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 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.