Low Price Replica A Brief History of Chopard – From Zero to Haute Horlogerie Hero


By Harlan Chapman-Green

I’ll be frank, we have covered Chopard more than anything else this year, probably. Some people might think we are biased, but then consider that a lot of other big websites cover particular brands too, undoubtedly other low production companies like A.Lange & Söhne have enjoyed higher sales thanks to the repeated work and subtle promotion of their watches on big name watch blogs. Before I really do start blowing my own trumpet I’d like to take a step back and show a bit of history about Chopard, since its inception it’s come an awfully long way from respected watchmaker to almost invisible jeweller to global icon in the fashion industry. Whether you like Chopard or not, they have style on their side that is hard to match, it’s why they are often compared to Cartier and, personal feelings about their watch collections aside, their design ambitions often overlap which tends to make them direct competitors.

Let’s stop there, and go back in time to Switzerland in the 19th century, where in a small rudimentary farming village called Sonvilier, this manufacture was born. It was in 1860 that the company founder and namesake, Louis-Ulysse Chopard (where L.U.C. comes from), started the small watchmaking firm. Sonvilier is located near the Jura mountains, an area of Switzerland where watchmaking has a rich history indeed. In the golden age of watchmaking for this area it is entirely feasible that there were at least 15 watchmaking companies in the Sonvilier area alone, so Louis-Ulysse Chopard made the executive decision that his watch company would make the components of the watch and then fully build the entire watch, a core responsibility that remains true even today.

Chopard watches became known to a lot of very powerful, and more importantly influential, people who treasured their Chopard watches because of their beautiful craftsmanship and attention to detail. They were also known for being thin watches too, thinner the competition and something of a unique item. Thinness in a watch is often linked to the technical prowess of a company, making already microscopic components even more minuscule than before is an art form in itself and, don’t forget back then there were no CAD packages or rapid prototyping machines, everything was painstakingly drawn and calculated using nothing but the hand and mind. Not to mention the less precise manufacturing methods. Some valued Chopard very highly for their efforts in this area, especially the likes of Tsar Nicholas II.

Chopard gained even more recognition when it became one of the official watch providers for what is known as the ‘Tir Fédéral’, the globally acclaimed and dead precise Swiss railway network, if you were involved with that, then your number one concern was accuracy and to have Chopard watches becoming the reference for accuracy and reliability meant a great deal for the company.

What would perhaps be an even bigger deal for Chopard would be its relocation. After the death of Louis-Ulysse Chopard in 1915, the company was handed down to his son, Paul-Louis Chopard and his son too, Paul-André Chopard. The traditional business would soon change, as in 1921 the Chopard company left Sonvilier and moved to Chaux-de-Fonds, a larger town not too far from Sonvilier. However once again Chopard would up sticks and leave Chaux-de-Fonds in 1937, Paul André decided he would take the company to the very top and relocate Chopard to Geneva. For context, that’s like having your small local bank grow to the point it takes over an entire skyscraper inside the City of London, it’s a mark of not only your success but also your ambition for greater in the future, and for Chopard it showed their desire to compete with and potentially topple the established names such as Vacheron & Constantin and the upcoming Patek Philippe & Co.

It never quite worked that way, but it is awesome to consider and think about how the world would look if that did happen. Sadly, although Paul-Louis and Paul-André Chopard were very involved and interested in the company, no other generations of the family after Paul-André were. So, he ended up looking to sell the company, and thus remove it from the control of the Chopard family. In 1963 the Chopard of old was sold on to Karl Scheufele III, the third in a long line of German watchmakers from the ‘Gold City’ of Phorzheim who wished to become a figure in the watchmaking world. He was very much interested in keeping the Chopard name alive rather than putting the Karl Scheufele Company name on the product, and said this in an interview after meeting Paul-André Chopard for the very first time:

“As soon as I visited the Geneva workshops and saw the venerable Mr. Chopard seated at his workbench in front of the window, I knew that our two companies were bound to get on well. After half an hour of conversation, I knew it was the right choice.”

 

 

Chopard The Garden of Kalahari

After the purchase was completed the Scheufele family suddenly had what their ancestors had hoped for: control of a Swiss watchmaking company. Chopard was already known for making fantastic watches for women, but it was the Scheufele family with their German heritage and taste for diamonds that eventually lead to Chopard’s world class diamond watches, as well as their almost completely independent jewellery line.

Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer

In 1974 the entire company relocated for the last time to Meyrin, an area on the outskirts of Geneva nearby to the airport. Even though the corporate headquarters is split between the old and new buildings (Chopard has added onto the original facility), and the interiors have been redesigned there is still the weird original textured wallpaper on the walls, a hark back to a time where fashions were crazy and hair styles were starting to be much longer and frizzier and facial hair was all over the place.

Read here about our factory visit:

Part 1

Part 2

Read our interview with Karl-Friedrich Scheufele here

In the 1980s Karl Scheufele III and his wife Karin stood down from the business and allowed Karl-Friedrich and Caroline Scheufele to take the reins. From then on it was a much more diverse business, split by its products but united by its owners. Karl-Friedrich took control of the watchmaking division and has stayed there ever since. He spearheaded the operation and oversaw the creation of L.U.C., Chopard’s ultra high end range of watches.

https://i0.wp.com/watchesbysjx.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Chopard-Happy-Ocean-2.jpg

 

Platinum has exploded on me due to its psychological price. For one thing, you never really forget you are wearing a platinum opinion. Its weight makes it much more “old school” as a luxury merchandise when weight helped you measure the worth of something. Thus, compared to some steel watch, you truly know that something different is in your wrist when sporting platinum (and there is value in being reminded of that). Ironically, these days watchmakers are just as interested in creating watches lighter in weight (maybe more interested) than making hefty silver or gold watches.Platinum is even more discreet than yellow gold, or the majority of other metals of gold. The same argument can be made for white gold. This means that while you as the wearer know you’ve got something precious, that reality is a lot less obvious for the people viewing the watch on you. Wearing it means that you want to be able to afford it, but it also means you aren’t yelling that fact to the world. Note that while the situation is gold, the crown is generated out of 18k white gold. That is likely because platinum is a harder-to-machine substance, and the particulars in the crown probably make it much easier to create in gold.

Chopard Happy Ocean Diver

Meanwhile Caroline seemed to take a much more relaxed and creative approach, letting personal ideas get the go-ahead and creating something wonderful at the same time. Though, there have been times where the two sides of the company have worked together, such as is the case with the ‘Happy …’ collection of watches which feature diamonds suspended between two non-reflective sapphire crystals so they appear to float over the dial and make the owner feel, well, happy. Although this collection actually started in 1976 as a gents watch, in modern day Chopard it’s most definitely a ladies item.

https://i1.wp.com/www.lamna.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/graff_hallucination_watch.jpg__2160x0_q90_crop-scale_subsampling-2_upscale-false.jpg

Let’s not forget as well that Chopard has made, and continues to make, news when it created what was at the time  one of the most expensive wristwatches ever, the 201 Carat Watch which I from my very un-jewellery aware perspective looks much nicer than the Graff Hallucination watch, the most expensive watch ever sold. Nobody can do diamonds quite like Chopard can.

Chopard Mille Miglia Race Edition

At the end of the eighties Chopard revealed the product that would take it to fame in the watch world, as it formed the connection between classic motor racing and horology with the first ever Mille Miglia watch. Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has a particular fondness for classic motor racing, even going as far as to join the 1000 Mille Miglia in his own cars, so it only made sense Chopard would become the official timekeeper of the race. Interestingly, in 2002 Chopard also became the official timekeeper for the GPMH, the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique.

Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru

Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined

Also, around the time that L.U.C. came to life Chopard expanded its operations to the remote and tiny little town of Fleurier, right up in the mountains and no more than an hour’s drive from the original Chopard site in Sonvilier. It’s here in this zen-like place that Chopard conducts its research and design as well as construction and finishing of its L.U.C. watches, although this is split between the Meyrin headquarters so as to allow for the Geneva Seal. Nearby Chopard also helped to launch the Fondation Qualité Fleurier, which would prove to be the most demanding test in the business for watches.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One

Chopard is one of the last few watch companies to remain a family owned business, even though it is effectively a small group in itself with ownership of things like Fleurier Ebauches SA which makes movements for Chopard and allows for vertical integration in manufacturing, and also Ferdinand Berthoud which appears in the so-called ‘super horology’ group alongside the likes of F.P. Journe and Kari Voutilainen.

