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New: Chopard 2020 Novelties with Editorial Commentary

by Peter Chong on April 27, 2020
Overview
Brand

Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin in stainless steel and in rose gold
Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control
Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono

Complication / Type of Watch

L.U.C Perpetual Twin - perpetual calendar with micro-rotor automatic winding, 65 hour power reserve
Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control - time only with power reserve and date, L.U.C movement
Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono - automatic chronograph

Recommended Retail Price

L.U.C 168561-3003 in Stainless SteelS$34,100
L.U.C Ref. 161976-5003 rose gold POA
Mille Miglia 168566-6002 S$13,400
Mille Miglia 168571-3007 S$10,300

Though not participating in Watches & Wonders 2020, Chopard, who was to have exhibited at Baselworld 2020 released their novelties for this year. As noted previously, they have pulled out of Baselworld 2021, and will be part of the Rolex/Tudor, Patek Philippe and Chanel group in Geneva for the next show. Here are the two horology novelties for 2020.

Press Release with commentary

As expected, the novelties are restrained, in view of the poor market conditions for luxury products, and the maison is saving their big releases for January next year. The new releases are an extension to the L.U.C Perpetual Twin with a new improved movement, and cleaner dial design and the release of this year’s Mille Miglia editions.

Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin in stainless steel or 18-carat rose gold

A perpetual calendar, with its union of the practical and the poetic, is the ultimate expression of elegance and sophistication for the modern gentleman. This year Chopard is presenting its celebrated perpetual calendar, the chronometer-certified L.U.C Perpetual Twin, in two stand-out versions in rose gold and stainless steel that offer gentleman connoisseurs a new expression of artful style and horological finesse.

The new Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin in stainless steel case. The blue dial is new.

Designed for life. Launched in 2016 on the 20th anniversary of Chopard Manufacture, the L.U.C Perpetual Twin is recognised for its combination of purist-pleasing Haute Horlogerie and the practicality of an automatic steel wristwatch designed to be worn every day. Indeed, it remains the only chronometer-certified perpetual calendar in stainless steel currently on the market, a reflection of Chopard’s absolute commitment to superior quality in every watch it makes.

Chopard now presents this modern timepiece once more in robust stainless steel, with a newly-refined dial in a rich and urbane shade of blue. Additionally, the L.U.C Perpetual Twin is presented for the first time in 18-carat rose gold, with a subtle grey dial.

The L.U.C Perpetual Twin presented for the first time in rose gold, and a chocholate dial.

Balance and poise. Both dials emphasise tonal contrasts through sunray satin-brush finishes. This forms a setting for a display in which information is presented with elegance and absolute clarity. A big date forms the focal point of the layout, with sub-dials for the perpetual calendar day, month and leap year indications, and small seconds at 6 o’clock. Minimalist applied hour markers bring quiet poise to this discreet and perfectly balanced design.

Technical mastery: a perpetual calendar chronometer. Visible beneath a sapphire crystal caseback, the movement powering the L.U.C Perpetual Twin, mechanical automatic calibre L.U.C 96.22-L, is a work of true technical and artisanal mastery. Hand-made by Chopard’s skilled watchmakers, it exhibits the finest traditions of hand-finishing, and has been certified as a chronometer by the experts of Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) – a rare distinction for perpetual calendar watches, and one that guarantees utmost precision and reliability.

Chopard’s watchmakers also ensured that elegance is built into the watch from the calibre outwards, thank to a 22-carat gold micro-rotor that sits within the plane of the movement, keeping the entire mechanism to just 6 mm in depth (same as 2016 model in thickness). Chopard Twin Technology, meanwhile, employs dual barrels to deliver an extended power reserve of 65 hours, meaning that the watch will continue running when left untouched for over two-and-a-half days.

The gentleman’s way. The L.U.C Perpetual Twin is in every way the watch of the modern gentleman – a quietly sophisticated statement of culture and elegance, for the man who naturally advocates for art, aesthetics, handcraft and style. And as such, it is a timepiece conveying the essence of Chopard watchmaking: a refined celebration of the watchmaker’s art, that is both distinctive and utterly discreet.

Total mastery. Movement construction, product design, gold smelting, case stamping and machining, movement components, traditional hand-crafted decorations, surface treatments, polishing, assembly, movement adjustment and quality control: all operations involved in watch production are performed in-house by Chopard Manufacture. The Maison applies them to the making of each timepiece in the L.U.C collection paying tribute to the founder whose initials it bears: Louis-Ulysse Chopard. Profoundly attached to the pure lines and subtle details that made his watches such highly sought-after items, Louis-Ulysse Chopard already knew how to attire gentlemen with beautiful pocket-watches back in his day.

The 2016 version of the L.U.C Perpetual Twin, photographed in Baselworld 2016.

