The L.U.C QF Jubilee timepiece ideally sums up the three core values of the L.U.C collection, namely technical performance, aesthetic refinement and an enduring attachment to certified watchmaking. This anniversary creation, issued in an exclusive 25-piece limited series is also made in stainless steel.
Review: Chopard L.U.C QF Jubilee
The case and dial
This new 39 mm-diameter timepiece features ideal proportions and curved lines inspired by a L.U.Chopard model dating from the 1950s. The robustness of stainless steel – used for the first time in the history of the L.U.C collection for a watch certified by the Fleurier Quality Foundation.
For those familiar with watch collecting, stainless steel has become over the years the most popular metal for iconic models. From steel Calatravas to steel Lange 1s, stainless steel classic models are usually revered for the small production numbers and its rarity.
The watch is thin at 8.92 mm, and wears comfortably on the wrist. It has substantial wrist presence for the size despite being a classically proportioned petite seconde dress watch.
While the Chopard L.U.C QF Jubilee has all the benefits of a dress watch, it also has a certain sportiness in its design. The dial in particular achieves this.
The L.U.C QF Jubilee uses a Art Deco and Bauhaus era sector dial built around several concentric circles enabling easy reading of the hours and minutes. Once favoured by naval officers who appreciated its clear legibility, the sector-type dial of the L.U.C QF Jubilee watch revives this trend around a silvered sunburst centre, followed by a chapter ring in Chopard blue punctuated by chevron hour-markers. A silver-toned railway-track minutes mark the periphery of the dial with transferred black markings.
As part of its ‘sportiness’, the dial is legible in the dark using Super-LumiNova® coating on the four main hour-markers, the round base of the chevron-style hour-markers as well as the spear-shaped hours and minutes hands.
A casual brown calfskin strap featuring two blue bridle stitches that match the dial is used instead of a more traditional alligator strap. This gives the watch a more casual styling.
A variant of Chopard Manufacture’s first calibre, the L.U.C 96.09-L movement that powers this L.U.C QF Jubilee timepiece uses a double barrel movement. Powered by a 22-carat gold micro-rotor, the movement is slimmer while still fielding a respectable 65-hour power reserve.
The movement is certified by both the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) and the Fleurier Quality Foundation. COSC measures the precision of the movement, marked by the Chronometer inscription on the dial.
In response to another criterion required by the Fleurier Quality Foundation, the reliability of the watch is also verified by the Chronofiable protocol: three weeks of ageing tests involving heat, cold and humidity, traction and pressure on the winding stem, magnetic fields, as well as recurrent impacts. Once the watch has been completed in the workshops, it is tested one last time on the Fleuritest simulator.
The stainless steel case, calfskin strap and casual styling reminds us of a trend also seen in Vacheron Constantin. The stainless steel Cornes de Vache. Jaeger LeCoultre is another brand that is making its classic range look more versatile and sporty. Chopard’s latest L.U.C QF Jubilee is an excellent addition to the collection and is not only a practical and versatile watch, but also very rare with just 25 pieces made. Contrast this with limited editions from some other brands with 1020 pieces or 2012 pieces.
Priced at SGD20,000 including GST for stainless steel, the L.U.C QF Jubilee is more affordable than Lange’s Saxonias in gold, and Patek’s Calatravas. Compared to other brands, the L.U.C QF Jubilee does not shy from the competition, for its pedigree movement and finishing as well as technical competence. The 25 pieces rarity is also an attractive proposition. Perhaps its real competition is within itself, with the original 1997 1.96 caliber 1860 L.U.C with the guilloche dial in yellow/white gold options and possibly priced lower (but used) than the new steel piece.
Photographed in the Chopard Singapore office. Hasselblad H3D-39 with HC 4/120 Macro and HC 2.8/80 with H26 extension tube. Profoto strobes.