Chopard Superfast Chronograph Porsche 919 Edition

Chopard’s future looks to be brighter and stronger than ever, that’s been helped by activities such as their partnerships with Porsche and the Cannes Film Festival, as well as their commitment to ethical mining with the release of the ‘Fairmined’ watches which now includes multiple accessories from tourbillon watches to jewellery to the Palme D’Or trophy of the Cannes Film Festival, even the plant inspired trophy for the most prestigious film festival is ethically sourced.

chopard-l-u-c-full-strike-002 Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike

The release of the L.U.C. Full Strike is perhaps the marker in their timeline, now they’ve conquered the most fearsome of complications I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw split seconds rattrapantes, double splits and maybe something even crazier, it’s all a learning journey.

chopard.com

Grade 1 Replica Watches Chopard Superfast Chronograph Porsche 919 Edition Watch Hands-on


By Harlan Chapman-Green

Well, where to start with this one? I suppose it would be best to explain the situation first. I went on a little trip to my home country’s capital city, London. Now we’ve got that out of the way, I’d previously organised a visit to Chopard’s boutique on New Bond Street, near London’s world famous West End. However, this was currently under renovations as they had bought the store next to them and were in the process of making one huge boutique. In the meantime, they have a small boutique set up just around the corner about two minutes away from the big one (stay tuned, we will be back to show you around once it has opened!). I actually got to see quite a few watches, so it’s always a trouble deciding where to start with them all, in the end it was the Superfast Chronograph Porsche 919 Edition watch which caught my eye, so that’s where we are going first.

Returning to the debate of the motion, the automated L.U.C 96.13-L operates at 4Hz (28,800bph), has 65 hours of power reserve, and is produced from 355 components. In addition to time, complications include a perpetual calendar as well as a 122 year accurate moon phase indicator. The calendar program indicates the date (via large date display window), month, day of the week, leap year, and also 24 hour (day/night) index. The general layout of this dial is plausible, and about as busy as you can get without it feeling overly cluttered. My sole problem with the dial would be that while a number of the sub-dial palms are easy to view, others are not. For example, two of the sub-dials possess a stubbier, lume-filled hands that’s simple to see. At precisely the exact same time, those very same dials also have a thinner, more polished hand that doesn’t benefit from using a contrasting color. These thinner hands readily vanish given the lack of powerful contrast, and make it challenging to observe that the day of this week and the month if you want to read them at a glance.Legibility isn’t a problem with the most crucial hands, which are such for your minutes and hours. Beautifully perfect in proportion, the minute and hour hands farther benefit from using luminous material, which contrasts nicely with the glossier tones of additional dial elements.Over the wealthy, metallic blue face are employed 18k white gold Roman numeral hour markers. Chopard designed these elements cleverly, as they’re curved in just one direction. That means that they play with the mild, but not so much as to trigger blur blur. I will, however, ask that moving forward Chopard choose to coat the sapphire crystal across the dial with AR-coating on both sides (not just the underside as is done here).

The Superfast Chronograph Porsche 919 Edition (let’s just stick to Superfast) watch is hefty, and that’s something you’ll notice right off the bat. When the lovely Kim, the Co-ordinator for public relations at the boutique brought it out on the tray alongside some of the other watches it immediately stood out. This is where Chopard’s well known idiosyncrasies in its watch designs play to its strengths, as they all come together to make a product that looks slightly odd at first glance, at least in comparison to a more traditionally styled sports watch, and yet it never looks awkward or out of place. Take the sides of the case for example, they have grooves cut out of them to evoke a ventilation duct of some sort on the 919 racing car, now try and imagine this watch with just a brushed case flank, it looks weird doesn’t it?

The oddities continue onto the dial as well, where the dial itself has been segmented to look similar to the rear diffuser of the 919, you can say what you like about Chopard but they put the detail in where it counts to make good looking effects. The dial plating itself is horizontally brushed in finish with the subdials having a circular guilloché to them, like the spaces in-between each dial plate, the subdials are also white. Now I seem to recall an article or possibly a forum thread devoted entirely to the size of the running seconds subdial on chronograph watches, to an outsider that doesn’t seem like an issue worth fussing over yet for us watchaholics it means a hell of a lot. On this one, the running seconds subdial is smaller than the chronograph subdials, supposedly taking their styling cues from the dial cluster on a sports car. I don’t mind it, it makes no difference to me, but I know there are some who don’t like the subdials being labelled, this is something Chopard does regularly so you’re kinda stuck on that one, once again it makes very little difference to my eye.

All the important numbers are written in a racing style italic font to make it look like it’s moving quickly when it’s not moving at all. There’s also the big 12 numeral on the dial as well, I have no idea what could go in that spot instead, maybe an up/down power reserve mimicking a fuel gauge or something, but it’s not an empty spot so credit to them for that at least. All the parts associated with the flyback chronograph are finished in red on this watch, along with the big ‘919’ symbol on the hours subdial, which is obviously taken from the Porsche 919car. The only dial part I feel is unnecessary is the date window, now, I don’t mind a date window, I don’t even mind a date window at half past 4, but on this it looks out of place. Chopard could easily remove the date for this one watch and it would look a lot cleaner, more focused on the drive or some marketing spiel like that.

In a car you need a propulsion system, usually in the form of an internal combustion engine. Given its obvious tie ins to the motoring industry, calling its movements ‘engines’ is something Chopard does regularly. A comforting fact here for you is that the movement inside the Chopard is designed and built in house, although Chopard doesn’t have the ability to make its own hairsprings at the current time we have been informed that it may well be a possibility in the future. This means that the movement isn’t entirely completely in house (very few actually are), it’s not far off. Given that Chopard is known for using ETA movements in a few of its non-L.U.C. lines we have high hopes for future watches, they’ve also acquired and rebuilt Fleurier Ebauches S.A. which we would hope mean that they will move away from ETA altogether and make use of this new movement manufacture to take its place. I’m getting sidetracked again.

The movement is well finished and the components that you can actually make out in there behind the engine heat-sink style plates, automatic winding rotor with the centre cut out and the Porsche writing on the crystal, do look good. Sure, it’s not finished up like a Romain Jerome or something, but this is a higher production no nonsense sports watch which can take a beating. The Chopard 03.05-M calibre inside the watch is COSC chronometer rated thanks to 45 jewels and has a modest power reserve of 60 hours without the chronograph running, something most modern manufactures are capable of doing but nonetheless a good length of time. The finishing on the plates themselves is pretty good with the brushed finish keeping low profile, it’s something you have to focus your eyes on to admire, which is hard considering all the holes cut in it. Now, the movement itself is only 28.8mm in diameter, but Chopard counters this and the potential disappointment one would get if they find the caseback to their watch showed the tiny movement in it. They made the crystal larger in diameter so as to extend outwards over the movement and then added in an inner bezel to lead towards the movement, making it not only stand out but seem larger, this little design trick is something they do very well indeed. My biggest gripe though is the Porsche info printed onto the crystal itself, sure the automatic rotor has a hole in it but there’s still plenty of space where they could have omitted some of the normal technical stuff around the edge of the caseback and put it there instead, now I can’t see the movement so well.

The chronograph in this watch is of the flyback variety, that means you can reset the chrono while it is still running without damaging internal components. It’s an uncommon feature even in today’s world with high tech mechanical production methods, a flyback is a flyback and should therefore be respected. This one was most likely designed for use around the track, although you should bear in mind it is not a split seconds chronograph so it cannot record one time while continuously timing another event. The chronograph pushers seem to be a little of an oversight, at least until you get used to their placement. While being put right next to the crown is not a problem, they do not protrude very far and you could easily mistake them for being ornamental shoulder guards. When you press them, there is very little travel at all, surprisingly little in fact, as is a common trait with Chopard watches. This is pretty useful actually, meaning you don’t need to push down hard to activate the chronograph, in fact it’s easier to use these chronograph pushers than it is to type on my keyboard. If you’re a watch person but you suffer from arthritis, this could be a game changer for you.

Before I wrap up this review I’d like to give a special mention to the unsung hero of the watch world, the buckle, or in this case the clasp. Without it our watches would fall off or be easy to steal. Chopard does a nice job of its straps and clasps as well, with nearly all of them being a butterfly or ‘double deployant’ type, meaning that rather than one big folding swing-arm action that could pinch skin and is generally less elegant, the clasp folds and secures with two smaller motions. It’s also secured by two pushers, meaning that this rather large watch will happily sit on the wrist until you purposefully interact with it, the details are fine too with even the gap in the centre part of the butterfly which is usually covered being given the perlage treatment.

