As part of its Baselworld 2019 collection, Chopard presents the latest livery for its L.U.C Quattro. Still equipped with its formidable, ultra-slim, four-barrelled engine, the changes are limited exclusively to the dial. Housed in a white gold case, the dial displays a discreet grey colour in line with the brand’s pursuit of the restrained and tasteful aesthetics one might associate with ‘English gentlemen’. English or not, the choice of case material and the colour and finish of the dial go a long way in tempering the personality of this distinguished member of the high-end L.U.C family.
Evolution of an icon
Introduced in 2000, the L.U.C Quattro proved that elegance need not be jeopardized by power. Packing four mainspring barrels for a colossal 9-day power reserve into a movement would usually result in a hulking, thick case, but the first L.U.C Quattro surprised us with its restrained 36mm diameter and ultra-slim movement measuring just 3.70mm thick. Last year, the dial of the L.U.C Quattro was given a makeover and pared down quite dramatically. The prominent Roman numerals were exchanged for hour markers and just two Arabic numerals at 9 and 3 o’clock, and the silver-toned dial featured a vertical satin-brushed finish and contrasting blue indices and hands. Sleeker, far more contemporary and casual than its predecessors, the 2018 model also featured a touch of lume on the hands.
Restraint and elegance
In 2019, the L.U.C Quattro continues to evolve in subtle ways. The case still measures 43mm but is crafted in 18k white gold and actually looks smaller and is less ostentatious than the 2018 rose gold version. The polished bezel and upper surface of the lugs contrast to the vertical satin-brushed casebands and attest to the high-quality finishes of all L.U.C watches. The real change regards the dial, which presents a colour that is devilishly difficult to describe; greyish-blue, greenish-grey, denim-blue – take your pick. However, it is categorically not ‘another blue’ dial.
Like the sides of the case, the surface of the dial features a hand-crafted vertical satin-brushed finish creating an elegant textured background for the applied rhodium-plated hour markers and numerals. The plating matches the white gold case and echoes the matte finish of the casebands. The small seconds and date sub-dial at 6 o’clock is slightly recessed and features a snailed centre. The arch-shaped power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock is also recessed from the dial and graduated from 1 to 9 referring to the movement’s formidable 9-day power reserve. For additional visibility in low light conditions, the Dauphine-style hands have a strip of Super-LumiNova in their centre.
Calibre L.U.C 98.01-L
One of the most original movements to emerge from Chopard’s L.U.C Manufacture is the Calibre 98.01-L and its patented Quattro technology. ‘Quattro’ refers to the four barrels (stacked in two pairs) that provide this watch with its extraordinary endurance of 216 hours. The beauty of this manual-winding movement is its lean 3.7mm profile. Certified as a chronometer by the COSC, the finishes on the movement reflect the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark and include Geneva stripes on the bridges, perlage on the mainplate, polished bevels and screw heads.
The 2019 L.U.C Quattro comes on a brown alligator strap with brown alligator lining and a white gold pin buckle. A limited edition of 50 pieces, the price for the L.U.C Quattro in white gold/grey dial will be EUR 23,700. More details at www.chopard.com.