Developed over three years, Chopard’s calibre 1.96 with a gold micro-rotor and a slim height of 3.3mm was released in 1996. Garnering praise as one of the finest automatic movements available, the movement established the brand as a true manufacture. The first watch to feature the in-house calibre was the L.U.C 1860 of 1997 with a 36.5mm case and elegant guilloché decoration on the dial. The latest L.U.C 1860 looks back to this 1997 timepiece and reproduces the compact 36.5mm case size but crafts it in Chopard’s exclusive Lucent Steel A223 alloy, a first for the L.U.C family. Like the first L.U.C 1860, the dial is beautifully decorated with hand-guilloché patterns, but the date window has been eliminated.
Compact dress watch
The compact 36.5mm diameter and thin 8.20mm thickness of the case are clearly indicative of its dress watch category. Crafted in Lucent Steel, a resistant and luminous alloy usually reserved for the Alpine Eagle collection, the three-part case features a profusion of polished surfaces and vertically brushed flanks. There was a similar-sized model with a salmon guilloché dial, launched by The Rake & Revolution, but housed in a white gold case with a date window on the dial.
The elegant gold salmon-coloured dial features a hand-guilloché central medallion with a billowing wave pattern radiating from under the historical Chopard cartouche and intersected at 6 o’clock by the snailed small seconds counter. In contrast, the chapter ring is satin brushed and features elegant white gold chevron hour markers. The dial’s periphery hosts two finely engraved guilloché rings containing the minute track. The faceted Dauphine-style hour and minute hands and the baton small seconds hand are made of white gold.
In-house 96 calibre
Turning the watch over is a view of the L.U.C 96.40-L in-house automatic with its ultra-thin profile of just 3.30mm and off-centred 22k gold micro-rotor. The high inertia of the gold rotor enables the efficient winding of the twin barrels (Chopard Twin technology) that deliver a 65-hour power reserve. The small seconds indication, a prerequisite for COSC chronometry certification, is equipped with a stop-seconds function. An Haute Horlogerie creation with its Poinçon de Genève hallmark, all the parts display a high degree of craftsmanship with chamfered bridges decorated with Geneva stripes, polished angles and circular graining on the mainplate.
The watch comes with an elegant anthracite calfskin strap with tone-on-tone stitching and a Lucent Steel pin buckle. The L.U.C 1860 in Lucent Steel joins the permanent collection. The price is to be confirmed – more information at Chopard.com.