There are still a few examples of this watch still around, we got to see number 757 out of 919 total examples. The watch is priced fairly reasonably at only £9,430 Sterling or $11,680 USD, though the people at Chopard are very friendly and I’m sure if you asked nicely they might knock a little of that off for good measure. For that you get a cool and unique looking sports watch with a tie-in to a well known sports car manufacturer that’s presented on a comfy and smooth rubber strap. What’s not to like? For more info, please visit chopard.com

Replica Buying Guide Interview With Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, CEO of Chopard


By Jovan Krstevski and Harlan Chapman-Green

One of the many things we did on our trip to Chopard back in March was to sit down with one of the key figures, Mr. Karl-Freiderich Scheufele, and ask him some questions regarding the company, his personal history and other interesting points. It was great to be able to sit down and have a relaxed and informal conversation that provided us, and now you, some insight into the workings at Chopard. We understood that, being the week before Baselworld, his schedule would be extremely chaotic and so we would like to thank him once again for taking the time to speak to us. You can read our interview below or catch up with some of our coverage by entering ‘Chopard’ into the search bar, but make sure you don’t miss this!

Mr. Karl Friedrich Scheufele

Can you tell us more about yourself and your background in the industry?

Well, Chopard is as most of you probably know, a family business founded in 1860 and my father took it over in 1963, I joined the business about thirty years ago. So I’ve been working at Chopard for quite some time and I was happy to contribute to the development together with my sister over the years. We went from a group of about three hundred employees to about two thousand employees today. On the way we’ve made a lot of progress in terms of vertical integration and in terms of the manufacturing. I believe that you’ve seen the manufacture and the manufacture that I founded in 1996 was really a big addition to the company in terms of becoming independent and creditability to the brand. Within twenty years we have added eleven base calibers to our offering and we have developed many complications and, obviously, we have also revived the watchmaking spirit of Chopard which started back in 1860.

What are your goals for the company over the next few years?

First of all Chopard should remain a family company as we are set up today. We want to remain among the top brands as we are already. We also want to continue to innovate in every aspect of our business. The latestand probably best example is the L.U.C. Full Strike which we presented last year and along this line we want to continue. It is not about producing as many watches as we can, but rather about ever increasing our quality and customer satisfaction.

The diver’s watch market is one of the largest markets at the moment but we don’t really see a lot of those kinds of watches from Chopard, is there a particular reason for this?

Well, if you look a little bit back you saw there was a diver’s watch in the L.U.C collection and it was the
L.U.C. Pro One. We wouldn’t exclude another edition of this watch which I believe appeared too early on the market. In fact I heard recently that some collectors were looking to buy one on the second hand watch market so this inspires me to go back to the drawing board and look at a new development, I particularly like that watch myself.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges for Chopard over the next few years?

I think that one of the challenges will be that Chopard, as well as others, will want to make sure that the younger generation, the next generation, is also watch conscious and appreciates mechanical watches in particular. We want them to get excited about wearing watches and not only worry about the next electronic gadget that’s coming onto the market.

What did you think about this year’s Baselworld collection?

Well, this year’s Basel lineup we showed a number of exciting novelties. One watch that I particularly like is where we re-edited an L.U.C. with what we call an officer case with a back that you open by pushing a button and the movement reveals itself. We also introduced a new Mille Miglia anniversary special edition in 18 carat rose gold: the Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th anniversary limited edition. It is equipped with a very nice L.U.C. chronograph movement inside.

Chopard gets high marks for an appealing moon phase indication display, which eschews the normal style of the “M-shaped” window for a single that appears somewhat more natural using a round window. A disc underneath moves in order to replicate the look of the present moon in the skies, which is surrounded by the theme of little stars (that Chopard asserts are visually representative of actual starts in the Northern Hemisphere). More so, the moon phase indicator window itself revolves round its own axis at the sub-dial. It’s not a functional element in my understanding but does really assist the dial remain fresh and interesting. The moon stage layout element is intentionally noticeable and highlighted on these timepieces, whose name once more is “Lunar One. “Even though some of these dial complications can be adjusted through the crown, the L.U.C Lunar One instance includes four inset pushers onto it which can help to rapidly correct the calendar and moon phase advice if you leave the watch unworn for some time. I do also see that the view is an automatic, but given the volume of complications here which can be a pain to adjust, it might have been nice to either have a power reserve indicator on the dial, or even a pusher (like A. Lange & Söhne has on some versions) which lets you advance all the date information by one day at a time.I’m traditionally not a really big fan of platinum as a watch case material, however also the precious metal was growing on me. Seeing this watch from afar, you would be forgiven for thinking it had been 18k white silver or gold rather than platinum. While it’s a fact that the color and finishing of platinum, steel, and 18k white gold are somewhat different, most individuals don’t actually know the distinction. So why then is this precious metal much more precious than gold? My perception is that it comes down to rarity given that platinum (when compared with gold) is much harder to come by.

chopard.com

Replica Buyers Guide Chopard – WristReview Goes To Geneva Part 1


By Jovan Krstevski and Harlan Chapman-Green

So you’re probably wondering by now why we were able to get hands-on with the Chopard releases this year before anyone else was. No, trust us, we wouldn’t really spend sleepless nights over that either. The point is, recently we were invited to tour around the facilities of a highly thought of yet little discussed, family run business by the name of Chopard. It was a very exciting time and we thoroughly enjoyed it, in fact we enjoyed it so much that we have had to split it into two parts (that and Chopard’s manufactures are split across Geneva and Fleurier with around 2 hours travel time between them). Today we will be starting off by describing our tour around the Geneva facility, next week we will offer up the conclusion to this by talking about Fleurier.

There isn’t much to tell about our flights there. Unlike our trip to Glashütte last year we did not meet up ahead of the event and fly together. It was refreshing for Harlan to leave the cold drizzle of Bristol Airport for the surprisingly warm and sunny Geneva Airport. Upon arrival Harlan was chauffeured á la taxi to the Chopard headquarters in Meyrin, Geneva, where a certain Jovan was grinning like a cat that had learned how to use a can opener. We were then greeted by Chopard’s International PR Manager, Mr. Cedric Laforge, who kindly introduced us to the reception team before we started the tour.

Actually, we started off with a three course lunch in the Chopard restaurant which was simply excellent. There was also the passing around of rather excellent wine, Chateau Monster La Tour, the vineyard of which is located in the Dordogne region of France and is also owned by the current owner of Chopard, Mr Scheufele. Suffice to say we really enjoyed the lunch (and Harlan the white, as Jovan was busy being a H2O-holic).

After that it was time to start the tour. Did you know that only two watch companies have the ability to process their own precious metals for their watches? Rolex is one of them, as the salespeople will often tell you. Interestingly, we have noted that they often say that Rolex is the only company with the necessary equipment, however it’s not entirely the case as Chopard has one too. It was very interesting to see the melted gold actually getting poured.

They showed us how the gold comes in ingots, bars that are 99.9% pure gold, which are then melted and combined with whatever metals are required for the colour of the gold. Needless to say, it was very warm in there, but pretty interesting to see at the same time.

We then moved onto the case rooms where the steel components were extruded and then finished. There are actually several steps that go into making the cases from a blank, fairly rounded shape to the honed and precise shape of a Mille Miglia. Each case is meticulously machined and finished by hand before being sent off. Fun fact, Chopard keeps a huge archive of the physical components used in their watches, in case the designs get mislaid and are needed in the future they can reverse engineer new components.

Moving forward, we went to a quiet room hidden in the skunkworks of the building where a couple of experts were assembling bracelets. There were only two or three workers there at the time, one of which was working on the bracelets for some of Chopard’s feminine wristwatches and the rest were on training that day. The other was masterfully crafting a bracelet for their jewellery line, we did get to see a little bit of the jewellery department which we will come to later but, needless to say, it was very calming to watch someone turn a tray full of bits into a stylish bracelet.

At this point we are taken upstairs to a huge workshop which is buzzing with life. There are several CNC machines here which cut out the initial shapes of the components which will then be taken and finished by hand. Walking down the length of the room we come to the polishing part of the process.

