Chopard L.U.C. 1963

Chopard L.U.C. 1963Every year seems to bring with it a fresh slew of anniversaries in the watch world, and 2014 is no exception. The new Chopard L.U.C. 1963, premiering at Baselworld, commemorates the 50th year of Chopard’s ownership by the Scheufele family with a wristwatch inspired by the golden age of chronometer pocketwatches.

Chopard describes the L.U.C. 1963 (The initials are for brand founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard) as “a wristwatch equipped with a pocket-watch movement” and “a direct descendant of the chronometers that Chopard was still producing in 1963.” Its signature feature is its huge dial, which occupies nearly the entire diameter of its generously proportioned 44-mm case. The dial’s impressive size corresponds with that of the movement, Chopard L.U.C. Caliber 63.01-L, which measures a full 38 mm in diameter.

The case is made of 18k rose gold, with curved, brushed-finish surfaces and a rounded, polished bezel. The porcelain-style white dial features a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock, dauphine hands, black Roman numerals, and a rail-track minutes circle — all direct references to classical chronometer timepieces of yesteryear. However, Chopard has added modern twists to many of these elements: the seconds subdial overlaps the minute track and sports red Arabic numerals. The style of the dauphine hands matches that of other modern Chopard L.U.C. watches. The Roman numerals follow the rounded shape of the dial and have alternating solid and slender bars. The black “sleepers” on the minute track don’t touch the edges of the solid black “rails,” making for a slightly lighter, more open aesthetic.

Chopard L.U.C. 1963 - front

Chopard L.U.C. 1963 - side


Chopard’s manual-wound L.U.C. Caliber 63.01-L is a smaller version of the earlier Caliber 06.01-L, which the company developed in partnership with the Geneva Watchmaking School and introduced in its “L.U.C. Louis-Ulysse Chopard – The Tribute” model in Chopard’s 150th anniversary year of 2010 (see what we mean about anniversaries?). It is, as noted previously, a large movement but one with a very simple architecture because it includes no major horological complications, only hours, minutes and small seconds. It has a two-tone treatment (rose gold and steel) that enhances its three-dimensional look. The eye-catching finishes include circular graining on the mainplate, and bridges made of nickel silver and adorned with côtes de Genève. Nickel silver is not only a nobler alloy than brass, which is more commonly used to make movement bridges, but also harder and more difficult to work with because of its tendency to scratch. The movement also boasts a swan’s neck index assembly.

In accordance with the chronometric tradition to which it pays tribute, the watch boasts both a COSC certification and the Hallmark of Geneva quality seal. It carries a power reserve of 60 hours and a frequency of 28,800 vph, and is visible beneath the large sapphire exhibition caseback. The Chopard L.U.C. 1963 is available in an 18k rose gold (pictured version) or platinum case, each limited to 50 pieces, and comes on a hand-sewn brown alligator leather strap, lined with cognac-toned alligator leather. It will be available at retail in the spring, shortly following its official launch at Baselworld 2014, and will be priced starting at $37,580.


Chopard L.U.C. 1963 - back

Chopard Calibre L.U.C-63-L

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