As mentioned these two new watches are an extension to the L.U.C Perpetual Twin released in 2016. The 2016 version was only in a stainless steel case, but with a different movement. The new movement is the L.U.C 96.22-L features 65 hours of power reserve, while the 2016 was powered by the 96.51-L which had an autonomy of 58 hours. The movement appears identical from a quick examination of the case back. The dial is also new, with a blue base, and a cleaner layout using appliqué arrowhead shaped indices instead of Roman appliqué indices. The rose gold edition is a new case metal for the L.U.C Perpetual.

L.U.C Perpetual Twin Specifications

In stainless steel or 18-carat rose gold

Case: Stainless steel or 18-carat rose gold / Total diameter 43 mm
Thickness 11.47 mm / Water resistance 30 metres / Stainless steel crown or 18-carat rose gold with L.U.C logo 6.50 mm / Vertical satin-brushed case middle / Polished bezel / Glare-proofed sapphire crystal / Exhibition back

Movement: Mechanical movement with automatic winding L.U.C 96.22-L / Total diameter 33.00 mm / Thickness 6.00 mm / Number of jewels 29 jewels
Frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz) / Power reserve 65 hours / Two barrels – Chopard Twin Technology / Automatic winding by a 22-carat micro-rotor
Bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif / Flat terminal curve
Chronometer-certified (COSC)

Dial and hands: Blue-coloured or ruthenium grey-coloured dial with sunburst satin-brushed motif focused on the big date / Perpetual calendar dials (large-aperture date, day of the week, month and leap years) / Rhodium-plated or gilded Dauphine-type hour and minute hands / Rhodium-plated or gilded baton-type hands small seconds, day and month indications / Black-tipped or gilded triangular leap-year hand / Facetted rhodium-plated or gilded hour-markers / Minute track

Functions and displays: Central display of the hours and minutes / Small seconds display at 6 o’clock / Big date display at 12 o’clock / Day of the week and month displays at 9 and 3 o’clock respectively / Offset leap-year display between 2 and 3 o’clock.

Strap and buckle: Hand-sewn blue or brown alligator leather with cognac alligator leather lining / Polished and satin-brushed stainless steel or 18-carat rose gold pin buckle

Ref. 168561-3003 – in stainless steel
Ref. 161976-5003 – in 18-carat rose gold

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro

This spring Chopard will proudly reprise its role as main sponsor and official timekeeper of Italy’s world famous Mille Miglia classic car rally, a position it has held continuously since 1988. Each year, Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has demonstrated his passion for automobiles by competing in the gruelling, 1,000-mile contest that runs from Brescia to Rome and back – and each year the Maison produces a new Mille Miglia watch collection to celebrate what is regularly described as ‘the most beautiful race in the world’.

The pre-Miglia Milia event was to have happened in March 26, but cancelled because of COVID-19.

The brand-new models for 2020 comprise the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control, an automatic time and date watch, limited to 500 pieces in stainless steel and 18-carat rose gold, with a power reserve indicator based on an automotive fuel gauge, and the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono in stainless steel (750-piece limited edition) featuring a sub-dial layout inspired by a classic car instrument cluster. Both models are highlighted by elegant ‘Azzurro’ dials of a steely blue hue which contrasts beautifully with the ‘Mille Miglia red’ used for detailing the hands as well as the instantly recognisable ‘1000 Miglia’ direction arrow that frames the date window.

Fuel gauge on the left, the “1000 Miglia” arrow on the right over the blue dial.

A car – in a watch. Both the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control and the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono are rich in design touches inspired by the automotive world. Each steel case, for example, features sides that are grooved in the style of an engine’s piston, while the smoothly-sloping strap lugs are reminiscent of the curvature of hand-crafted coachwork. The oversized winding crown, meanwhile, recalls the chunky cap of a race-style fuel filler, while the chronograph’s pushpieces are deeply engraved in the manner of the anti-slip pattern often applied to the control pedals of competition cars. Even the straps take their cue from the motoring world, combining the classic, perforated leather favoured by gentleman drivers of the 1950s and ’60s with a rubber lining that replicates the tread pattern of a Dunlop racing tyre.

Blue is the coolest colour – in every way. The particular ‘Azzurro’ (Italian for ‘blue’) that adorns the dials of the new Mille Miglia GTS Collection was chosen both for its aesthetic appeal and its similarity to the shades often used in the past on some of the world’s great classic cars. The colour both reflects the mechanical nature of the Mille Miglia timepieces and offers a versatile alternative to more conventional black or silver dials, enabling the robustly engineered Mille Miglia GTS models to fit in perfectly whether they are worn for business, at a cocktail party, on the sports field – or, of course, beneath the cuff of a favourite driving jacket.

TheMille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control – built entirely in Chopard’s workshops. The Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control offers a distinctive, ‘bi-colour’ look thanks to its combination of a steel case and 18-carat rose gold detailing to the winding crown, bezel, hands and hour markers.

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control.