There are banks of people hand polishing the cases for the Mille Miglia watches. We stood there and watched one of the staff members turn an unfinished case into a sparkling piece worthy of the name Mille Miglia. All throughout the tour we were very surprised by the calm aura around the facility.

Given that this was the week before Baselworld and some of the watches weren’t actually ready yet, there weren’t staff running around or going flat out. Kudos to everyone on the team for being so friendly and professional during our tour in one of the busiest weeks for the company.

We then proceeded upstairs to another part of the building where we saw a small team of experts working on some L.U.C. watches, Chopard’s upmarket sub-brand known as L.U.Chopard. It was dead quiet in there apart from some light chatter, which was just as well given that they were assembling balances into the watches when we visited. There is a small contingent working in Geneva on the L.U.C. watches but most of the operations were undertaken at the Fleurier facility and, given that it was a 2 hour journey up into the mountains, it made financial sense to base most of it there. There was also a little time to see through into the jewellery section where staff were busy working away on Chopard’s newest jewellery collection known as ‘Ice Cube’.

chopard-setting-of-the-inertia-wheel-drum

At this point we were taken downstairs to a quiet room just past reception where we met Mr Nicholas Schlappi, the lead designer for the L.U.Chopard Full Strike watch, one which we were unable to get a hands-on with. We won’t add too much detail as there is a separate interview with him coming soon.

After this we got to see the watches, which was probably the highlight of the entire tour. We saw all of the watches we have featured with live pictures so far, plus a few more that are coming soon. We were set up with the watches in a grand conference room full of interesting antique items and paintings from the local area. The high gloss table which all the pictures were staged upon, it was so shiny the watches appeared to float in some pictures making for an excellent look. There were plenty of novelties and watches (and water, for Jovan) we were able to photograph, in fact we had to go into warp speed with some of them because we spent too much time fussing over the L.U.C. Lunar One, L.U.C. Officer XPS 1860  L.U.C. XPS Twist QF and the Mille Miglia Race Edition!

In addition to time, complications include a perpetual calendar in addition to a 122 year true moon phase indicator. The overall design of this dial is logical, and about as busy as it is possible to get with no feeling overly cluttered. My only issue with the dial is that while a number of those sub-dial palms are easy to see, others are not. For instance, two of the sub-dials have a stubbier, lume-filled hand that’s simple to spot. At the same time, those very same dials also have a thinner, more polished hand that does not benefit from using a contrasting color. These thinner hands easily disappear given the absence of powerful contrast, and make it hard to see the day of the week and the month if you want to read them in a glance.Legibility isn’t an issue with the most important palms, which are such for your hours and minutes. Beautifully perfect in proportion, the hour and minute hands farther benefit from using luminous substance, which contrasts well with the glossier tones of other dial elements.Over the rich, metallic blue facial are applied 18k white gold Roman numeral hour markers. Chopard designed these components cleverly, since they’re rounded in just one direction. That means that they play with the light, but maybe not too much as to trigger reflective blur. I will, nevertheless, ask that moving forward Chopard opt to coat the sapphire crystal over the dial with AR-coating on both sides (not only the underside as is done here).

It had just gone past six when we left, but we were stuck in Geneva traffic for over half an hour trying to get back to the Hotel Auteil where we were put up, which wasn’t too far from the waterfront overlooked by Patek Philippe among others. There was much japery while we were chilling in Jovan’s room, waiting for the time to hit 8 O’clock when we were due to be picked up. Harlan seemed to remembers a pair of shoes went missing at some point, and Harlan definitely remember stealing the key card (which controlled the power) to Jovan’s room and running back down to his gaff on the 5th floor with it, only to be chased down and forced to hand it back.

We were then once again picked up by Mr. Laforge who took us out to dinner that evening, after we’d spent about ten minutes and a billion phone calls trying to find a space to park the car. The restaurant was called Le Décanteur, a tiny weeny little establishment specialising in deli style meats as well as steaks. Inside it was a hip and urban chic style with high tables and stools, when we went it was packed so there it was very noisy, but we were sat next to some pretty women so we didn’t mind too much. The food was of good quality and we enjoyed discussing all sorts of things from our home lives to our favourite watches and so on and so forth.

The evening was ended, for Harlan at least, with a relaxing beer from the minibar called Feldschlössen, which turned out to be a mistake. There were also very nice Swiss chocolate bars with hazelnuts which we enjoyed a lot. With a quiet documentary about British Motorcycles from the BBC on it was quite a chilled end to the day for Harlan, but sleep was hard as we had a late phone call and all of the next day to go!

That’s the end of part one of our two part summary of the trip to Chopard’s manufactures. Check back next week when we cover Fleurier. chopard.com

Replica Watches Buy Online Baselworld 2017: Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer Watch (Live Pics)


By Jovan Krstevski

When it comes to a Chopard, we’re talking about nothing but style, in fact, let’s round it to the ultimate blend of subtlety and distinction. Plenty of flattering words for what’s really a fine watch with utmost personality or simply said a gentleman’s watch. So without further ado, here is the L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer with all the bells and whistles of a Chopard timepiece. It comes in white gold bearing both COSC and “Poinçon de Genève” certifications, what a rush.

This remarkable watch has interesting origins to boot. Would you believe me if I tell you that the brand has so much fascination about bees? Well just look at the watch and you’ll know what I mean. Technically you’ll find bee-inspired designs on the dial and the case too and this is because in its early days until the 1920s, the brand laid claim to the symbolism represented by bees. Then in 1996, the Chopard Manufacture was created wherein Karl-Friedrich Scheufele chose to associate this imagery with certain models of the L.U.C collection that also served as a tribute to the company founder. Now that’s an interesting history.

The new L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer sports a 40mm 18-carat white gold case. I like its vertical satin-brushed flanks and inter-horn space which offer very nice details. Its distinction is also marked by its polished bezel and caseback. The caseback is where personalization takes place since you can use it to engrave whatever you like. Its sophistication and subtlety are superb since you just need to press the crown to open the back cover where a sapphire crystal greets you offering a glance to the movement underneath the watch. It uses a special hinge design where it opens and holds at exact 90 degrees angle. Fun fact, inside the back cover where the hand-engraving of beehive and bees is found, the bees appear in a random fashion, therefore, each watch is unique in this way.

As for its gold dial well it’s made in solid gold with galvanic silvered treatment. I tell you, it’s clarity is supreme complete with L.U.C traditions like a hand-guilloché honeycomb motif on the central part. The dial’s outer section is sunburst satin-brushed, looks very nice plus I dig the small finely grooved seconds.

Note that the same motif also appears on the caseback cover in an enlarged version. This design pays tribute to the two key landmarks in the history of Chopard, the first being the creation of the first watch made by Chopard Manufacture, the L.U.C 1860 and the second marks the founding of the Maison by Louis-Ulysse Chopard.

Chopard is a Swiss luxury business focused on watches, jewelry and accessoires. In 1963 Karl Scheufele acquired Chopard; Scheufele is a descendant of a dynasty of watchmakers and jewelers from Germany.After the purchase Chopard quickly gained traction among collectors, it’s now one of the leading luxury watch companies and functions entirely independent as a family-run brand. The Chopard manufacture in Fleurier generates L.U.C moves that can be found in many Chopard timepieces. Impressive Chopard watches for men and Chopard women’s watches include the Happy Diamonds, Imperiale, Classic Racing, L.U.C., Classic. Being a luxury focused manufacturer Chopard is equally popular because of its Chopard men’s watches and the diamond watches it creates for women.For the past few years, Chopard has celebrated the Chinese zodiac by releasing a special variant of this L.U.C XP Urushi watch ever year. This year, for instance, it had been the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rooster, which includes an exquisite handcrafted Rooster on the dial. According to the Lunar calendar, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. For 2018, Chopard has decided to go 1 step further and has only released a one-piece bit known as the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T: Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac.Chopard’s L.U.C collection is home to the brand’s most high-end artisanal watches, along with also the L.U.C Perpetual T: Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac follows in this tradition. The highlight of this watch has to be the situation. It sports a 43mm-wide 18k rose gold case that is about 15mm thick, and the entire case is hand-engraved with the 12 Chinese zodiac signs using the champlevé technique. This means the situation is first engraved by hand and then filled with material. In the case of this Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T: Nature of the Chinese Zodiac watch, the case is first engraved and then filled with black patina to make pictures in the Chinese Zodiac.

