By Harlan Chapman-Green
Chopard once again steps up its Haute Horlogerie game this year at Baselworld as it unveils a refresh for a member of its L.U.C collection that I doubt many have heard of. It’s called the All-In-One and it’s one of the rarest and most exclusive watches Chopard makes this side of the L.U.C Full Strike. They’ve never had one of these available to us for a photoshoot, even when we went to the manufactures last year. The All-In-One was first released in 2010 and came with Chopard’s older styling with Roman numerals, a flat white dial and arched L.U.Chopard logo. Even for a fan of the company, I never found this style very appealing. Now, though, things have changed a little.
Gone are the Roman numerals which looked a little mismatched on a dial that already had a lot going on, they’ve been replaced by sharp elongated arrow pointers which reflect well with the Chopard style dauphine hands which add to the visual elegance of the watch. The white dial has been replaced as well, it’s now either a cool blue colour or a ‘silver gilt’ colour, depending on which metal you choose (either platinum or rose gold respectively). Also, there’s now sunburst guilloche emanating from the L.U.Chopard logo, very fitting considering the string of hits they have been releasing recently.
The movement inside this watch is a gem and surely worthy of the title ‘Haute Horlogerie royalty’. It’s comprised of 516 parts, all of which are verified and meet the Seal of Geneva hallmark. The watch has a multitude of displays, more than the almost unassuming dial lets on. As well as the time, there’s also seconds which are indicated via a tourbillon, a perpetual calendar and a big date under the logo, note how the depth of the numbers is the same, meaning the two discs underneath aren’t superimposed like some other companies do it.
The 12 animals of the Zodiac are engraved chronologically on the case middle with the rat positioned on the top right corner of this watch. Some highlights worth mentioning include the tiger, that is positioned on the crown; and the snake and dragon, which can be intertwined between the base lugs of the case. The bezel is hand-engraved using the champlevé technique also and features a pattern which calls to mind that the grids found on ancient Chinese doors. The dial is made of solid 18k gold, also. Such as the circumstance, it is hand-engraved with a lattice pattern that is similar to that of the bezel. The Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T: Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac is water-resistant to 30m and comes with a black hand-made alligator strap plus a fitting 18k rose gold pin buckle.The L.U.C Perpetual T: Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac features a number of complications. On the dial at 12 o’clock is a major date display. Below are the perpetual calendar signs. At 3 o’clock, we’ve got the month and leap year indicators, and at 9 o’clock we have the afternoon and 24-hour indicators. Finally, at 6 o’clock there is the tourbillon which creates a spinning every minute. This doubles up as the running moments sub-dial. Powering the watch is the caliber 02.15-L that contains 353 parts and Chopard’s Quattro system, which means it has four mainspring barrels and a power reserve of 216 hours or 9 days. As stated before, it features the perpetual calendar complication along with a tourbillon mechanism, and it beats at 4Hz. The motion features extensive hand-finishing such as beveled bridges, polished screws and stone countersinks, and continues to be awarded the Geneva Seal. The owner can also be assured of exceptional timekeeping performance since it is additionally chronometer-certified from COSC. The motion could be admired through the watch’s sapphire display caseback.
That’s all there is to it, right? Wrong, on the flipside there’s a whole other world of indications going on. There’s a display for the equation of time, the 24 hour day/night indication, calculation and display of the time of sunrise and sunset (set to Geneva, but I’m sure this could be changed) and sat slap bang in the middle is the astronomical orbital moonphase display. As if that isn’t enough, the power reserve on this watch is very practical at 7 days plus the extra safety margin. Even better, it’s also COSC chronometer rated, if this watch was awarded the Qualite Fleurier mark, it would probably take the title of the best watch at Baselworld this year. Sadly, only ten of each metal will be made, but one can always dream, eh? For more info, visit Chopard online.