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


By Harlan Chapman-Green

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

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

Aesthetics

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

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

Construction

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

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

Ethics

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

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

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

A Summary

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