Powering the L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer is the ultra-slim mechanical self-winding L.U.C 96.01-L calibre. It sports the highest standards of a Chopard Manufacture bearing the “Poinçon de Genève” quality hallmark which is of course what you pay for when you buy one of these watches. Of course, for us, it simply translates to the highest quality and excellence we’re all looking for in a timepiece. The 65-hour power reserve of the L.U.C Calibre 96.01-L is the result of many advance technologies particularly from its engraved micro-rotor in 22-carat gold whose high inertia is optimized for efficiency.

Moreover, the L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer, limited to 100 pieces, comes on a hand-sewn brown alligator leather strap with alligator lining. It’s 18-carat white gold pin buckle is simply a standard for a Chopard Manufacture.

For more info, please visit chopard.com

Replica Wholesale Chopard – WristReview Goes To Geneva Part 2


By Harlan Chapman-Green

I know I know it’s not technically accurate is it? WristReview goes to Geneva except we go to Fleurier instead, how did that happen I wonder. Before we catch up with our intrepid adventurers, or judging by Jovan’s bored look as he sits in the hotel lobby, I should say our intrepid adventurer (aka, me), let’s have ourselves a little recap of the past events shall we?

So far we’ve all met up at the Chopard HQ in Meyrin, Geneva for a fancy lunch before wandering around the factory in a kind-of-organised kind-of-lost way, there’s a lot of backtracking to be able to follow the logical construction process for one watch. We also then went full hands on with the new novelties for the year and discovered wooden tables can also be mirrors. Finally we returned to the hotel before being taken out for dinner in a stylish urban deli-restaurant before retiring to our rooms for chocolate, beer and a bit of banter on the phone. Now, we return to the trip where we find ourselves having just endured a Swiss take on a Full English breakfast which was actually about a quarter of an actual Full English.

Not long after we were picked up by Mr. Laforge who took us on the long trip up into the mountains to Fleurier. On a sidenote, if you haven’t been to Switzerland you’re missing out on a gorgeous country, there are watch factories everywhere (I counted at least 5 on the way out of Geneva, but only Hublot springs to mind at the moment) and in the clear sunshine we had it was very pretty indeed. It’s quite a long journey out to Fleurier, around 1 and 3 quarter hours in good traffic, but the drive is enjoyable nonetheless. Once you leave the motorway and start taking the windy roads up the mountains it gets even more interesting and you pass by some lovely villages. If you’re doing a horology tour then companies like Reuge which have just set up new facilities are dotted around the villages, it’s like a gold mine you just keep finding more interesting stuff.

Eventually we made it all the way to Fleurier which was basking in the sunlight and the crisp Swiss mountain air, Fleurier being around 740m up. It’s a small village which was particularly quiet when we visited, the only residents we noticed were a couple of folks walking around shops and a clockwork Xenomorph from the Alien franchsize stood outside a church of all places. The Chopard building is particularly ominous in the town being five stories and fronted by glass and steel, perhaps not so in-keeping with the local architecture but people don’t seem to mind them.

Once inside and settled we found ourselves in a small boardroom with croissants, pain au chocolat and Chopard chocolates. We were given a small presentation about the operations of the building as it’s mainly L.U.C watchmaking at the Fleurier building. We also met the lovely Pamela who showed us around the building and gave us a full in-depth explanation of each process.

Unlike Geneva where we were wandering around the Fleurier facility is a lot more calm and, dare I say it, organised. We started off by heading a couple of floors down where we were met with the closed doors of the R&D department. Naturally, with Chopard working on designs for 2020 and beyond in there you could understand why they were firmly shut to us, but it was interesting nonetheless wondering what exactly was happening on the other side.

We then visited the finishing workshop. This is where the works of L.U.Chopard are really brought to life as, as you will have noticed, the finishing is rather excellent on their watches. Chopard can do many different types of finishing on their watches ranging from perlage (aka engine turning) to Côtes de Genève and everything in between, I believe it to be about ten different styles they can apply and can no doubt train staff to meet certain customer demands if needed. Each decoration style is done by one person in the workshop and they dedicate themselves to ensuring the highest standards are met for each watch. We spent a good ten minutes observing over the shoulder the engraving of some of L.U.Chopard’s most complicated watch movements.

Jovan and I even got to have a go at it ourselves on a CNC engraver which moves the metal to the correct position and requires us to apply the force, although I must stress that the L.U.C. watches don’t use this CNC machine for their engraving, all the engraver machines are hand controlled (it’s probably just to stop a couple of berks like us from hurting ourselves).

I would have loved for the motion to have Chopard’s “Quattro” method of four piled mainspring barrels — which offers up to eight days of power reserve. I am not certain if Chopard plans to upgrade its core perpetual calendar movement later on with more power reserve, but the L.U.C 96.13-L is not lacking. It has two piled mainspring barrels which offer 65 hours of power reserve. Obviously, the motion is also an automatic using a strong 22k gold micro-rotor. Chopard recently published a similar appearing watch at the L.U.C Perpetual Chrono (hands-on here at the exact same platinum/blue dial mix). The Perpetual Chrono adds a 12 hour chronograph to the perpetual calendar set of complications — although it’s based on a totally different movement, and with no L.U.C Lunar One, that can be an automatic, and the Perpetual Chrono is manually wound. If you are dying to get a chronograph/calendar combo, then the option for you’ll be obvious — though as a more practical daily wearer, I enjoy the Lunar One a bit more.Not just is the Lunar One free from the sub-dial “ears” (a decorative thing) which aren’t popular with all people about the Perpetual Chrono’s dial, it is also cheaper by about $40,000 (when comparing platinum models). The L.U.C Perpetual Chrono can also be a larger watch coming in a 45mm wide circumstance, compared to the Lunar One’s still big (for a dress view) 43mm wide size. Speaking of size, the Lunar One is not a little watch, also given the broad lugs, wears large for a 43mm wide watch. That’s not a terrible thing, and I know of many people who enjoy traditional watches in this particular size. With that said, given that watch fans are extremely specific about the sizes they like, if you’re interested in a more modestly-sized apparel watch, then look for perpetual calendar watches everywhere (there are possibly many).

We also visited a larger room that was buzzing with activity. There were several CNC machines cutting the shapes of the different parts that would become base plates and going trains and such for the L.U.Chopard watches.

They showed us a movement which had a slight imperfection (I know, can you believe it?) made right at the last step to the amusement of the staff member assigned to it who chuckled as he continued working on the replacement. I remember how relaxed everything was around the place and this was no doubt because Chopard is family owned. Everyone knows Mr & Mrs Scheufele and they are quite casual around each other, as if every member of staff is part of an extended family.

It definitely plays to their advantage when compared to companies owned by big corporations with stuffy suits for leaders. That goes when dealing with nearby companies too, Chopard is on good terms with Bovet, Parmigiani Fleurier and Manufacture Vaucher as well as the upcoming Fleurier Ebauche company which is having a new site nearby to the Chopard building. All these companies working together form a tight knit business community which serves them well if they need advice or guidance on a project.

We were then lead on into a longer room where we were required to wear protection for our shoes, this was to stop the dust and dirt of the outside world coming in as we entered the complications room. One big long workshop housed over a dozen staff who were busy assembling complications such as chronographs, calendars and tourbillons.

Jovan also got to have a go at assembling a tourbillon into a watch, it was just as well he wasn’t assembling the entire tourbillon itself as the screws were no larger than a pinhead and losing those is a disaster. It took him about ten minutes but with some careful tweezer work and Pamela’s guidance he eventually managed it and looked quite pleased with himself for it.

After this we returned to the reception of the building and followed Mr. Laforge out to the town hall of Fleurier, which was just around the corner. In there is the QF, or Qualité Fleurier, laboratory where around 2000 watches are tested annually to meet with the extremely demanding specifications of the seal. Most watches that undergo the test are from Chopard, which is natural as L.U.C makes somewhere in the region of 4500 watches a year without being too accurate about it. Seeing all the machines got Jovan and myself wondering just how well made the watches from this region are, the physical tests are extremely demanding and to think that these companies make perpetual calendars and tourbillons that survive being thrown around and still keep accurate time blows the mind a little bit.

