Some brands don’t like it when you talk about the price first, but it is the principal thing people get some information about when they see a watch. Before we go into that, let’s have a closer look at this Chopard L.U.C All-in-One that was introduced to us in Basel last March. Limited to 10 pieces only, so we may be somewhat late but the Chopard site doesn’t indicate this watch as ‘Sold Out’ or words with equal meaning.
There are no less than 14 indications featuring a tourbillon, a perpetual calendar, sunrise & sunset occasions and astronomical orbital moon stage, with a 7-day power save. Blast! The writing is on the wall, it becomes clear that the Chopard L.U.C All-in-One is a great complication that can definitely be viewed as a show-piece to exhibit what this manufacture is capable of. Great Complications are a not just the area of Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, but Chopard also plays along with this L.U.C All-in-One.
Chopard L.U.C All-in-One
The Chopard L.U.C All-in-One isn’t new, but already 8 years prior in 2010, there was a form of this watch for the 150th commemoration of the brand. Presently, in 2018, Chopard showed us this new 46mm Chopard L.U.C All-in-One, limited to 20 pieces. 10 in rose gold, as we have here today (reference 161925-5002) and 10 in platinum (reference 161925-9003).
Normally, as a human being, you would like to remain far away from such a complication. But with regards to horology, it is actually something worth being thankful for. Or possibly interesting. Everything other than the ‘normal’ time indication, let’s say a three-hand watch, is alluded to as a complication. This also includes the date feature, this is a complication already. Other than the date, the most famous kinds of complications are of course a chronograph, a moon stages indicator, a force hold indicator, an annual calendar, additional (world) timezones, a perpetual calendar, a tourbillon and a minute repeater. Complications that you don’t see frequently, are for example an indication of the equation of time, a planetarium, dead seconds, and the indication of such occasions other than our standard time (think solar time, sidereal time, sunset and sunrise time etc.). Unofficially, a Grand Complication is a combination of at any rate three complications in one watch. Not any three, but rather one from the timing complications (equation of time, chronograph, sunset/sunrise for example), one calendar complication (perpetual calendar for example) and something with sound (alarm, repeater etc.). Although the Chopard L.U.C All-in-One doesn’t have a striking mechanism, the 14 indications it has on the two sides, definitely places this watch in the illustrious list of Grand Complications.
On the dial side of the Chopard L.U.C All-in-One, we find the central display of hours and minutes. A small seconds on the tourbillon at 6 o’clock, a perpetual calendar with 24-hour indication and day of the week indication just as a month and leap year indicator. Last but not least, a large date display at 12 o’clock. Frankly, the dial isn’t overly crowded or cluttered. In the event that you find it difficult to peruse, it very well may be of the color and hand-guilloché finish. On the back side of the watch, instead of looking at the mechanism of the watch, you will find the indications of the equation of time, a force hold (170 hours!), the day & night indicator, sunrise and sunset occasions (Geneva time) and an astronomical orbital moon stage. While we’re still at the back side of the watch, you will find the unique number (out of 10) engraved in the gold bezel just as the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark.
L.U.C Caliber 05-01-L Movement
All these indications are controlled by Chopard’s L.U.C caliber 05.01-L, initially created for the brand’s 150th commemoration. This chronometer certified development consists of no less than 516 sections and all that in this tiny space with a component of just 33mm x 11.75mm. You can imagine how painstakingly this must have been for the Swiss watchmakers at the Chopard Manufacture, that was founded in 1996. The conception and finishing of the development, just as the adjustments and assembly, are treated with the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark. Not just that, it also compensates at the cost that without appropriate context could have been perceived as vulgar. The retail price of the Chopard L.U.C All-in-One is €360.000 (€374.500 for the platinum variant). That, nonetheless, should always be placed in the correct context for watches like this. The number of hours that have gone into the finishing of the development, the dial, the hands etc. That, but all the hours that went into the research & development of this watch also should be included of course. It’s anything but a mass-produced Swiss mechanical watch, but built and finished by hand.
18-Carat Rose Gold Limited Edition
With only 10 pieces in rose gold, the Chopard L.U.C All-in-One isn’t really your normal limited version where this definition is being used as marketing tool. Only 20 pieces (in total) probably has more to do with the capacity Chopard needs to create this excellent complication. Regularly, pieces like this are not considered a ‘limited edition’, they just come with a unique number and are limited by production capacity. The Chopard L.U.C All-in-One is truly an extraordinariness and the lucky proprietor is assured that he receives something truly exclusive. By numbers, but also by all these complications it has.
The 33mm width development has been housed in a 46mm case, made of 18-carat rose gold (or platinum). The tallness of the watch is 18.50mm. Quite thick, but with 46mm as distance across and all of the complications ready, it bodes well. But on the wrist, it will remain quite a thick piece without a doubt. The case band (or center) has a vertical satin brushed finish were the bezel on the front and caseback have been polished. All engraving on the caseback is done by hand. As mentioned over, the dial has received this hand-guilloché finish in a beautiful verdigris color that has been obtained by a galvanic treatment.
The hollowed subdials (for the calendar functions) have been snailed and the applied hour markers are gilded. Chopard used dauphin-style hands for the hour and minutes and a mallet style hand for the small seconds on the tourbillon. On the backside of the watch, the hands used for the equation of time, 24-hour indication are of a similar sort as the small seconds’ hand. The force save and sunrise & sunset are small red pointers.
Chopard L.U.C All-in-One
Hand-crafted and using no less than 516 components for the development, the L.U.C. All-in-One watch is a clear show-piece by Chopard to exhibit what they are capable of. In-house, to be precise. This implies that the development, plan, gold melting(!), machining (cases, development parts etc.) just as the hand-finishing, assembly, adjustments etc. are done by Chopard in one of their production locales in Meyrin (close to Geneva) and Fleurier. As a watch enthusiast, you can only have deference for this.
I have given the watch a shot my wrist in Basel during the introduction, and it is exceptionally noteworthy. Not just due to its 46mm x 18.5mm measurements (in gold), but also but the level of craftsmanship that this watch is all about. At the point when this is on the wrist, you begin to become shy of superlatives to describe it. This is exactly what Chopard needed to achieve with this exclusive piece of haute horlogerie I guess.
This is a watch that makes you quiet (for some time) and simply enjoying the view. The 18-carat rose gold color perfectly matches the verdigris dial, a wonderful combination. Although I am not a tourbillon fanboy, it is perfectly in place here and not disturbing at all. The caseback is just something else and I’ve always been in love with those astronomical displays. What remains is the fact that it is hardly available (by quantity and price) for a significant number of us, so at whatever point you find the opportunity to see one of these watches up close and personal, get this opportunity.
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