The year 2022 marks exactly 25 years since Chopard opened its Manufacture and began creating its own movements. This was a huge step for the independent family-owned brand, but it was important to become fully integrated and to create top-notch horological masterpieces from the ground up. The L.U.C watch collection represents that technical prowess, with a host of important timepieces in the lineup. Now, to celebrate the anniversary, Chopard unveils several important watches, including the new 20-piece limited edition L.U.C Full Strike watch in platinum.
According to Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, whose vision it was to become a complete manufacture, the new watch is a reinterpretation of the previous Full Strike, but with an all-new caliber and a crystal minute repeater gong and hammer system – a true rarity in watchmaking. The Full Strike houses the L.U.C 08.01-L minute repeater movement that strikes the hours, quarter hours and minutes past the quarter hours on demand. The chronometer-certified timepiece boasts several innovations and patents, including the sapphire crystal gongs made from a single piece of sapphire. The purpose of the crystal gongs: a crystal-clear sound. The caliber took 15,000 hours to develop but was well worth the wait.
While the first Full Strike watch from the brand was released five years ago in 2016 – and won the “Aiguille d’Or” – the “Best in Show” prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2017, it was not made in platinum. The first one was rose gold, followed in 2018 by a white gold version. The combination of crystal gongs and the hard platinum for this new piece beautifully amplifies the chimes. The watch also boasts a patented strikework-pusher disengagement system that ensures the minute repeater can’t be accidentally activated a second time when the sounding sequence is already started.
Incredibly complex, this 42.5mm watch is meticulously finished according to the Hallmark of Geneva standards, with much of the 533-part mechanical movement visible via the transparent sapphire caseback. The dial is also open worked for viewing inside. The watch – all 20 versions – is COSC-certified chronometer, attesting to its precision. It takes the master watchmakers at Chopard approximately 160 hours to pre-assemble all of the parts and about 22 days to build a single watch.
A tour around the gold dial finished with a grey/blue galvanic treatment, showcases a snailed chapter ring, applied Roman numerals, Dauphine fusee-type hour and minute hands, a baton-style small seconds hand and a power reserve hand. It is finished with a hand-sewn alligator leather strap. The price is on request only, but we can pretty much deduce that it will be somewhere in the quarter-of-a-million-dollar range.