After this we retired to one of Mr. Scheufele’s many homes. It’s a lovely hidden gem where traditional Swiss mansion design meets modern architecture seamlessly. We particularly enjoyed a four course meal prepared by the housemaid, a sweet lady who only spoke French. Although, you didn’t need to understand what she was saying to enjoy the wonderful dinner that was prepared for us and, once again, served with a lot of Mr. Scheufele’s Chateau Monestier La Tour wine. If I were able to award Michelin stars she could have all of them as it was a stellar job.

After our lunch in the beautifully appointed dining room with an overview of the church next door, we had a small tour of the building and then entered the conference room where a huge crate full of watches was waiting for us. We will slowly process these watches and create articles for them in due time, but we don’t want to overload our readers with Chopard, as with all great things: limitation is key.

It was then time to return to Geneva after saying our goodbyes to the staff of the Fleurier manufacture, it didn’t seem to take too long to return even after stopping off for a quick refresher to prevent tiredness, to be fair it had been a long day and it was beautifully warm. I know I chilled out in the back of the car and had a little bit of shut-eye, thinking about all the watches we have seen I suspect. I won’t go into too much detail here, as we were waiting in the Geneva facility for a chance to interview the so far elusive Mr. Scheufele whom I can happily say is a very friendly and approachable man. Our interview with him will be around soon.

After this it was time to return to the airport and sadly leave the lovely land of Switzerland, we thanked Mr. Laforge for organising everything despite it being the week before Baselworld was due to start. Not much happened after that, we ran to Jovan’s departure gate to find the plane hadn’t even landed yet which was an annoyance, so we sat around and chit chatted about the trip and various other things. Once we’d said our goodbyes I had a little wander around the airport myself, sampled a few more watches in there just in case I hadn’t had enough. I also checked out the Chopard stand in the centre of the foyer past security, which was very nicely laid out.

Apart from smashing a lovely bottle of Swiss Chardonnay I’d planned to give to my Mother there really isn’t much else to tell at this point. We loved our trip and we would like to thank everyone who worked hard to present Chopard in the best light possible. It was great to feel welcomed and even a little part of the family team ourselves. We would also like to thank Mr & Mrs Scheufele’s generosity for hand-picking us to come and tour, we understand it’s crazy around Baselworld so it was all handled excellently. We’d also like to especially mention Mr. Cédric Laforge for organising everything, as well as showing us around the manufactures and providing some quite hilarious one liners when the time was just right. chopard.com

Replica Trusted Dealers Baselworld 2017: Chopard L.U.C XP Watch (Live Pictures)

Allow me to highlight Chopard on still another element of this watch, that is the ring. L.U.C watches typically use among the highest quality straps I know of, and in addition to being attractive, they’re very sensible. Bending easily over your wrist, so you can find a comfortable fit straight away, which isn’t something I can say to get so many high-end watches out there. “Platinum perpetual calendar view” is about all you need to state in front of most watch lovers in order to have them excited. Budget prepared, I would say most people would be interested in having a product like this, which is both sensible to wear and full of esteemed bragging rights. For me, complex apparel watches evoke the image of somebody who is in precisely the exact same time intellectual and classic. This is the thinking man’s formal watch (or the guy who regularly forgets what day and month it is — and who also does not have an electronic calendar apparatus).So long as you’re open to the fact that a perpetual calendar’s usefulness and value are mostly psychological, then you are in the ideal mental state to begin enjoying a perpetual calendar watch. I say all this given that many individuals will utilize their wristwatch as a quick reference to this date, rather than as their sole, dependable calendar apparatus. So with this said, when interested in a perpetual calendar, I recommend seeking one that is otherwise comfortable, a good monetary price, and comfortable to wear. In a sense, the perpetual calendar complication has to be a welcome addition (as opposed to some detractor) in an otherwise suitable daily wristwatch. Is your Chopard L.U.C Lunar One just this type of watch? I would argue, most surely. The Chopard L.U.C Lunar One mention 161927-9001 in platinum is a limited edition of just 100 pieces with a retail price of $69,260 USD.

By Harlan Chapman-Green

Chopard is known for doing style and fashion work really really well. Basically, if you want something with diamonds that’s flash you can ignore Cartier and Tiffany’s and come straight to Chopard. The Happy range of jewellery and watches is sure to delight, or the more industrial and sporty of us might favour a Mille Miglia or Superfast watch. Those of use that enjoy the finer things in life, whether they be a fine French wine, a Cuban cigar or even just a sit on the decking watching the sun go down will definitely like the L.U.Chopard range. But what about those that are a little bit, how should I say it, left field? Those of us who like to think different, the ones who would drive old Citroëns and play the guitar and possibly smoke an illegal substance or two. Well, now Chopard has thought of you guys as well with the new L.U.Chopard XP.

It’s a simple two-handed steel dress watch. The colours are impressive and fit very well with this, with blue hands and numerals, as well as quarter hour markers and the minute track squeezed in next to the bezel. Because only 3, 6, 9 and 12 are written on the dial in blue, the watch isn’t too overbearing. In-between those numerals are dauphine style hour markers with a silvered finish, a subtle contrast to the blued dauphine hands and numbers but one that adds to the overall style. The dial itself has a Dacron style finish to it, with the Chopard headquarters in Geneva being just down the road from the DuPont  (the trademark owners of Dacron) building one must wonder whether some collaboration went on there. Either way, material effect dials that aren’t something ridiculous like leather or oak or some such are really interesting to see. It’s good to have the material effect without necessarily having to worry about the material on the dial ageing.

If you’re into your weird material combinations then the strap is one to add in too. First off, it’s blue, which is somewhat refreshing in the world of black and brown being the norm. The top half of the strap is also made of cashmere, a very fine material that is particularly known around the Pakistani-Indian, known as the ‘Kashmir Region’. This wool is finer than normal sheep’s wool, as well as stronger, lighter thrice as insulating as regular wool too. The underside of the strap on the XP is alligator leather, a strange choice given that it’s usually calfskin leather. Chopard argues that the use of alligator leather makes the strap more durable when the wearer’s wrist is quite ‘warm’ aka moist.

Inside the watch is a movement easily recognisable as an L.U.C movement, simply because it makes use of a micro-rotor. A micro-rotor made of tungsten no less, a hard material to source and work with due to its hardness. Connected to the rotor is Chopard’s ‘Twin’ technology, that is to say, this watch makes use of two barrels to hold the power in meaning a smoother delivery across the power band. This means the watch has a runtime of 58 hours, impressive for a slim 40mm dress piece. Mind you without a seconds hand you’d need to keep track of its winding schedule to be absolutely sure you haven’t let it stop.

The watch is not only reasonable in diameter, it’s also petite on the thickness scale at 7.2mm in the case, making it a slightly more relaxed dress watch. Relaxed isn’t a bad thing, this watch would bring an aura of calm and wellbeing into an otherwise slightly overbearing boardroom full of stuffy suits dressed in black with black straps on their dress watches. On a black suit, it would look different, but I feel it would portray a good image overall. On the wrist the watch is quite light, but you’d be hard pressed to forget it’s there. The leather inside the strap is comfy and thanks to that sleek case it hugs the wrist well.

At 40mm, this watch sadly falls in that category for me where I just can’t be happy with it. I can do smaller watches fine such as 36mm or 38mm, or larger watches at 42mm to 46mm with reasonable thickness. It’s a shame that this watch doesn’t completely sing out to me, it’s a cool alternative watch to the bog-standard offerings from Rolex and other companies. If you’re after something you’re unlikely to see in the wilderness that still has Haute Horlogerie claims then it could be a good addition to your personal collection. Did I mention the cashmere strap? For more info, please visit chopard.com

Replica Guide Trusted Dealers Baselworld 2017: Chopard Mille Miglia Race Edition Watch (Live Pics)


By Harlan Chapman-Green

We are once again back to talk once more about Chopard which we have been doing quite a lot recently. Don’t worry, we shall reveal all once the mania that is Baselworld has subsided, until then here’s our look at one of the watches presented by Chopard at this year’s show in Basel, Switzerland. While yes, most of the releases seen were either for women or dress watches, Chopard has been working away on creating new sports watches. Let’s get straight down to business.

