Chopard L.U.C: our selection of the best from 2021 novelties

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Chopard released a slew of L.U.C watches this year, as it is the 25th Anniversary of the series. Here are our picks for the top 4 of the LU.C novelties.

The 2021 Chopard L.U.C top picks

Chopard embarked on the L.U.C Manufacture journey to epitomize the best characteristics of Swiss watchmaking some quarter century ago, guided by the strong passion and desire of Karl-Friedrich Schuefele (KFS). I visited the manufacture in Fleurier two years after it was established, and was impressed with what I saw. I visited again about 5 years ago, and continue to be impressed. Then, KFS had just began in an even more ambitious project to realise the Ferdinand Berthoud watches. We see the fruits of that endeavour in the magnificent F. Berthoud watches in many of its iterations.

The Val-de-Travers area where the Chopard manufacture is located. Photo from winter of 2013.

But as it has been 25 years since the initial establishment of L.U.C, the maison rightly celebrates with a whole collection of new watches. Here is our pick of the top 4 of the novelties, in no particular order. Full hands-on review of all the watches to follow soon.

L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25

Retail: SGD 61,700 inclusive of GST in rose gold. Limited Edition of 100.

To us, this is the most interesting of the new releases, though we said in no particular order, perhaps a reverse Freudian slip, as this is our top pick. The jumping hour mechanism is a first for Chopard. And the interpretation is very pure and classical. The in-house manufactured grand feu enamel dial in pure white is mostly negative space, which we absolutely adore (see our remarks on the F. Berthoud FB 1R.6-1 review).

The movement is a derivative of the first Quattro movement, and is the L.U.C 98.06-L. This magnificent movement boasts of four stacked and series-coupled barrels. Even with the enormous energy needed for the jumping hour, the power reserve is still an impressive 190 hours (down from 216 hours in the regular Quattro). The movement finishing meets the requirements of the Poinçon de Genève and is examplary. Cased in a 18k rose gold case which is elegant in its almost perfect 40mm size.

L.U.C Qualité Fleurier II Jubilee

Retail: SGD 20,000 inclusive of GST. Limited edition of 25 pieces.

The new Qualité Fleurier Jubilee is an impressive watch to celebrate a quarter century. The watch meets the very exacting specifications of the Fleurier Foundation. We explored this high standard of testing which includes destructive tests in this article here. This is also the second Chopard to carry the Qualité Fleurier hallmark, though the first in a SS case. We reviewed an earlier Chopard QF here.

The sector style dial is quite attractive on its own, with the silver-tone of the main dial achieved by galvanic treatment, and given a sunburst satin-brushed finishing. In contrast to a chapter ring in blue achieved by galvanic treatment.

The movement is the impressive L.U.C 96.09-L, which is a derivative from the first L.U.C featuring two superposed barrels wound by the 22kt gold micro-rotor giving 65 hours of power reserve.

L.U.C GMT Black

Retail: SGD 15,900 inclusive of GST in ceramised titanium. Limited Edition of 250.

This next piece is simply a stunner to our eyes. A GMT ceramised grade 5 titanium and grey-on-black tonality, which is so pleasing to our eyes. Along with the new L.U.C Time Traveler One Black worldtimer, it is the world’s first travel watch to use this advanced material for the case construction. Ceramised titanium is made by oxidising surface layers of titanium at extreme temperatures using electroplasma technology, and improves the hardness to 70 Vickers. This makes the choice of the material is not only aesthetically pleasing, but its wear and corrosive resistant, eminently suitable for the hard life on the wrist of a traveller.

The movement is the L.U.C Calibre 01.10-L, a new movement created by the manufacture. The usual high level of Chopard’s finishing is lavished on the movement, which also achieves ”Chronometer” specifications, as certified by the COSC.

L.U.C Time Traveller 1 Black

Retail: SGD 21,400 inclusive of GST in ceramised titanium. Limited Edition of 250.

And last but not least, perhaps both this Time Traveller and the GMT above belong to the same category as they both have ceramised titanium cases and sport a similar monotone aesthetic. But we could not resist naming both for this list. Perhaps, like everyone, we have been deprived of travel for too long. But Time Traveller it is. The design aesthetics is very similar to the GMT. Grey monotones. We find this aesthetic to be very appealing, and most interesting that legibility is not compromised at all. But rather, in spite of the complex dial, the local and home time can be quickly read at a glance, and the rest of the world’s time on the 24 hour scale is available at a closer look.

The movement is the L.U:C 01-05-L first unveiled in 2016. Movement finishing is typical Chopard high levels, and the movement is COSC certified.

The Time Traveller is delivered with a matching black strap in fully vegan rubber, crafted with an intricate fabric-like pattern. The strap feels textured to the touch, but is quite and pliable around the wrist, making for good comfort.

Concluding thoughts

The new crop of L.U.C watches is a truly fitting tribute to 25 years of the L.U.C manufacture, and of the quarter decade of keeping the standards of haute horlogerie high and alive. And in addition to these 4 which we picked as our favourites, the collection also includes the L.U.C Perpetual Chronograph and the L.U.C Espirit de Fleurier Peony.