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.
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.
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.
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