Whether or not you’ll be needing a “vaccine passport” for your next overseas trip, there is one accessory you’ll definitely not want to board your flight without: a really handsome luxury timepiece to keep track of time at your destination and back home. Fortunately, Chopard has at least two new models that will fit the bill, both combining a contemporary “stealth” look with user-friendly functionality. Here are the L.U.C GMT One Black and L.U.C Time Traveler One Black, representing the vanguard of the watch-and-jewelry house’s 2021 gents’ collection unveiled at Watches & Wonders.
Both timepieces hail from Chopard’s L.U.C family, named for founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard and positioned as the maison’s “epitome of fine watchmaking.” Originally introduced in 2016 in steel and precious-metal case variations, both travelers’ models are now offered in cases made of ceramised grade 5 titanium, a material used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, and medical component manufacturing. It achieves its exceptional hardness (700 Vickers), friction and corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility through electroplasma technology, which oxidizes surface layers of titanium at extreme temperatures. Paired with gray-and-black-toned dials and straps, the cases enhance the timepieces’ avant-garde monochromatic look.
The galvanic gray dial of the L.U.C GMT One (above) is rimmed by a snailed railway-track minute scale and a circular satin-brushed 24-hour ring divided into two sectors: light-gray daytime for hours and black for nighttime hours. The case, at 42 mm in diameter and 11.71 mm in height, features two crowns — one positioned at 2 o’clock to adjust the date and the local time, the other at 4 o’clock to control the second-time-zone setting, indicated by a baton-style, arrow-tipped hand on the 24-hour scale. The Dauphine hour and minute hands, hallmarks of Chopard’s L.U.C watches, are in metallic black; Super-LumiNova coats the hour markers, and the date appears in a window at 6 o’clock.
Chopard’s in-house Caliber L.U.C 01.10-L, beating behind the watch’s sapphire exhibition caseback and equipped with an integrated GMT function, it features automatic winding, 31 jewels, a 28,200-vph frequency, and a 60-hour power reserve. Like all L.U.C movements that indicate running seconds, it is a COSC-certified chronometer. Its typical decorative finishes include chamfering on all components and côtes de Genève on the bridges. The hand-crafted black-and-gray strap, made of rubber that has been processed like a fabric, is highly durable, water-and-sweat-resistant, and carries a REACH certification for its environmentally friendly manufacturing steps.
For those whose business (or leisure) requires them to track events in multiple time zones simultaneously, there’s the L.U.C time Traveler One Black, whose multiple indications are on a series of concentrically arranged disks. Reading outward from the satin-brushed dial’s center, we start with a small, center-mounted, arrow-tipped hand, tucked behind the Dauphine hour and minute hands, which indicates the date on a 1-31 scale; continue with the local time, indicated on a railway-track circle; and proceed to the graduated 24-hour ring that works in concert with the outermost disk bearing the names of 24 cities representing the 24 main world time zones.
The crown at 2 o’clock adjust the local time on the hour and minute hands, while the crown at 4 o’clock synchronizes the world-time disk with the local time, enabling a quick reading of the time in any of the 24 zones at a glance. A stylized globe motif appears on the 4 o’clock crown, while the l.U.C emblem adorns the one at 2 o’clock. Slightly thicker in profile than the GMT One model, at 12.09 mm, the Time Traveler One matches its 42-mm diameter. Like its sibling, the Time Traveler One’s case has a sandblasted finish on its middle, bezel, and caseback, the latter fitted with a sapphire exhibition window.
Behind that display caseback is Caliber 01.05-L, another automatic movement entirely developed, produced and finished at Chopard Manufacture in the Swiss town of Fleurier. Like the GMT One movement it stores a 60-hour power reserve and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph. Composed of 262 components, including 39 jewels, it boasts a COSC chronometer certification and a host of haute horlogerie finishes, including chamfering and côtes de Genève. The Time Traveler’s black strap is constructed of fully vegan rubber with a fabric-motif pattern. It has also earned REACH certification through a series of stringent environmental tests, symbolizing Chopard’s ongoing commitment to “sustainable luxury.”
The Chopard L.U.C GMT One Black, a limited edition of 250 pieces, is priced at $11,500. The L.U.C Time Traveler One Black is also limited to 250 pieces and priced at $15,500. Both watches commemorate the 25th anniversary of Chopard Manufacture, founded in 1996, and are likely to be joined by other special editions as the year rolls on.