This week in London, auction house Philips played host to a special exhibition commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the creation of Chopard’s first in-house movement; the calibre L.U.C 1.96. It was also the perfect setting for the introduction of two new series into Chopard’s L.U.C family; the L.U.C GMT One and the L.U.C Time Traveler One. Today we’re taking a closer look at the latter.
For as long as I can remember I’ve loved travelling. Experiencing new places, meeting new people, trying new foods, I can’t get enough of it. So I try and travel as often as I can. I’m no member of the jet-set mind you but I get around. There’s just something about waking up in a different time zone that gets my motor running. Fortunately these days travelling is a lot easier than it used to be, although my recent experience at Santorini airport might suggest otherwise but I digress. Just about the last thing most people worry about is getting on the right time-zone when you arrive at your destination. Let’s face it, although it’s still quaint when the pilot tells you the local time just before you land most of us just take out our smartphones and wait for them to sync with the nearest cell tower. It’s convenient, it’s easy and it’s reliable. It’s also kind of boring.
Back in the day though our forefathers enjoyed no such luxury. If you can imagine it they actually had to manually set their watches to the new destination and then try and keep a mental track of the time back home. That was of course unless they owned a GMT watch, or better still, a world-timer. A complication that these days is almost as redundant as the mechanical wrist watch itself, the world-timer has got to be one of my favourites and now, thanks to Chopard, we have a brand new one to fawn over.
As the name suggests, the L.U.C Time Traveler One has been created with travelers in mind. No great surprise there, it is a world-timer after all. What’s important to note though is that this is Chopard’s first world-timer and it is gorgeous. Available in three different metals – 18ct Rose Gold, Platinum or Steel, the L.U.C Time Traveler One is generously sized at 42mm and wears very comfortably on the wrist, even in the heavier platinum.
From left to right: stainless steel – 18k rose gold – platinum
To be honest I probably would have preferred a 40mm case but the slightly larger diameter means that the dial doesn’t appear cluttered, despite the bevy of information available to you. Likewise legibility is not an issue at all and in fact is enhanced by the intelligent use (but not overuse – that’s important) of contrasting colours.
This is most striking on the steel model, which features bright orange indicies and hands. It actually gives the watch a bit of a sportier look which I quite like but I am sure many people will prefer the more subdued dials of the rose gold and platinum options. Rest assured that I’ve already put in an official request for that stunning blue/grey/white dial from the platinum version to make its way into a steel case. There were no guarantees given but fingers crossed.
As you can see from the photos the world-timer dial is fairly self-explanatory. Chopard has stuck with a traditional design, which I really like and find easy to read. A central hand indicates the date on the inner-most disc, whilst Dauphine-style hands point to the local time shown on the surrounding railway track circle, set by the crown at 2 o’clock. Stepping out further we find a large 24-hour graduated ring which operates in conjunction with the final outer disc that features the reference cities of the 24 main time zones. The crown at 4 o’clock allows the wearer to perform a one-time synchronisation of the world-time with the local time and then you are good to go, no further adjustment needed.
As impressive as the outside looks we all know that it’s what inside that really counts – at least that’s what my kindergarten teacher always told me. In this regard the L.U.C Time Traveler One does not disappoint. Turn the watch over and visible through the exhibition case back you will discover the Caliber 01.05-L, an entirely new, COSC-certified calibre developed, produced and finished in the Chopard workshops in Fleurier, Switzerland. The automatic movement measures just 6.52mm thick and offers an impressive 60 hours of power in reserve. Expertly finished and decorated by Chopard’s in-house artisans, the Caliber OI.05-L is truly a fine piece of craftsmanship to behold as indeed is the L.U.C Time Traveler One as a whole.
The L.U.C Time Traveler One in all its glorious variations will be available for purchase from the end of October. The stainless steel L.U.C Time Traveler One will be available for € 12,610 Euro, the 18k rose gold version has a retail price of € 22,170 Euro and the platinum edition comes in at € 34,680 Euro (all prices including VAT).
Specifications Chopard L.U.C Time Traveler One
- Case: 42mm in your choice of Stainless Steel, 18ct Rose Gold or Platinum, water resistant to 50m.
- Dial: sunburst satin-brushed center dial, satin-brushed or varnished discs
- Movement: calibre L.U.C 01.05-L Automatic movement, 60 hour power reserve, chronometer certified, Côte de Geneve adorned bridges
- Functions: hour, minute, second, Worldtime, date on central disc
- Strap: black or brown alligator leather