Chopard is unveiling a subtle facelift of the dapper, comfortable and incredibly well-engineered L.U.C XPS. The good news is that it comes in different versions which will suit all tastes and pockets: from the unapologetically smart blued-dialed platinum version to the more affordable steel version, a great opportunity if you are looking for a high-end “haute-horlogerie” dress watch at an accessible price point. Here’s an early hands-on look.
With this facelift, the chic and understated L.U.C XPS remains true to its fit with a case measuring 40 mm in diameter and 7.2 mm thick. As you would expect with such a slender profile and ergonomic case, it is elegant and superbly comfortable on the wrist. The attention to detail is really impressive and the finish impeccable with polished surfaces and satin-brushed flanks and inter-lug space. It would be indeed difficult to find any fault, right down to its well-proportioned signed crown.
The new XPS steel watches come with subtly redesigned dials. The steel version has a white dial with a fine-grained finish. The gold version dials are either silver-toned or black with sunburst finish, and the superb top of the range platinum version features a galvanic blue dial with sunburst finish.
The small seconds subdial is finely snailed. The applied numerals and hour markers are gilded or rhodium-plated, and paired with the L.U.C signature fusée-dauphine hands.
The L.U.C 96.01-L calibre of the XPS platinum with COSC certificate and Geneva Seal. Made of 208 parts, it features Geneva stripes, fine chamfers and perlage. The micro-rotor is stamped 22ct gold.
All three models are based on different versions of the same movement; the immaculately designed and finished caliber 96. This extra-thin (just 3.3 mm thick) automatic movement is a modern construction, which features a micro rotor with bi-directional winding. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour with a healthy power reserve (58 to 65h) thanks to its two stacked coaxial barrels that also ensure more constant torque.
The L.U.C 96.01-L calibre, its swan-neck regulator, balance hairspring with Phillips terminal curve and micro rotor. It was the first calibre created by Chopard Manufacture in 1996 after Karl-Fiedrich Schefeule had initiated a program to produce movements in-house in Fleurier.
The movement is finished to different standards depending on the versions. The lavishly decorated 96.01-L bears the Geneva seal. The steel version’s movement finish and design is slightly simpler – in particular, the rotor is in heavy metal (as opposed to 22 ct. gold) and it does not feature the elegant swan-neck regulator. Something perfectly understandable as it allows Chopard to propose the new steel XPS at CHF 7,900, which is a lower price than the previous steel versions, reflecting these minor product updates. All in all, it seems excellent value for an elegant dress watch fitted with a movement of superb pedigree.
The L.U.C 96.50-L calibre of the XPS steel is made of 197 components.
The Chopard L.U.C XPS is paired with superb hand-stitched alligator straps with alligator lining secured with an elegant pin buckle engraved with the L.U.C logo. For more information about Chopard, please visit www.chopard.com.
Technical specifications Chopard L.U.C XPS
- Case: 40 mm x 7.2 mm – steel, white gold, pink gold or platinum case – sapphire crystal and see-through case back with antireflective coating – water resistant to 30m.
- Movement: caliber 96.50, 96.12-L, 96.01-L mechanical with automatic winding (micro-rotor) – 27.4 mm x 3.3 mm – 58 to 65h power reserve (depending on the movement version) – 28’800 vibrations/h – 27/29 jewels – hours, minutes, small seconds and date. COSC certificate. Geneva Seal quality hallmark for the 96.01-L.
- Strap: alligator leather with pin buckle.
- Price: CHF 7,900 in steel, CHF 15,160 in gold, CHF 24,630 in platinum
- Reference: 168591-3001 in stainless steel, 161948-5001 in 18ct rose gold, 161948-1001 in 18ct white gold, 161946-9001 in platinum