Replica Watches Free Shipping A Fortnight Review: 2 Weeks On The Wrist With The Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru Watch


By Harlan Chapman-Green

A fine wristwatch bears a lot of similarities to a fine wine: each has a different impact on a person and they are often associated because of their levels of luxury, however I very much doubt you’ll be able to walk properly if you have two weeks to spend with a huge barrel of wine. Not that you’ll be lacking in antioxidants and other vitamins, far from it, but you might find a few grey matter cells have been misplaced. Although a lot of people compare watches to scotch, probably because of its value, Chopard doesn’t, but there is a reason for this.

In his brief explanation on this particular note, Mr. Scheufele said the connection he sees and enjoys involving watch- and wine-making is that the two require a very long time to perform well, require a lot of flexibility, in addition to the understanding and utilization of both traditional and contemporary know-how. A main distinction is the way that mother nature can at the last minute strongly affect the quality of the wine — not so much that of their opinion, he joked (at this moment I could sense how mother nature and his own lack of compromise in seeking caliber have put him through several struggles while attempting to receive their Bergerac vineyard up to his standards). The Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru is an attractive watch that officially introduces a exceptional offering in a classic style tonneau watch that achieves both a slim case and an automatic movement. It’s a shame to see a watch that gets all (or many of) the minor and major details right but just stumbles a bit 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 appealing watch that legitimately presents a unique offering in a timeless style Tonneau watch that achieves both a slim case and a automatic motion. It is priced at 22,300 CHF. Inspired by watchmaker and heritage father Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the L.U.C collection bearing his initials was home to arguably a number of Chopard’s greatest contemporary work. Well, that collection only got a new flagship wth the Geneva Seal-certified L.U.C Lunar One — a dashing perpetual calendar watch with a moon phase indicator, cased in platinum. Introduced in 2005, the Lunar One gets a new dial layout and a platinum event this year. No surprise here, however, the watch looks amazing and is yet another object of lust for all but 100 people who will get to call one of these their own.

As you may well know Chopard is owned by the Scheufele family, a brother and sister team consisting of Caroline & Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. This dynamic duo in the world of luxury have many interests from movies and fashion to old motorsports and fine wines, it’s this connection that inspires the Heritage Grand Cru. The family even owns its own vineyard in the Dordogne region of France, Château Monestier La Tour, a producer of fine wines and currently my favourite white as well (I can’t help it, I lost track of how much we had when we visited Chopard back in March), alas I am digressing already.

Before this experience believe it or not but I’d never actually worn a tonneau-shaped watch before, sure I’ve written about them often enough, and I do like the looks of things such as the Vacheron Constantin Malte and Breguet’s Héritage collection, but this one is a bit different from those in a few ways. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this watch is an amalgamation of both, a combination if you will, a combination of the best parts of both watches. Admittedly, however, the Breguet’s influence on it is somewhat limited to the rounded tonneau shape as opposed to the more angular Malte, I know big deal right? Still, it’s something. The fact that it is this rounded shape is also somewhat coincidental given that the shape is that of a miniaturised wine barrel, given that a grand cru is a type of fine wine it all starts slipping into place.

The thing that greets you instantly when you see this watch is the dial and the depth and contrast of the markers on it. The dial itself is a pure white gloss, it isn’t actually ceramic but it could fool someone who doesn’t know what ceramic looks like under a loupe. Neither do I feel like it was meant to be ceramic but Chopard ran out of time or money for the project, it looks great as is. I couldn’t capture it with the camera but there is a depth to the Roman numerals on this, they bubble up almost in the centre and are also deeply shiny, Chopard could choose to do away with the ‘CHRONOMETER’ writing on the dial, but it’s in a lighter font and isn’t very intrusive even when scrutinising the dial through a loupe. The icing on this so far monochromatic cake are the rose gold hands which have Chopard’s unique and distinctive gilded dauphine hands, while some think they just don’t look right I’d argue these gilded dauphines are more pleasing to the eye than the traditional design, although both sides are polished on this which means they shine like two golden swords.

