Monochrome Watches
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Video Review

The Supremely Elegant Chopard L.U.C 1860 Salmon Dial

A compact, extremely elegant steel watch with a handsome salmon dial and one of the most important modern movements…

| By Brice Goulard | 3 min read |

Unveiled last year during Watches and Wonders, the Chopard L.U.C 1860 in Lucent Steel with a guilloché salmon dial is a watch that left quite an impression on us. But there’s more to this timepiece than its elegance, its compact dimensions or its combination of materials and colours – salmon over steel is, by far, one of our favourite combos here at MONOCHROME. It’s a watch with historical importance, both mechanically and design-wise, which is why we’ve elected this Chopard L.U.C for our latest video review. 

Chopard, and specifically the L.U.C collection (named after the brand’s founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard) is known for its handsome, elegant watches with impeccable execution. But more than anything, this collection launched in 1996 has secured the brand a position on the map of high-end watchmaking. With the L.U.C Collection, Chopard became part of the elite of Geneva-based Haute Horlogerie, together with some of the most respected brands of the region. And it was all down to one movement, the emblematic calibre 96, which is basically the same as the watch we’ll review today. And in addition, the watch that housed it first was very close in design and proportions to this handsome, extremely elegant Chopard L.U.C 1860 Salmon Dial… Many reasons to go deeper into the details.

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For this reason, and before we start talking about what is, objectively, a very beautiful watch, we need to dive into history and look at the rise of Chopard as a top-tier manufacture. For this reason, I invite you to watch our video review, which explains the birth of the L.U.C collection and its inaugural movement, the Calibre 96, but also to have a close look at this in-depth article part of the Collector’s Corner column, retracing the history of the creation of this movement and the first watches to be equipped with it. With this movement and this collection, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the Co-President of Chopard, had an ambitious plan: transforming Chopard from a brand mostly known for jewellery to a proper watchmaker. And he certainly succeeded.

What to say about this watch…? It might well be one of the most elegant and appealing dress watches we’ve seen recently. Chopard decided here to go back to the roots of this collection with a case that measures 36.5mm in diameter and a slim profile of 8.2mm. Restrained, elegant, almost old-fashioned but in a charming way –  and yet, with such presence on the wrist. And after multiple L.U.C watches in precious metals, it’s here done in steel, or Lucent Steel A223 to be precise – an ethically sourced proprietary alloy with more sheen and resistance to scratches.

Under the sapphire caseback is the calibre L.U.C 96.40, a slightly modernized version of the movement that started it all in 1996. It is wound by a solid 22-carat gold rotor decorated with a guilloché pattern. It is also certified by the Geneva Seal, meaning that the decoration has been done according to highly demanding standards and the precision has been certified by the COSC as a chronometer.

But I invite you to watch the video, which has all the details regarding what is, objectively, a stunning (and quite expensive too) watch. For more details, please consult our hands-on article here, as well as our in-depth look at the history of L.U.C and the calibre 96.

9 responses

  1. does this watch even exist for sale? I’ve seen so many hype stories, and i think less than 10 have been made.

  2. It takes a couple of months to get but they’re available

  3. I have a LUC XP, in white gold. It’s a gorgeous watch, but boy does the 1860 have me drooling.

  4. It is indeed one of, if not THE most, elegant dress watches inte the market. Expensive for a steel watch, but great value in comparison to the steel sports watches from the usual suspects. Love it!

  5. It’s certainly nice, but it suffers the nomos subdial spacing issue (it is my only gripe though, not much else is wrong with it), and imo it isn’t special enough for the coverage it gets atm. There’s very beautiful comparable watches to be had at considerably lower prices.

  6. I love this watch!….with a caveat: It perfect for my wrist size, make it available in stainless steel, same dial and salmon dial color, price it between $3,000 or $5,000 dollars and I’ll make the purchase, otherwise, I’m sticking with my Longines Heritage 38.5mm salmon dial watch which is a terrific watch at a third of the price of CHOPARD L.U.C 1860 SALMON DIAL.

  7. It does exist and it takes about 4 months from order to delivery. (Chopard, Dusseldorf was very helpful)
    Believe me; It is worth the wait!
    Jan R

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