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Baselworld 2017: Chopard L.U.C Lunar One

by Frank Chuo on March 23, 2017

In the exalted L.U.C collection, inspired by the brand’s founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard, one finds Chopard’s finest horological accomplishments. For over 10 years, the Lunar One (first presented in 2005) has been considered the poster child of the L.U.C collection, being the brand’s first perpetual calendar timepiece. This year, for Baselworld 2017, the Lunar One gets a contemporary makeover with a stunning new dial design and a platinum case.

Baselworld 2017: Chopard L.U.C Lunar One

The L.U.C Lunar One comes in a platinum case measuring 43 mm in diameter and 11.47 mm in thickness. The case is elaborately finished, featuring vertical satin-brushed flanks with the top of the lugs and bezel mirror-polished. This results in a spectacular contrast which allows the watch to be easily worn dressed up or down.

The new dial for the Lunar One is nothing short of stunning. Keeping up with the recent demand for blue-dialled watches, the new Lunar One comes with a chic royal blue dial that is finished with an aesthetically-pleasing sunburst pattern radiating from the ‘L.U.Chopard’ marquee at 12 o’clock. While many manufacturers struggle to display perpetual calendar indications in a tidy manner, we feel that Chopard has done well with the Lunar One. The indications are displayed by means of a ‘big date’ at 12 o’clock and 3 sunken sub-dials at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock.

They are perfectly legible thanks to the use of white font that contrasts well against the blue backdrop of the dial. The sub-dial at 9 o’clock indicates the day of the week and the day/night cycle while the sub-dial at 3 o’clock indicates the month and leap year. Perhaps the most eye-catching element of the dial is the orbital moon phase display that dwells within the seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. The moon phase display of the Lunar One – adorned with a deep blue sky and stars of the Northern Hemisphere – is highly precise with 122-year fidelity. Also striking on the dial are the large Roman numerals marking the hours as they are beautifully polished and uniquely curved.

Powering the L.U.C Lunar One is the 355-part, 32-jewelled Calibre 96.13-L. Equipped with a 22-carat gold micro-rotor, the self-winding Calibre 96.13-L has a commendable power reserve of 65 hours while operating at a modern 4 Hz beat rate.

In accordance to the spirit of the L.U.C. collection, watch movements housed in L.U.C watches are immaculately finished; in fact, they are some of the most well-finished in the industry. The Calibre 96.13-L is no different. The edges of every bridge are chamfered and polished, and serve to highlight the traditional Côtes de Genève motif on the surface. The baseplate features tight and even perlage throughout, while the swan neck regulator and screw heads are tediously black polished. The gold micro-rotor is engraved with the historical L.U.C logo and finely guilloché-worked, further highlighting the attention to detail that Chopard invests in the finishing and decoration of L.U.C timepieces. Not only does the Calibre 96.13-L meet the highest quality standards of the manufacturer, it also bears the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva which in-part ensures that the movement is chronometrically precise and finished to exceptional standards. The precision of the movement is also COSC-certified; while this may seem redundant, given that movement bears the Hallmark of Geneva, it is worth noting that precision testing for COSC certification is indeed more stringent (COSC: -4/+6 s per day; Hallmark of Geneva +/- 8.5 s per day).

Limited to only 100 pieces, the 2017 Chopard L.U.C Lunar One is priced at USD67,900.

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