Chopard should not be forgotten when the subject of Haute Horlogerie comes on the table, especially with the L.U.C collection – launched in 1996 and representing the brand’s top line. The Chopard L.U.C collection comprises watches with beautifully hand-finished in-house movements. The first movement they launched in this collection was calibre 1.96. Four years later, in the year 2000, Chopard introduced the first L.U.C Quattro, the world’s first hand-wound calibre with four stacked mainspring barrels. Just before Baselworld 2018, here is a new interpretation of the Chopard L.U.C Quattro.
The L.U.C Quattro is one of the major watches in the L.U.C collection. But not the only one. Indeed, when the Scheufele family decided to relaunch the L.U.C Collection in 1996, they made it with not only a great looking watch but also with a superb movement, the calibre 1.96. This movement featured a bidirectional 22ct-gold micro-rotor and twin stacked barrels giving 65 hours of power reserve, but also a very pleasant hand-finishing. It was seen, at that time, as one of the best automatic movements produced by a Swiss company. The calibre met the standards of both the COSC and the Poinçon de Genève, guaranteeing both precision and quality of finishing and decoration. For that reason, it is regarded as an equal among peers like Patek and Vacheron.
Later, in 2000, the Chopard L.U.C welcomed another great movement, the Quattro. The Quattro was the world’s first hand-wound calibre with four stacked mainspring barrels, delivering energy for no less than 216 hours, or 9 days! Now, you can imagine that such a movement would be a behemoth. However, back in 2000, it was housed in a slim, elegant and superbly restrained 36mm watch – and still finished to the highest standards. This 4-barrel, hand-wound, 9-day power reserve movement is indeed ultra-thin, at 3.70mm thick – a thickness that many brands would love to achieve on a simple 3-hand automatic movement… The beauty of the Chopard L.U.C Quattro is here: a slim, elegant dress watch with an extremely powerful and precise movement. No concessions had been made.
Prior to Baselworld 2018, Chopard is about to launch a new interpretation of the Quattro, with a new limited edition of 50 pieces, designed with elegance but also modernity in mind. Inspired by the new design of its L.U.C XP and XPS collections in 2017, Chopard is extending their aesthetic principle to one of their major watches. The new Chopard L.U.C Quattro stay true to the design codes the brand created in 1996 but now adds some modern touches, a slightly more casual style and some coloured accents.
The dial is the main evolution. Silver-toned and vertical satin-brushed across its entire surface, it bears contrasting blue indexes and hands – this blue colour is obtained by a heating process and not by a lacquer. As a more modern and less formal take on the L.U.C design, this new Quattro also has luminous hands and Arabic numerals at 3 and 9 o’clock. The dial, even if rather simple at first, features 3 additional functions: a sub-dial at 6 o’clock with the small second and the pointer date, an arched power reserve indication at 12 o’clock.
The case, even though containing a 9-day power reserve movement, has slender proportions – even though bolder than the original model, with a 43mm diameter but only 8.84mm thick. For this 50-piece limited edition, we find an 18k rose gold case, with polished flat surfaces and vertically brushed casebands. To continue with the less formal design, the strap is blue and textured with a woven-effect.
Inside the case is the Quattro movement. As said, it features two pairs of stacked barrels, which endow this certified chronometer with a maximum 216 hours of autonomy, while keeping it surprisingly slim at just 3.7 mm thick. The other advantage of having 4 and not 1 large barrel is about the regularity of the torque distribution – which will be much more stable with 4 barrels, meaning a more constant force delivered to the escapement. The Quattro movement is still nicely decorated, according to the Poinçon de Genève standards – hand-polished angles, perlage on the main-plate, all parts decorated, even on hidden sides.
This new take on the Chopard L.U.C Quattro – Ref. 161926-5004 – in 18-carat rose gold with silver-toned dial will be a limited edition of 50 pieces, priced at CHF 24,600 or EUR 23,300. More details on www.chopard.com.