The running small seconds hand positioned at 6 O’clock is the traditional dauphine style, however, with black markers as well. This leads me onto discussing the first of the albeit few flaws I’ve found with this timepiece. At 15, 45 & 60 seconds there are enlarged markers with numbers surrounding them, I feel that with the overall simplicity of the design of the watch these numbers are redundant. Anyone who knows fine timepieces knows what it means when the seconds hand is pointing directly upwards, and in any case the sub-seconds dial is too small to see very well anyway, but I’m certainly glad they didn’t use a central seconds hand instead so bonus points for that. It’s also nice to have a quickset date window on this watch too, it’s perfectly positioned at 6 O’clock replacing the 30 counter on the subdial, there isn’t a lot of visible depth to the date window as it should be, and the numbers are printed in the same shiny font as the rest of the dial.

When you put the watch on the wrist you’ll notice how light it is, even for a gold watch. It’s because of the fact that there isn’t actually that much gold on it. Before you jump to any conclusions it’s definitely not plated or anything like that, even the notion. No, it’s because the watch is pretty conservative in its sizing, the dimensions of the case are 38.5mm x 38.8mm and the delicately curved case is slender at 7.74mm. It’s also using a trick Lange does quite often to make the watch seem even thinner still, by polishing the bezel on the front and the caseback but brushing the sides of the case it makes it seem more like two shiny parts are floating seamlessly, a little touch can go a long way after all. The crown is a little on the small side in terms of diameter, but there isn’t a lot you could do without it becoming offensively large, it is still easy to operate and the seconds do hack on this piece which is a bonus when it comes to photographing the watch as not only can we get some lovely looks at the balance wheel when it isn’t operating at 4Hz, but also means I can set the time backwards so it’s easier to keep the watch at 10:10.

This neatly brings us to the main event of this watch, as much as I love the look of the dial and the feel of that cool 18K gold on my wrist, the pièce de résistance of the timepiece is the movement on this watch. There have been quite a few articles posted in the last three to five years regarding how serious Chopard is about Haute Horlogerie so I won’t need to go into super detail about that. Just for your information though, this watch is COSC chronometer rated and has also received the Poinçon de Genève, I won’t bore you with the details but there are several requirements regarding the quality of assembly and decoration.  This watch is not QF (Qualité Fleurier) rated, though I do seem to recall that this could be a possibility if a customer so desired, for a fee of course.

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Replica Watches Essentials Chopard Mille Miglia Race Edition Two-Tone Watch Hands-on


By Harlan Chapman-Green

When you think of Breitling, you probably associate them with Bentley first. That’s an exceedingly strong corporate tie-in that has benefitted both companies profusely. Not only does Bentley use Breitling timepieces in nearly all of its cars, but Breitling also gets to make the signature ‘For Bentley’ watches. They’ve even teamed up with the likes of David Beckham and John Travolta to run an advertising campaign together. This powerful association means that the two companies are likely to be together for the foreseeable future assuming Breitling’s new owner doesn’t change anything. Chopard has a different tack. Recently they have been working closely with German sports car marque Porsche, but before all of this linking between automotive and horological companies, there was one event that stood out from the rest. The Mille Miglia.

To be pedantic about it, it’s actually called the Mille Miglia Storica, as the original Mille Miglia stopped in the 1950s. When it ran it was known as one of the fiercest races on the planet, with two automotive powerhouses, Italy and Germany, often duelling it out until the end. Even in the modern day Mille Miglia, it’s still usually a battle between cars from these two great nations. The trip from Brescia to Rome and then back to Brescia is nearly 1000 miles, a real test of engineering at the time and something only the very bravest of drivers such as Sir Stirling Moss would ever think about undertaking.

In 1988, Chopard began sponsoring the Mille Miglia Storica, which ended up lending its name and logo likeness to Chopard’s main line of watches which just so happens to be called the Mille Miglia range. Of course, there are the L.U.C. pieces and the Happy Sport lines as well, but the Mille Miglia watches are probably the most well known of all the Chopard watches, it’s the one people most associate with the company. That has its own benefits of course, with sponsorship deals raking in huge amounts of money, it also gives the fans and collectors something to look forward to as well.

