of the watches bear the Poinçon de Genève, the Hallmark of Geneva. The attention to detail is spellbinding.

One aspect which appeals to my sensibilities is the understated elegance of the watches. They are not designed to be outré or make brash, bold statements. Chopard L.U.C are not designed for the nouveau riche, who seek recognition for their conspicuous consumption. This is a brand for the sartorially astute and the cognoscenti seeking horological excellence.

Chopard LUC Louis Ulysse TributeA watch I recently saw at the superb SalonQP event, was the L.U.C Louis-Ulysse – The Tribute. Its large dimensions, the case diameter is 49.60 mm, caught my attention. However, unlike some watches which garner my affection over a period time, this was love at first sight.

The Tribute has a simplicity of line and graceful form which leads to my swearing undying love beneath the moon and stars. Yet, beneath the face so pure, is an intellect so profound.

This watch is the charming culmination of a collaboration between the Geneva Watchmaking School and Chopard Manufacture.

The two parties worked together in developing a pocket-watch movement.The students at the school benefited from the considerable resources of Chopard Manufacture and likewise the Genevan brand were able to perpetuate the tradition and craftsmanship they clearly hold so dear.

I recently had the good fortune to meet Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. He is a modest, quiet man who has a keen eye for detail. Quality and design functionality are important to the German born Co-President, who has clearly made Geneva is home.

Beneath the classical lines of The Tribute, there is much creativity and innovation.

The dial

The white dial has an innocence. The lacquered ceramic, imparts a pure persona, distilled to perfection. Roman numerals are used to convey hours. They are in line with the design codes of other L.U.C models and proffer a familiarity I never tire of. Black Dauphine fusée-type hour and minute hands express time with succinct style.

Louis Ulysse Chopard Tribute

Framing the dial is a minute rail, utilising the judiciously limited palette of black and white. However, it mischievously embraces a red hue every five minutes and it is this small smattering of colour which enhances the visual appeal. It is subtle and well judged. It does not detract but enhances.

A subsidiary seconds display is located at 6 o’clock. It features an L.U.C logo to its northerly aspect, repeating the aforementioned blood red tincture.

Chopard LUC Louis Ulysse Tribute

Residing below noon is the brand’s nomenclature with the foundation date proudly proclaimed, 1860. This model was created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the company formed by Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the man whose initials feature on some of the finest timepieces available today.

The case

Those readers possessing an observant nature will have noted that the crown resides at noon, not the usual 3 o’clock. This is because this wristwatch, courtesy of an ingenious invention by Karl Scheufele I, can be converted into a pocket watch. Karl was the founder of Eszeha, the Scheufele family company, who are the present-day owners of Chopard.

Chopard LUC Tribute

Turn over the watch and press a panel to the top of the affixed cradle. This unlocks the cradle and by twisting it counter clockwise, the watch can be released. It can then be worn as a pocket watch and comes with a chain to facilitate formal wear.

Despite this ingenuity of the device, it is the view of the movement which bestows the most beauty. Chopard have indulged my need to see the beauty of the craftsmanship exampled within by considerately providing a sapphire crystal caseback.

The movement

Chopard are a manufacture in the truest sense of the word. They make virtually all the components which reside within the cases of their handsome L.U.C timepieces. Yet, it is the execution of the movements which makes me smile with joy. As you admire each facet of the L.U.C 06.01-L, you glean increasing respect for Chopard.

Chopard caliber L.U.C 06.01-L

Study the main plate and you will see perlage presented with peerless refinement. The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif in magical splendor. Examine the bridges and you will see edges are bevelled and jewels have polished holes. The balance spring is secured with a sliding stud cap. Screw heads are polished to perfection, their slots appear untouched. These are just some examples of the 12 point criteria associated with the Poinçon de Genève.

Chopard caliber L.U.C 06.01-L

There are two particular aspects of the movement which I particularly like. The screwed balance, often a sign of a quality movement and the swan-neck regulator. It is the finish of the swan neck regulator which particularly appeals. Black polishing of the swan neck regulator is the fruit of patient endeavor. Repeated use of diamantine paper and the luxury of time, results in a mirror-like finish which is gorgeous to behold.

Chopard caliber L.U.C 06.01-L

If you look at the wheels of the going train, admire the circular graining. As you closely examine part of the barrel cover, note the snailing, a delicious spiral-shaped motif with a delightful flavour which encourages salivation.

The movement has COSC certification, distinguishing it as a chronometer.

Conclusion

I have scrutinised this watch in minute detail. I have sought to reveal any shortcomings in its specification and execution. However, I have failed to find any faults with it. My close examination is partly motivated by a strong desire to purchase this watch for my own collection. I have tried to envisage any potential flaws which would make it unsuitable.

For some, the scale of the watch may prove too large and unsuitable for diminutive wrists. Thankfully, the word “diminutive” has seldom been used to describe me.

The inspired way the watch vertically integrates into the ingenious cradle is superb. However, it is the vertical integration of the many trades and skills within Chopard Manufacture that truly dazzles. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to Louis-Ulysse Chopard than this handsome watch which bears his name.

Chopard LUC Louis Ulysse Tribute

Technical specification

  • Model: Chopard L.U.C Louis-Ulysse – The Tribute Model reference: 161923-1001
  • Case: 18-carat white gold case; diameter 49.60mm; height 11.27 mm (without fastening system); height 14.50 mm (with fastening system); water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to the front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; subsidiary seconds
  • Movement: L.U.C 06.01-L; hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 vph (3 Hz); 20 jewels; over 80 hours power reserve.
  • Strap: Hand-sewn black alligator leather strap, lined with brown alligator leather and supplied on 18-carat white gold pin buckle.
  • Limited edition: 150 pieces

This article is written by Angus Davies, guest contributor for Monochrome Watches and editor of the UK website, Escapement.uk.com

 

https://monochrome-watches.com/chopard-luc-louis-ulysse-the-tribute/

2 responses

  1. Как купить такие часы? и сколько они стоят?

  2. Vladimir, Google translate is a blessing, because I don’t speak (or read) Russian. You asked how to buy the watch? And how much do it costs?
    This is the Chopard ref. 161923-1001. The watch is for sale at Chopard retailers and boutiques. Please visit the Chopard website to find out where they sell their watches near your place. http://www.chopard.com/l-u-c-louis-ulysse-the-tribute-161923-1001

    Official retail price is just above € 40,000 Euro.

Leave a Reply