Available in just 500 examples, the 43mm timepiece has a satin-brushed blue dial with a varnished blue aluminium bezel insert marked in 12 increments of five to facilitate elapsed time recording. Turning the watch over, meanwhile, reveals an exhibition case back that allows a clear view of the meticulously decorated Chopard 01.08-C mechanical self-winding movement. Made entirely in-house, the 251-part mechanism offers 60 hours of power reserve (the level of which can be monitored by the indicator at the nine o’clock position on the dial) and is chronometer certified for accuracy by the COSC, the official Swiss chronometer testing institute. The steel ring surrounding the sapphire crystal case back is marked with the ‘Brescia > Roma > Brescia’ route of the Mille Miglia and each of the 500 watches is engraved with its individual edition number.

The Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono – the watch for gentleman drivers who make every second count. The chronograph wristwatch is as inextricably linked with the world of classic motorsport as are fly screens, bonnet straps and wire wheels. Ideal for timing laps at a race circuit or monitoring special sections during a reliability trial, the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono combines a central chronograph hand with a trio of dashboard-like sub dials designed to separately record periods of 60 seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours, all to chronometer-grade accuracy. Robust ‘pump’ pushpieces ensure the mechanism is quick and easy to stop, start and re-set even when wearing driving gloves, and the varnished blue and grey bezel insert is marked with a tachymeter scale to enable speed and distance calculations.

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono.

Also fitted with the same perforated leather and tyre-tread rubber strap as the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control, the Chrono has a solid case back featuring a chequered flag pattern topped by a Mille Miglia arrow, while the ‘Brescia > Roma > Brescia’ legend and the individual edition number out of 750 is marked around the edge.

The new watches have a very strong visual. The GTS Azzurro Power Control featuring a L.U.C movement, and bold two tone case in stainless steel and rose gold. The GTS Azzurro Chrono sports the same DNA in design but with the closed back, it looks like the movement is the ubiquitious Valjoux 7750, and very similar, safe cosmetic changes to the earlier Mille Miglia chronographs. Neither are out of the ordinary for Chopard Mille Miglia issues, but the strong choice of blue as the base dial colour is nice.

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control Specifications

500-piece limited edition in stainless steel and 18-carat rose gold

Case: Stainless steel / Total diameter 43.00 mm / Thickness 11.43 mm
Water-resistant to 100 metres / 18-carat rose gold crown with steering wheel motif 7.00 mm / Polished 18-carat rose gold bezel with blue aluminum inlay / Glare-proofed sapphire crystal / Exhibition caseback secured with screws bearing the inscription Brescia > Roma > Brescia

Movement: Mechanical self-winding movement Chopard 01.08-C / Number of components 251 / Total diameter 28.80 mm / Thickness 4.95 mm
Number of jewels 40 / Frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz) / Power reserve 60 hours / Flat terminal curve / Chronometer certified (COSC)

Dial and hands: Circular satin brushed blue-coloured dial achieved with galvanic treatment / Varnished blue and grey inner bezel ring with a white transfer / Super-LumiNova®-painted gilded appliques / Super-LumiNova®-painted and facetted gilded hours and minutes hands / Power reserve indicator gilded hand (at 9 o’clock) / Gilded red-tipped sweep-seconds hand

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds / Date aperture at 3 o’clock / Power-reserve indicator at 9 o’clock

Strap and buckle: Blue-coloured calf leather strap with tone-on-tone stitching / Perforations inspired by driving gloves / Blue rubber lining inspired by 1960s Dunlop racing tyres / Polished and satin-brushed stainless steel folding clasp

Ref. 168566-6002 – in stainless steel and 18-carat rose gold with blue-coloured calfskin leather and blue rubber strap – 500-piece limited edition

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono Specifications

750-piece limited edition in stainless steel

Case: Stainless steel / Total diameter 44.00 mm / Thickness 13.79 mm
Water-resistant to 100 metres / Stainless steel crown with steering wheel motif 8.00 mm / Polished stainless steel bezel with blue aluminium inlay
Glare-proofed sapphire crystal / Solid caseback bearing the inscription Brescia > Roma > Brescia

Movement: Mechanical self-winding chronograph / Number of components 240 / Total diameter 30.40 mm / Thickness 7.90 mm / Number of jewels 25
Frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz) / Power reserve 48 hours / Stop seconds function / Flat terminal curve / Chronometer-certified (COSC)

Dial and hands: Circular satin brushed blue-coloured dial achieved with galvanic treatment / Varnished blue and grey inner bezel ring with a white transfer / Super-LumiNova®-painted rhodium-plated appliques / Super-LumiNova®-painted and facetted rhodium-plated hours and minutes hands
Rhodium-plated red-tipped sweep-seconds hand

Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds / 30-minute and 12-hour counters
Date window at 3 o’clock / Tachymeter

Strap and buckle: Blue-coloured calf leather strap with tone-on-tone stitching / Perforations inspired by driving gloves / Blue rubber lining inspired by 1960s Dunlop racing tyres / Polished stainless steel folding clasp

Ref. 168571-3007 – in stainless steel with blue-coloured calfskin leather and blue rubber strap – 750-piece limited edition

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