To celebrate this year’s Mille Miglia Chopard unveiled the Racing Edition back at Baselworld, one which we had already had a hands on with the previous week. But up until now, we had quite a stern letter warning us not to let on at all about this new, even more, special edition watch, featuring rose gold on the case.

This watch is a little more subtle regarding the use of gold, at least compared to some other watches. You’ll find it on the dial in various places, the chronograph pushers, the crown and the thin surround to the fixed aluminium insert on the bezel. Just like the other watch, this one evokes the appearance of a classical sports car with an engine turned dial and a steering wheel on the crown which looks like it might have come from a Lancia Aurelia, a car which I find particularly attractive in the spider version.

The two-tone reminds me of racing colours, along with the steel of the case and red accents we could say these are Chopard’s own racing stripes shining through. The lugs are short and elegant, yet still well finished and precise, like older sports cars tend to be when compared to their modern counterparts particularly from the likes of Ferrari. I’m not in any way saying the modern designs aren’t beautiful, but they are somewhat bloated because of regulations and whatnot. Smaller yet just as high performance, it’s something you don’t really see until you put them side by side at a classic car rally. There’s also the tachymetric scale bezel, itself is very thin compared to other companies. This is supposed to recreate the thinner sporting tyres used on high-performance cars, at least in my eyes anyway. Everything about this watch is a high-performing endurance part, but the component under the most strain is the engine.

Unlike the engine in an Alfa Romeo 8C Berlinetta or a Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, the real party trick of the Chopard’s engine is the ability to remain at a constant, COSC chronometer certifiable rate at all times in all positions. Think about how many moving parts are in a normal watch, a piece which should not deviate from the most accurate time. Now add in a chronograph module for some extra complication, then consider how it will be worn. While most of continental Europe’s road surfaces have been improved since the 50s it would be a fair assumption to make that not every road has been given the TLC it needs. If your driving along in your open-top race car on a sunny afternoon at 100 miles an hour your suspension will be working like mad to iron out the bumps. However, the vibrations can still travel through the steering column to your hands and shake the watch around, so it’s good to know the high-performance design is able to cope with this punishment. It’ll actually run for about 48 hours before stopping too, so this 28,800vph movement has a respectable allowance for some ‘down time’ probably enough to go on a weekend skiing in fact.

The Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T: Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac was probably designed with a Chinese client in mind. But even as a Chinese myself, I can’t help but believe they probably took the Chinese styling cues too much better. Personally, I believe Chopard must have stopped at the engravings on the case and abandon the dial plain. I’m convinced there is a market for slightly over-the-top unique pieces like this. The Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T: Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac is a one off bit and price is only available on request. A staple of this Chopard L.U.C series, the Chopard L.U.C Lunar One perpetual calendar, has become an underdog hero for high-end watch collectors since the model’s debut over a decade ago. Now, I examine a newer limited edition version of this L.U.C Lunar One (mention 161927-9001) in a 950 platinum instance with a trendy blue dial. It’s a really Chopard solution, showcasing a lot of what the brand works best, and in a price that, comparatively speaking, is quite decent.A few years back, I visited Chopard’s production facility in Fleurier where they create L.U.C collection watches. While all Chopard watches are technically speaking luxury products, the L.U.C set is where collectors really put their attention given the moves. Most L.U.C watches are more conventional in their own fashion, but with a healthy dose of (elegant) masculinity as evidenced by the proportions, sizes, and robust presence of these watches overall.Each L.U.C motion is produced in house by Chopard, and includes finishing (decoration to the metallic components) that in my opinion rivals those which are regarded as the very best in the industry. A good look at the in-house made caliber L.U.C 96.13-L automatic movement through the back of the case reveals careful focus, exquisite classic lines, excellent surface treatments, and also a focus on practical utility that we watch lovers find in timepieces we actually wear.

On the wrist the watch is big and chunky, at 44mm in diameter and 13.79mm thick, it wears large thanks to the case flanks which are not rounded in any way but flat and polished. Not to mention the overhang of the Barenia calfskin strap from the lugs meaning it actually wears a little larger than this, but being leather on this limited edition watch I wouldn’t be surprised if this softens up with age.

