Baselworld 2019: Chopard’s L.U.C Flying T Twin Tourbillon Has To Be Seen To Be Believed
The new double-barreled tourbillon is joined by a limited edition Mille Miglia and a L.U.C column wheel chronograph.
Chopard has just given birth to twins. Twin barrels that is, in the brand's outstanding new L.U.C Flying T Twin tourbillon. In addition to this being the first in-house flying tourbillon for the brand, they’ve put the icing on the cake with not one but two barrels, that hold a power reserve of no less than 65 hours.
L.U.C Flying T Twin Tourbillon
The movement is just 3.3mm high, fitting nicely into a 40mm case that stands at only 7.2mm thick. It’s an example of master watchmaking at its finest. The new L.U.C movement “rounds off the exhaustive range of complications featured in L.U.C models,” the brand stated. And how. A sapphire crystal caseback allows for a full view of the exquisitely crafted calibre. Oh, and it’s Poinçon de Genève certified too.
The watch is sleek and uber-elegant on the outside too. The case is crafted of Chopard’s Fairmined 18K rose gold and has a hand guilloche dial. Sitting at 6 o’clock and visible through a big aperture, the beating heart of the tourbillon is on full display. It’s mesmerizing. Chopard decided not to include a date, according to a statement from the brand, in order to “preserve the purity of the design and leave ample space for the tourbillon.”
The grey dial has a guilloche design that closely resembles a honeycomb, which is a direct homage to Chopard’s roots - Louis-Ulysse Chopard’s first logo was a beehive. The grey color perfectly sets off the rose gold case and tourbillon.
Collectors better act quickly if they want to snag one of these timepieces. The production is limited to only 50 pieces.
The New L.U.C Chrono One Flyback
Chronographs are a core part of Chopard’s offerings, and the new L.U.C Chrono One Flyback is a more compact timepiece than some of its forebears in the collection. The watch measures 42mm, in contrast to the 44mm Chrono Ones we've seen in the recent past. Make no mistake, though, size does not matter. The new watch packs all of the horological punch we've come to expect in Chopard’s larger chronographs. In fact, its movement is the steadfast in-house L.U.C Calibre 03.03-L that was first introduced in 2007. And it’s still performing like a champion. The automatic-winding calibre has 60 hours of power reserve and is COSC certified.
The watch is available in a stainless steel case, as well as an aeronautical-grade titanium case, made with a new treatment called Titalyt. Known for its hypoallergenic properties, Titalyt "benefits from the natural lightness of titanium, whose hardness and abrasion resistance is reinforced by electro-plasma treatment," according to the brand. "On the surface, the metal has changed in nature and color, while its core remains as strong as ever.”
Speaking of color, the titanium watch's case and dial are green. Yes, green. A dark army green, to be exact. Steel grey hour markers and hands add to the rugged, military feel of the piece. Military watches are a trend right now (if you can call luxury watches trendy), and this piece fits neatly into the mix. But while trends may come and go, style is forever. And this watch has style in spades.
Attention collectors: the L.U.C Chrono One Flyback is another limited edition. The stainless steel version will have 250 pieces, while the titanium will have 100.
A new Mille Miglia in gold and stainless steel
Chopard at Basel wouldn't be the same without a new Mille Miglia. After all, they’ve been making the collection for over 30 years, and still manage to make the new pieces exciting and different. Karl-Freidrich Scheufele’s near-obsession with classic car racing led him to partner with the legendary Mille Miglia (thousand mile) race, and he started making dedicated Mille Miglia watches that appeal to both racing fanatics and watch collectors. The watches are true tool watches, equipped with tachymeter scales for calculating speed, and a chronograph that accurately measures eighth-of-a-second intervals. They also have two days of power reserve when the automatic movement is fully wound.
This year's version, the 2019 Race Edition, is available in stainless steel, with a limited edition of 1000, and a two-tone steel and gold version limited to 250 pieces. The gold and stainless steel watch “evokes a more peaceful sporting experience,” according to the brand, while the stainless steel is dedicated to “gentlemen drivers who approach life like a hairpin bend." A fun touch is the strap lining, which has a tire-tread motif (Dunlop from the 1960s, to be exact).
The watches have a (relatively) new feature that's part of the GTS line - ergonomically designed chronograph pushers.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)