New minute repeater watches just keep on coming, and Chopard has now introduced its first, the Chopard L.U.C Full Strike. Its most distinctive feature is the material used for the gongs: synthetic sapphire.
The gongs (visible at 10 o’clock) and the watch crystal are machined together from a single block. Chopard says that sapphire produces a clearer, purer tone than metal, and the fact that there is no break between the gongs and the watch crystal means there is better transmission of the acoustic waves.
The watch has other unusual features. The repeater is activated not by a slide on the side of the case but by a pusher integrated into the crown. The chiming mechanism has been engineered so that there is no silent gap between the hour chimes and the quarter chimes or between the quarter chimes and the minutes chimes; the entire sequence has a uniform cadence. Chopard says that yet another difference between the Full Strike and conventional repeaters is that the strike governor (which is visible at 8 o’clock), doesn’t hum.
The movement, the in-house Caliber 08.01-L, has two barrels: one for the chimes and the other for the movement. The movement has a power reserve of 60 hours. The chime barrel stores enough energy to enable the chiming device to strike 12:59, the time that requires the longest chiming sequence, a total of 12 times. The power reserve for both barrels is shown in a display at 2 o’clock. Caliber 08.01-L bears the Geneva Seal and is certified by COSC.
The case is made of rose gold and is 42.5 mm in diameter and 11.5 mm thick. Chopard will make 20 Full Strike watches; the piece commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Chopard Manufacture. Price: $245,000. To hear the Full Strike’s chimes, click on the sound file below. To read about more watches in Chopard’s 20th anniversary collection, click here.