Unlike the steel version which is limited to 1000 examples, this one is only limited to 100 watches worldwide and will start filtering through once the Mille Miglia has finished. We like both of these special edition watches a lot, they are large yet modern and very comfy on the wrist. The perlage dials look amazing in the sunshine, the straps and cases feel rugged and even parts you hadn’t considered, such as the gap between the fasteners on the butterfly clasp, have been finished to perfection. Really, can you call yourself a true enthusiast if you don’t have at least one Mille Miglia in the collection?

That just about wraps up our coverage of Chopard for the time being. We’d like to, once again, extend our thanks to everyone involved on the trip, we’ve learned a lot about Chopard and have come to respect it a lot more too. 

For more info, please visit chopard.com

Low Price Replica Chopard L.U.C. Perpetual T Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac Watch


By Harlan Chapman-Green

Chopard is a company that’s come along an incredibly long way in the last 20 years, the main driving force behind that has to be the focus on the L.U.C. collection. L.U.C. stands for Louis Ulysse Chopard, the founder of the company. It also stands for progress, innovation and dedication to fine watchmaking. Seriously, people do compare the finishing of L.U.Chopard watches with a Geneva Seal to those from Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe, and rightly so, they both use roughly the same verification process (the Seal of Patek Philippe is a bit different).

The Case

Here comes another one of those pesky Geneva Seal watches which challenges the top players, the L.U.C. Perpetual T – Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac. Chopard, along with companies such as Blancpain enjoys connecting with customers in the mysterious continent of Asia. This one specifically focuses on the Chinese Zodiac, and you can see that from the edges of the case. Watching the artisans in the manufacture of Fleurier practice their engraving technique was a real treat when we visited them. Chopard has engraved the caseband of this watch with the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

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I would have loved for its movement to have Chopard’s “Quattro” method of four piled mainspring barrels — that offers around eight days of power reserve. I’m not sure if Chopard intends to upgrade its center perpetual calendar movement later on with more power book, but the L.U.C 96.13-L isn’t lacking. It’s two stacked mainspring barrels which offer 65 hours of power reserve. Of course, 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 combination). The Perpetual Chrono adds a 12 hour chronograph into the perpetual calendar pair of complications — even although it is founded on an entirely different motion, and with no L.U.C Lunar One, which 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 will be obvious — though as a more functional daily wearer, I enjoy the Lunar One somewhat more.Not only is the Lunar One free from the sub-dial “ears” (an aesthetic thing) that are not popular with all people about the Perpetual Chrono’s dial, it is also cheaper by about $40,000 (when comparing platinum versions). The L.U.C Perpetual Chrono is also a larger watch coming from a 45mm wide circumstance, versus the Lunar One’s still large (such as a dress watch) 43mm wide dimensions. Speaking of dimensions, the Lunar One isn’t a small watch, also given the wide lugs, wears big for a 43mm wide watch. That is not a terrible thing, and that I know of many men and women who enjoy traditional watches in this specific size. With that said, provided that watch lovers are very specific about the dimensions they like, if you’re interested in a more modestly-sized apparel watch, then search for perpetual calendar watches elsewhere (there are possibly many).

The bezel also has engravement on it in the form of what appears to resemble a Greek Key pattern, at least more than a Chinese one anyway. That work on the case sides and the bezel is the result of a tricky procedure called champlevé. The process involves cutting all the shapes required, in this case, animals and then filling in the spaces usually with a contrasting colour. As this watch has a dark contrast going, on it’s no surprise that black is the colour used on this finishing technique.

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The Movement

Talking about finishing we find ourselves drawn to this lustrous Chopard L.U.C. Calibre 02.15 – L with all its finishing glory. True, you can’t see most of the high-level finishing required of the Geneva Seal because it’s hidden behind the baseplate (click here to read more about the decoration requirements of the Geneva Seal). What you get instead are a handy power reserve indicator and some remarkable hand finishing, as well as a small glimpse into the gearing system.

