Thursday, October 29

Review: Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin for 2020

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Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin

The L.U.C collection by Chopard is known for many things. For one, it is the haute horlogerie arm of Chopard watchmaking. For another, it offers almost unparalleled value for money relative to competing collections of equal quality. And yet, in spite of winning numerous prestigious awards in recent years, Chopard remains criminally under-appreciated.

For 2020, and much like every other brand, Chopard’s novelty presentation was a down to earth affair. The Geneva manufacturer introduced only one new timepiece for the L.U.C collection and it isn’t even really a novelty – simply a variation of an existing reference. That said, this new variant is a godsend, because it is beautiful and an improvement in looks compared to its predecessor, at least in our opinion. We bring you the low-down and our thoughts on the new Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin for 2020.

The Case, Dial, and Hands

Available in either stainless steel or 18k rose gold, the case of the L.U.C Perpetual Twin measures 43 mm in diameter and 11.47 mm in thickness. Make no mistake, this is a large watch that is clearly intended to be contemporary in flavour. The case features an alternating mix of polished and brushed finishes for maximal visual contrast. On the flanks are recessed pushers for quick-setting the watch’s perpetual calendar display.

The design of the case is relatively simple, opting for an alternating polished and brushed finish.

All of the aesthetic changes made to the L.U.C Perpetual Twin for 2020 are on the dial, and spoiler alert: these changes are positive. The first, most significant change is in the hour markers; in the 2020 edition, they’ve gone from chunky, applied Roman numerals to arrowhead appliques. As a result, the dial feels much less crowded and twofold more elegant that it was previously. The other difference between the old and new is the use of more contemporary colours for the dial. The 2020 L.U.C Perpetual Twin is available in either blue or ruthenium gray, which we feel complements the design language of the L.U.C Perpetual Twin better than traditional silver. Every other element of the dial remains unchanged, from the cruciform layout, to the hands that indicate the time and calendar indications.

The new grey and blue dials bring the best out of the modern design of the L.U.C Perpetual Twin

The Movement

Driving the L.U.C Perpetual Twin is the 29-jewel Calibre L.U.C 96.22-L. The automatic movement boasts a respectable 65-hour power reserve thanks to its twin barrels, and operates at a modern 4 Hz frequency.

The Calibre L.U.C 96.22-L as seen through the sapphire crystal case back

Manufacture Chopard is known for their fondness of quality certifications. The Calibre L.U.C 96.22-L is a certified chronometer by COSC, so you can be sure that the watch keeps good time. Higher end L.U.C models tend to also be Hallmark of Geneva and/or Fleurier Quality Foundation certified. The Calibre L.U.C 96.22-L unfortunately does not make the cut but this does not mean that it has shabby construction or finishing. Quite the contrary, the Calibre L.U.C 96.22-L is almost certainly top of class at its price point. A look through the sapphire crystal case back says it all: Geneva waves of even width, polished bevels on the edges, polished screw heads, circular grained wheels, and perlage on the base plate, among other things.

From the gorgeous winding mass, to the sharp outward anglage, the Calibre L.U.C 96.22-L is anointed with movement decoration typically found in much more expensive perpetual calendar wristwatches.

The Competitive Landscape

Perpetual calendar watches are a dime a dozen today. You have affordable ones, expensive ones; good ones, and bad ones. The L.U.C Perpetual Twin sits in a rarefied class of its own: it is both good (superb, in fact) and relatively reasonable in price, as L.U.C watches tend to be. Yes, the L.U.C Perpetual Twin is still tens of thousands of dollars but you’d be hard pressed to find a perpetual calendar watch that is as high quality as it in its price range. And what is its price range? The L.U.C Perpetual Twin is priced at USD24,700 for the stainless steel version, and USD49,800 for the rose gold model (which, admittedly, seems a tad too premium).

The closest rival that the L.U.C Perpetual Twin has is likely Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Ultra Thin Perpetual. Also playing the value game, the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual was, at the time of its debut, the perpetual calendar watch to buy for ultimate bang for buck. Priced at USD19,900 for the handsome black dial/stainless steel variant, it is not hard to see why the watch is immensely popular even today. Compared to the L.U.C Perpetual Twin, the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual is smaller and slimmer and thus more elegant. Where the watch lacks relative to its Chopard counterpart is in finissage – at USD4,800 less, that is understandable in our eyes.

The Master Ultra Thin Perpetual in stainless steel, till this day, remains the poster child for value when it comes to perpetual calendar wristwatches.

For something decidedly less Swiss, look no further than the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar. With a size of 42 mm in diameter and an unorthodox pentangle layout, the Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar is as contemporary as the L.U.C Perpetual Twin is. While its dial design may take some getting used to, it is undeniably legible as all the indications are spread out evenly, and also thanks to the judicious use of aperture displays. The Calibre 36 that drives the watch is attractively finished, though perhaps not nearly to the standards of the L.U.C Perpetual Twin. The Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar in stainless steel, at around USD22,300, offers superb value to those looking for a high-end perpetual calendar watch with Teutonic flavour.

The Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar is very contemporary-German in design, from the stocky case to the off-centre calendar displays on the dial.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard not to like the L.U.C Perpetual Twin. It is simply quality at a reasonable price. And with the new update, it has become more ‘elegant chic’ than ever while retaining the same, excellent movement that is the Calibre L.U.C 96.22-L.

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Review: Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin for 2020 | Wristwatch News

  2. Thank you for the review, Frank.

    I’ve been wanting to see this one in the metal for some time, as the SS is very good value. I have a few reservations, though. 43mm is slightly large, and the movement is quite small. Do you feel that it is the case when you see the actual watch?

    Also, I wish they didn’t include ‘Days’, ‘Months’ and ‘Seconds’ in the sub-dials.

    I would still chose it above the JLC (I prefer digital date windows), and it looks more elegant than the Glashutte Original.

    • Hi Daryll, thank you for your comment as always. I share your sentiments on the L.U.C Perpetual Twin. The watch is too big for me personally (and my small-average wrist) and the movement should definitely fill up more of the case. Sadly, many manufacturers are fine to have small movements in big cases – it costs a lot to develop new movements to fit. I also feel the same way about the ‘Days’, ‘Months’ and ‘Seconds’ inscriptions; it reminds me of the IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar and its ‘ANNUAL CALENDAR’ script. That said, I don’t think it’s a dealbreaker.

      I think out of the three watches, the JLC edges it for me. I’m a sucker for good finishing but I still prefer the JLC over the Chopard slightly because of the dial design (and smaller size).