This latest at Chopard’s deservedly vaunted L.U.C branch is called after the differentiation given to the most outstanding levels of wine produced… Though, how these two different fields of fine living resonate we will try not only to explain, but also detect ourselves.Reminiscent and similar to the Chopard L.U.C XP Tonneau watch, the Heritage Grand Cru is an unusual bit from Chopard according to case shape alone — more on this in a bit. A glance at its spec sheet gives away an automatic, tonneau-shaped, 3.3mm thick motion wrapped inside an 18kt rose gold, tonneau-shaped case that steps only 38.5mm by 38.8mm, coming in at a slender 7.7millimeter thick.The curved middle section of this circumstance is vertical satin brushed while the bezel and place surrounding the exhibition case-back is glistening. At 6 o’clock is your small moments sub-dial, which can be snailed and has a gilded minutes hand. The minute and hour hands are dauphine design and will also be gilded.It is not unusual for gold palms on watches to be polished into a point where it’s not even worth asking about legibility in higher-light conditions. The gilded, i.e. plated gold palms here are vibrant but are quite legible from the sunlight and at different angles. Set against the glossy, trendy porcelain dial, the dauphine-fusée hour and second hands are properly angular and thoughtfully proportioned to get a tonneau-shaped case. Fusée means rocket in French and this particular sort of dauphine hands is Chopard’s own — something I continue to very much like regardless of the situation form and dial style they install it on. Their faceted sides and perfect length give them a lot of volume — and no watch can be taken seriously without appropriate palms.

The case is made of stainless steel. Heavy. Solid. Quality. We particularly liked how thick this watch is, it is definitely not sleek by any means. The sides of the case aren’t rounded, they’re flat and the bezel provides very little gain for a dress cuff. If you extended your cuffs a bit it could work quite well with a shirt and tie sans jacket.

The colour combinations aren’t in your face and the black strap absorbs some of the light. The 44mm case is nearly 14mm thick too, but it’s completely polished to a mirror finish, no brushing to be seen here. The bezel on this watch isn’t ceramic, some will be delighted to hear, instead, it’s good ol’ fashioned painted aluminium which has been fixed into place. The 8mm diameter crown of the watch has been given a cool little sports car steering wheel design, reminiscent of the cars that would’ve raced in the Mille Miglia and the pushers have their own distinct grippy texture. The steel case keeps the watch water resistant to 100m, not too shabby considering it’s a chrono.

The movement isn’t visible, however, it’s been hidden behind a decorated caseback inscribed with the Mille Miglia logo and chequered race flags to give it a sportier feel. The movement inside the watch is not an ETA based one you’ll be glad to hear, what would otherwise be a deal breaker for some. Yes, the rumours are true that Chopard is doing all it can to take all of its watches away from outsourced movements and this can only increase people’s opinion of the company. Each ‘engine’ has been tested by COSC to ensure a chronometer level of accuracy, without the chronograph running the movement will run for 48 hours. Being family run and independent, these sort of things matter more to Mr. and Mrs. Sheufele than big corporations like Swatch and Richemont.

Because there’s a face that potential partners can put to the company, it makes it a lot easier for collaborations such as this one to happen. The subtle racing inspired engine turned (perlage) dial glints in the light but not in a way that would be too distracting as it isn’t fully polished. You’d notice it standing out in the boutique window when compared to the other Mille Miglia watches. Not to say that they are poor watches as this couldn’t be further from the truth, but the 2017 Race Edition has a little extra occasion about it, like turning up to a classic car show in a Jaguar E-Type.

Red accents placed around the watch make it fit in even further with the aesthetic of the motor industry, not only is there the red Mille Miglia logo placed around the date window (a nice touch we rather like), there’s also a red band inside the bezel which adds a splash of colour more watches need. It’s good that this wasn’t placed with other colours, so often these days make watches featuring quite contrasting colours such as red and yellow on one watch. Remember, classic sports cars are designed to perform first and look pretty second although there are some exceptions to this (look up the Fiat 8V Ghia Supersonic, pretty no?).

The chronograph on the dial has been given a 6, 9, 12 layout, which is rarer than the 3, 6, 9 that most manufactures use. What this means is that all the subdials are on the left-hand side of the watch, rather than being placed at the bottom like on an Omega Speedmaster. The chronograph subdials are painted with red to show that sports mode has been engaged, while the running seconds for the watch has been given a black paint treatment and then placed at 9 O’clock.

The best thing about old sports cars is that they perform while keeping their composure. If you look at modern cars of today, to get the highest performance variant of a model often means wings and splitters and alloys and laser guns and stuff need to be added to the car which can sometimes make it pretty ugly. Looking at older Alfa Romeos and Maseratis and such, these cars often won the Mille Miglia and other events with a lot of engine tuning inside and only a few racing stickers outside. This is why we think the Chopard Mille Miglia Race edition fits so well with the Mille Miglia, because it performs all the necessary functions of any chronograph watch while looking confident about itself. While the polished case sides and lugs might be prone to scratches if this is a daily wear, the pelage dial definitely balances it out. The red accents make it stand out during the day, and the lumed hands and indices make it stand out at night, it’s not only a cool watch but a petrolhead’s ideal timepiece. Shame it’s limited to 1000 pieces, but that just means you have to get in faster. For more info, please visit chopard.com

Replica Watches Buy Online Pre-Baselworld 2017: Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined Watch (Live Pics)


By Harlan Chapman-Green

We at WristReview love all kinds of watches, from big chunky sports watches to not-so-svelte yet stunning complicated watches all the way to watches that we aren’t even sure anyone would definitely wear. One category that we do love is slimline dress watches, for us, we don’t mind whether they have two hands or three, or whether they feature a date aperture or not. It’s all about the way the watch wears and how it looks and it must be said that the new XPS Twist QF Fairmined (let’s just abbreviate that to XPST shall we?) comes out fighting.

This one definitely falls into a class we like to call the ‘ultimate’ dress watch, the watches in this group are the best of the best. Things like the Patek Philippe Calatrava are in here, as well as the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony, Breguet Classique and you could say the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso if you like rectangular watches. We are very pleased to add the new XPST to the lineup as well and there are a few key reasons for this decision.

Aesthetics

Just look at it, even our pictures cannot do that dial enough justice. The circular graining on the dial is a very original design and one that makes a nice change from the more ‘standard’ sunburst guilloché or enamel dials. This special type of sunburst dial is inspired by the raw structure of gold nuggets that are extracted from the mines that are then used to make watches like this one. We also like the off centre crown which is something quite hard to do if all your other movements have them placed at the more traditional 3 O’clock position. When combined with the off centre small seconds dial near 7 O’clock it makes it stand out without shouting about it to the world.

The 40mm case is manufactured from Fairmined rose gold which I will discuss a bit later on, however at only 7.2mm thick it’s clear to see the level of work needed to make it this attractive with these svelte proportions. When contrasted with the slate grey dial the rose gold stands out without making the dial itself seem boring. One thing that plays to Chopard’s advantage in this regard is their case finishing, as its centre band of the case is now brushed instead of polished. This brushing also extends between the lugs as you’d expect on a wristwatch of this calibre, meaning that whichever angle you observe the watch from some detail stands out marvellously.

Construction

Observe an L.U.Chopard watch and you’ll notice the key details that go into them to create the watch to this standard. L.U.Chopard has an advantage here as well, as the production of their watches is quite low at somewhere between 4500 to 5000 pieces on average per annum, that’s A. Lange & Söhne levels so they can use this extra time to focus on making sure every piece is made perfectly. After the boring part, the cutting of each material to the correct shape (which is done by CNC in this case) is finished, each little piece is adjusted and finished by hand by one artisan, depending on the finish which is Côtes de Genève in this case. Only that one member of staff may do that finishing and they do it for every piece that requires it all day long until the parts are ready to come together as one unit. The movement makes use of twin barrels to give this watch a lofty 65 hours of run time, but thanks to a gorgeous two-tone micro-rotor it’s unlikely you’ll need to use the crown to wind it. The L.U.C Calibre 96.09-L is a gem to behold in the metal.

All the while this manufacturing process is happening a mysterious figure is looking over Chopard’s shoulder. No, it’s not the grim reaper, but instead the friendly folks at the Foundation Quality Fleurier. This is the hardest test in the business to receive a certification from, partly because your watch either passes or fails as there is no in-between. Also, every part of the watch must be Swiss and accounted for in the invoices from the watch company, the materials should also be to a high standard so no plastic or cost-cutting methods are found here. There must also be visible decoration on the mainplate and there must not be any burrs or sharp angles, there are many more decoration requirements which you can read about on their website. Each watch must also past a test known as CHRONIFIABLE, which means the watch is subjected to actuations of the crown, pushers, and bezel if appropriate, the watch will also be subjected to magnetism, shocks and water resistance. Finally, over 24 hours the watch will be subjected to the hardships of daily life by a specialised machine which mimics movements such as walking, running, taking off a coat and clapping your hands, it must be accurate to within 0 to +5 seconds a day. A watch must also be COSC certified before taking this test. If a watch can withstand all that, it receives a certificate to prove that it passed the best test in the business.

