Watches & Wonders: Chopard Introduces The New L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25
Chopard celebrates the 25th anniversary of the L.U.C collection with its first jumping-hour watch.
Since Karl-Friedrich Scheufele opened the Chopard Manufacture in Switzerland in 1996 and introduced the first L.U.C watch, Chopard has risen to become one of the top watchmakers working today.
It designs and manufactures beautiful, complicated movements as well as high-jewelry masterpieces. Chopard has won countless awards, including the Aiguille d’Or at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2017, which is the watch equivalent of the Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year.
This year, Chopard decided to celebrate its 25th anniversary by introducing its latest in-house movement with a new complication for the brand: a jumping-hour. The jump-hour complication is very difficult to get right and considered one of the marks of a high horology piece, so it’s fitting Chopard chose the compilation to mark this special occasion.
Introducing the Chopard L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25
The new L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 watch combines classic stylings with modern technology. The case shape was inspired by historic pocket watches designed by Louis-Ulysse Chopard and crafted from ethically sourced 18K rose gold, a hallmark of Chopard timepieces. It also has a polished bezel and satin-brushed sides.
At first glance, the L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 seems to be missing something on its elegant dial — an hour hand. Instead, the hour is displayed digitally in an aperture at 6 o’clock. You’d be forgiven for initially thinking that it was the date window. Chopard placed it there so when the hour changes, the minute hand would be at 12 o’clock and wouldn’t hide the jumping hour disc.
Jumping-hour watches require a tremendous amount of energy to make the hour disc instantly and precisely rotate to the next hour, so many jumping-hour watches have short power reserves. But that is not the case here.
Astonishingly, Chopard was able to endow the L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 with an almost eight full days of power reserve thanks to its exclusive Chopard Quattro technology. It uses four stacked and series-coupled barrels in the L.U.C 98.06-L movement, which provides 190 hours of power reserve. And if there weren’t a jumping-hour mechanism? It would provide 216 hours, or nine days, of power, which shows just how much energy the jumping-hour complication requires. The manual-winding movement is also quite thin for such a powerhouse, clocking in at 4.85mm thick.
Grand Feu Enamel Dial
The watch features a stunning white Grand Feu enamel dial produced in-house. And while the dial may look simple, its creation is anything but.
Chopard’s enameling artisan carefully and painstakingly applies individual layers of Grand Feu enamel to an 18K rose gold base, firing the dial at 820ºC after each layer. After the depth of color has been achieved, the enamel is lightly polished, which gives it a slightly domed look.
This pure, snow-white enamel is then decorated with black enamel Arabic numerals to indicate the minutes as well as a railway track. There are rose gold elements on the dial that match the elegant case, including framing the hour aperture in rose gold and the rose gold minute hand.
Poinçon de Genève
The movement isn’t just powerful; it’s beautifully decorated. It was even awarded the prestigious Poinçon de Genève. The movement bridges are decorated with Côtes de Genève stripes and have beveled edges. And the mainplate also has perlage finishing that peeks out underneath some of the components.
You can see some of the elements that make it so precise through the arena caseback, including the swan-neck regulator. There is also a power-reserve indicator on the back, should you need to know how many days you have left.
The Chopard L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 comes on a dark brown alligator strap, is limited to 100 pieces, and is priced at $44,700.
(Images © Chopard)