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Review: Casual Chic – The Chopard L.U.C Quattro

by Frank Chuo on July 1, 2019

Chopard L.U.C Quattro

The Chopard L.U.C Quattro is a seasoned veteran as far as contemporary watches go. The household reference has been around for almost two decades and has worn numerous faces along the way. This year, Chopard introduces what is arguably the most laid-back iteration of the L.U.C Quattro thus far – and it’s solely to do with its new dial.

The Case, Dial, and Hands

Rendered in 18K white gold, the case of the new L.U.C Quattro remains otherwise unchanged compared to last years Quattro. The modern 43 mm x 8.84 mm case complements the new dial perfectly. Much like its predecessor, the dial features a chic vertical satin-brushed finish. This time however, instead of a white dial, the Quattro is fitted with a blue-grey dial. This results in a visage that is more casual and industrial.

The dial of the new Quattro may look more casual, but its surface finishing is as immaculate as ever.

At the 6 o’clock position is a snailed sub-dial for the date and the seconds. Meanwhile, the 12 o’clock position is home to the power reserve display. The hours are marked by applied rhodium-plated markers and Arabic numerals (3 and 9). Indicating the hours and minutes are dauphine fusee-type hands that have been coated with a strip of Superluminova for low- or no-light visibility. Baton-type hands – all of which are also rhodium-plated – are used to indicate the seconds, date and power reserve. To match the relaxed vibe of the watch head, the new Quattro is very tastefully matched with a brown alligator leather strap.

While the bezel and top of the lugs are mirror polished, the flanks of the case are satin-brushed.

The Movement

Driving the L.U.C Quattro is still Chopard’s trusty and original Calibre 98.01-L. The 223-part, 39-jewel movement boasts a whopping 9-day power reserve while operating at a modern 4 Hz beat rate. Its superior power reserve is all thanks to the brand’s patented Quattro Technology, and as you might guess, Quattro here refers to the four mainspring barrels (stacked in pairs) of the movement. What’s even more impressive is the fact that the movement is only 3.7 mm thick in spite of the number of barrels within.

The Calibre 98.01-L as seen through the sapphire crystal case back

As one would expect of a Chopard L.U.C movement, the Calibre 98.01-L is not only COSC-certified as a chronometer, it also bears the Hallmark of Geneva. The finissage applied onto the movement is excellent. Visible through the sapphire crystal case back are even Geneva waves, chamfered and polished edges, mirror polished screw heads, tight perlage on the base plate, and gold-filled engravings, among other things.

The Competitive Landscape

The market for fine watches with simple complications like the date and power reserve is a crowded scene. That said, the new L.U.C Quattro with its contemporary size and pared down dial will appeal to the brand’s younger clientele, or anyone looking for a casual watch. At USD25,800, it is reasonably priced, considering its noteworthy technicals and high finishing.

Measuring 43 mm in diameter, the L.U.C Quattro isn’t well-suited for small wrists, but its sub-10 mm height allows it to slide under sleeves easily.

Another specimen that is competitively priced and bears mentioning as a serious competitor is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Reserve de Marche. Much like the Quattro, it comes with a power reserve and date display. The key differences between the two watches are in finishing, case material and subsequently, pricing. The Master Ultra Thin Reserve de Marche lacks the fine hand-finishing that the Quattro has been endowed with. It is also crafted in stainless steel rather than precious metal. As a result, it too is fairly more affordable at just under CHF10,000. The Jaeger-LeCoultre clearly wins in the value-for-money category, but if high finishing is your thing, the Quattro is still the way to go.

jlc-rdm-ultrathin-oblique
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Reserve de Marche in stainless steel with blue dial.

For a more dressed down alternative than the Master Ultra Thin Reserve de Marche, look no further than the Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Day-Date. A fairly new entrant to the realm of watchmaking itself, the FiftySix Day-Date doesn’t just feature the power reserve and date, but also a day display. The FiftySix is marketed as the brand’s more casual line. But just because it is the casual line, doesn’t mean that it is lackluster. The Calibre 2475 SC/2 that beats within the FiftySix Day-Date is a Geneva Seal movement like the Quattro’s Calibre 98.01-L (and the majority of Vacheron Constantin’s modern movements) and is assuredly finished to a superlative level. At USD32,500 for the gold variant, the FiftySix Day-Date is slightly pricier than the Quattro, keeping in mind that it is automatic winding and has an additional day complication.

The Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Day-Date also comes in stainless steel.

Final Thoughts

There isn’t much that is new about the latest L.U.C Quattro, save for its industrial blue-grey dial. What the watch cognoscenti can expect from the watch, though, is well-conceived aesthetics, technical substance, and value for money. With this newest release, the future continues to look bright for Chopard’s illustrious L.U.C line.

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