Ethics

While it’s all well and good that we go on and on about these lovely watches and clocks and such, it’s not good that most in the industry don’t even consider where the raw materials come from. A solid 18K gold Rolex has been made from a lot of materials, all of which require intense operations on a mass scale to recover from the Earth. The problem is that not all involved in the process of turning gold ore into ingots and then into watches get paid fairly like they should. Consider companies such as De Beers, which although involved more in the recovery of diamonds than ores and such, has faced enormous criticisms for the way it behaves in the recovery process and the damage it does to the environment and human life too.

This is where the term ‘Fairmined’ comes in, something that Chopard was actually the first to use on their watches. Like Fair-trade chocolate or bananas, Fairmined gold has been recovered in a manner that benefits all, making sure that everyone gets paid and that there is no price fixing or cartels involved. This is the sustainable thinking that more high-end companies need to use. While higher volume manufactures may struggle to meet this, I’m honestly baffled as to why more high-end manufactures don’t use this, it would get them extra brownie points for sure.

At 6 o’clock, you may see the seconds sub-dial with a hand that’s much like the hours and minutes hand in that it’s also gilded, but it is not done in precisely the exact same style. I appreciate Chopard’s own-designed and proprietary font and red color used to signify the time increments at 15, 45, and 60 and even though I wasn’t sure about the markers in between the digits at first, it’s something I quite like today. Also, a noteworthy detail is that these markers — both the numerals along with the small points between them — are so small, despite my great near-sight I could hardly take them out.Additionally, as is usual for a lot of L.U.C watches, there is the date window positioned at the bottom of the moments sub-dial, blended into the second path to minimize its effect on the dial’s aesthetics. — that is always the question, but I could appreciate Chopard sticking with its idea of adding this extra bit of performance. Again, to be taken into account is, in addition, the simple fact that this is one of those smaller date dividers — think about that the sub-40mm size of this watch and the proportionally yet smaller date window, and also the distraction-factor really is minimized.The display case-back allows a view to the Geneva Seal accepted 97.01-L Calibre movement which, such as the 97.03-L found from the L.U.C Tonneau watch, is a tonneau-shaped automatic movement. A 22ct gold micro-rotor compels the two piled barrels constructed using Chopard’s Twin technology, supplying a total of 65 hours of power book at a frequency of 4Hz. The motion measures at 28.15mm by 27.60mm in only 3.3mm thick and is made of 197 parts, and has 29 jewels.Chopard calls the L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru “the sole tonneau shape watch wound by an automated motion” — though the Clé de Cartier, several Richard Mille bits, and even some Franck Muller models spring to mind as other watches which fit this description.The Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire is really a tonneau shaped watch with a tonneau shaped motion, but one that’s a manual wind, but the RM 67-01 (hands-on here) is very much a tonneau-shaped motion in a tonneau watch.

A Summary

This watch is so thin on the wrist I forgot I was wearing it at the time, it was only when Jovan pointed out I’d left my daily wear on the table that I noticed, so that can only be a good sign, right? A thin watch that isn’t plain or dull, even to some which aren’t really interested in horology. I showed a few people I know the pictures of this and they all agree that it’s stunning, so congratulations to Chopard for this watch; a rose gold wonder with a supple brown leather strap and a micro-rotor (insert a small squeal of delight, I love a micro!) with a comfy buckle and a gorgeous dial. It’s a shame they only made 250 of these beauties, and it’s shame I couldn’t keep one, oh well, there’s always next time right? For more info, please visit chopard.com

Replica Watches Essentials Introducing The Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike Watch


By Jovan Krstevski

In his brief explanation on this note, Mr. Scheufele explained the link he sees and enjoys involving watch- and wine-making is that the two take a lengthy time to do well, need a lot of flexibility, as well as the understanding and utilization of both conventional and modern know-how. A main distinction is how mother nature can at the last minute strongly alter the quality of the wine — maybe not so much that of the opinion, he joked (now I could sense how mother nature and his own lack of compromise in looking for caliber have placed him through several struggles while trying to receive their own Bergerac vineyard up to his standards). The Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru is an appealing watch that legitimately presents a unique offering in a classic style tonneau watch that accomplishes both a slim case and an automatic movement. It is a shame to see a watch which gets all (or most of) the minor and major details right but just stumbles a little in messaging due to the way subtly its identity is communicated.The L.U.C lineup has always flown under the radar, allowing the watches speak for themselves. The Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru is an attractive watch that legitimately presents a unique offering in a classic style Tonneau watch that achieves both a slim case and a automatic motion. It’s priced at 22,300 CHF. Inspired by watchmaker and founding father Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the L.U.C collection bearing his initials has been home to arguably some of Chopard’s finest contemporary work. Launched in 2005, the Lunar One has a new dial layout and a platinum event this year. No surprise here, however, the watch looks amazing and is still another object of bliss for everybody but 100 people who’ll get to call one of these their own.

Here comes the 20th anniversary of Chopard and boy oh boy, we’re in for a big surprise. The Manufacture states that about 17000 hours (more than 6 years) were spent on the research and development of their first ever minute repeater the L.U.C Full Strike. That’s a long study but how well is the final product doing right now, we’ll see below, read on.

So without further ado, here is the L.U.C Full Strike sporting a 42.5 mm and 11.5 mm thick Fairmined rose gold case. Its size is elegant, to be honest, plus it’s comforting to know that it follows the ethical standards of gold mining. I like it. What I like more about though is its balanced features, the smooth lines, and edges that ultimately resonate with its powerful chime which Chopard likens to a knife gently hitting a bohemian glass producing the perfect sound. On my part, I can only surmise but darn, the case looks adorable. The lugs are perfect from end to end not to mention the luxurious crown sitting at the 3 o’clock. Throw in a double-sided hand-sewn and plant-dyed CITES-certified alligator leather strap and we instantly get a ridiculously good looking timepiece. Note that the case itself holds the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark together with the movement which means it follows the highest Haute Horlogerie standards ever.

chopard-l-u-c-full-strike-002

Going to the open-worked gold dial, we can see that Chopard really showcases the beautiful solutions for a great sounding repeater. The substantial number of technical solutions seen on the semi-skeletonized dial makes time reading enjoyable on the L.U.C Full Strike. Such techniques like the glass being actually the loudspeaker is just terrific and we can even see the striking mechanism at the 10 o’clock. The way it works is that the glass is pretty much connected to the sapphire rings inside the watch. This results to a perfect conduit between the gongs and the glass which delivers sound directly outside the watch in full strength and personality. Moreover, there is just design exuberance on the dial such as the finely snailed seconds hand and the gilded Dauphine-type hours and minutes hands. I also like the sub-dials being integrated into the open-worked dial which are the power reserve indicator at 2 o’clock and the small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. And of course, the railway-type minute track engraved under the sapphire crystal saves so much space too.

chopard-l-u-c-full-strike-003

chopard-l-u-c-full-strike-exploded-view

Now to the heart of this beautiful timepiece we go. Powering the L.U.C Full Strike is the new calibre 08.01-L. We can talk so much about its mechanical how-to’s and three pending patents but I’m not going to do that instead, let’s look at what it really does. For one, the watch protects itself mainly by disconnecting the crown to the movement during chimes. This is cool because even though you’re not stupid enough to perform time-setting during chimes which seriously damages the movement, someone could play with your beautiful repeater watch.

chopard-setting-of-the-inertia-wheel-drum

The watchmaker is setting the inertia wheel drum

Another interesting thing about the L.U.C Full Strike is that it resolves a repeater’s old problem, the silence between the last hours stroke and the first quarters stroke. It does this by superimposing the hours, quarters and minutes gear trains thereby mutually driving each other so when one has completed its task, it automatically triggers the next successfully maintaining a constant cadence, neat. I’m also amazed at how thin the movement is considering that there are over 500 parts on it. With its 60 hours of power reserve, it’s darn powerful.

Now if you’re interested, the L.U.C Full Strike comes in only 20-piece limited edition with a price of Swiss Francs 265,000 so get yours while supplies last. For more info, please visit chopard.com