Back to the front and the dial is clearly where it’s at with this watch. The pattern itself is unusual as it reminds me of the floorboards of ancient Chinese huts, except it’s a deep lustrous black colour. It’s also got the hallmarks of an expensive timepiece: the tourbillon at six O’clock, and a perpetual calendar. I love the look of the cages Chopard puts over the tourbillon mechanism it produces, they look futuristic but not enough to stand out when put into a historical context. There’s also the big date windows at 12 O’clock which have no difference in depth, unlike some other companies *cough Lange cough*.

As you can imagine production for such a highly decorated watch is low, in this case, it’s a one-off. Chopard could have extended the exquisite decoration themes to the movement plates as well, but it’s not like this watch is lacking in the engraving in the first place. This 18k rose gold masterpiece has a price which is only available on request. For more info, please visit chopard.com

Replica At Lowest Price Only Watch 2017: Chopard Superfast 8Hz Power Control Porsche 919


By Harlan Chapman-Green

As you can plainly see we are really ramping up our coverage of the Only Watch charity auctions now, the watch auctions under the Patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco. This being the bi-annual charity auction where the proceeds go towards funding research for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, one of the most aggressive forms of the condition that shortens lives and breaks families apart. It’s extremely complicated to treat and is quite common amongst the different types of Muscular Dystrophy.

For the 6th time our friends at Chopard have stepped up to the mark to create a special edition watch that will go under the hammer at auction to contribute to the research for the fight against DM-D. If you’ve been following Chopard over the past couple of years you’ll know that they have been really expanding their coverage and involvement in the world of motorsports. Granted since the late 20th century Chopard has been involved with the Mille Miglia, one of the hardest races to compete in, however that’s not accessible to all, in fact, most haven’t even heard of it. However, a lot of them have heard of the Le Mans 24 hour race which Chopard’s partner Porsche competes in.

A legendary racer of the Le Mans 24 hour races is Jacky Ickx, a Belgian racing driver who won the 24-hour race six times and has also had 25 podium finishes and eight first place finishes in Formula One too. Jacky has even helped design this watch which bears his signature on the dial and name on the caseback.

The 12 animals of the Zodiac are engraved chronologically about the case middle with all the rat positioned on the top right corner of this watch. Some highlights worth mentioning include the tiger, that can be placed on the crown; and the snake and dragon, which are intertwined between the bottom lugs of this circumstance. The bezel is hand-engraved with the champlevé technique also and features a pattern that calls to mind that the grids found on ancient Chinese doors. Such as the case, it’s hand-engraved using a lattice pattern that’s like that of the bezel. Below are the endless calendar signs. At 3 o’clock, we’ve got the month and leap year signs, and at 9 o’clock we have the day and 24-hour indicators. In the end, at 6 o’clock there’s the tourbillon that makes a spinning every minute. Powering the watch is the standard 02.15-L that contains 353 parts and Chopard’s Quattro system, so it’s four mainspring barrels and a power reserve of 216 hours or 9 days. As mentioned earlier, it features the perpetual calendar complication and a tourbillon mechanism, and it defeats at 4Hz. The movement comprises extensive hand-finishing for example beveled bridges, polished screws and jewel countersinks, and has been given the Geneva Seal. The operator can also rest assured of exceptional timekeeping performance since it is also chronometer-certified from COSC. The movement could be admired through the watch’s sapphire display caseback.

This one of a kind watch uses Chopard’s recently developed hi-beat movement which sits pretty much between Zenith’s famed 5Hz El-Primero and Breguet’s ludicrous offerings which run at an astounding 10Hz. Chopard’s watch runs at 8Hz, which is double the operating speed of most modern day movements, the idea behind this step up in speed being that it gives less of an opportunity for timing error to occur when the balance is moving faster. Either way, it’s a futuristic concept and one some people have spent years researching, we like to think it works.

The titanium case on this limited edition watch is 45mm in diameter with a thickness of 12.4mm with the matte blue colour on the dial and leather strap being inspired by Jacky’s racing helmet. The highest bidder of this watch will also receive an exciting and memorable weekend at the Monaco Historique weekend in 2018 in the presence of Jacky Ickx himself thanks to Chopard’s connections in the motorsports world, given that Chopard watches tend to perform well at the Only Watch auction it shouldn’t be too hard for this watch to reach the upper prediction of 25,000 Swiss Francs.

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.

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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.

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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