Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin
Everything That It Appears To Be
The Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin features a steel case and a perpetual calendar. It also employs the unmistakable and gorgeous L.U.C design language.
Often in life, we are confronted with magazine images of celebrities who appear unnaturally thin. Later, we may learn that the said image was subject to much airbrushing. Undesirable facial blemishes can also be removed in Photoshop with the skilful use of a graphic designer’s mouse.
A face from a distance can look youthful, but when viewed at close quarters can reveal the traces of a surgeon’s scalpel. Indeed, not everything we admire from afar is necessarily what it seems.
Fortunately, this is not the case with the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin. This timepiece is everything it appears to be, and more. There is no sleight of hand, just a wonderful honesty and horological integrity. It is for these reasons I felt compelled to elaborate further on why this is one of my favourite watches from Chopard.
The perpetual calendar
The perpetual calendar complication displays the day, date, month and leap-year. The movement is able to mechanically determine the length of each month, correctly switching to the 1st of the following month, irrespective of whether the proceeding month contained 28,29, 30 or 31 days. Assuming the watch is kept wound, the only time the date will require manual adjustment will be in 2100 and 2400 which are non-leap years.
Despite the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin being a comparatively new model, launched at Baselworld 2016, it shares a likeness with its older L.U.C siblings.
Typical of L.U.C models, the maison’s Dauphine-type hour and minute hands appear once again, as do the bold applied rhodiumed Roman numeral hour markers.
Sat on high, just below noon, two apertures reveal numerals which collaborate effortlessly to impart the date. This is a large date display and a desirable complication for the myopically challenged. The sunburst dial motif emanates from the brand’s nomen, once again upholding the design language of L.U.C.
At 3 o’clock, a ‘months’ display features. In order to ensure the wearer does not forget, the subdial is suitably labelled. Positioned between January and March is a smaller, circular display showing the leap year cycle, with a red ‘4’ indicating the leap year and, by default, a 29-day February.
Located opposite the month display, at 9 o’clock, is a ‘days’ display, presenting each day in abbreviated 3-letter form, while at 6 o’clock a ‘seconds’ display resides.
Encircling the dial is a chemin de fer, featuring simple strokes and tear shaped markings. Each 15-minute integer is marked with Arabic numerals.
The 43mm case of this watch is not formed of noble metal but rather is made of stainless steel, a material of notably honesty, free of pretensions and capable of tolerating daily wear with minimal fuss.
The decision of Chopard to use stainless steel seems fitting for a watch which harnesses much watchmaking excellence but without masquerading as anything too grand such as a tourbillon or minute repeater.
Congruent with the other L.U.C models, the bezel, upper and lower lug surfaces and case-back are presented in polished steel. By contrast, the case-band is adorned with vertical satin-brush, delivering a hushed juxtaposition to the prominently polished surfaces.
The crown is sizeable, allowing ease of adjustment but without impinging on the free movement of the wrist. The reverse of the case is fitted with an exhibition case-back affording views of the self-winding movement within.
The strap is, once more, typical of Chopard L.U.C. It is made of hand-sewn black alligator leather, with a brown alligator leather lining and paired with a stainless steel pin buckle.
The Calibre L.U.C 96.51L shares a passing resemblance to the first manufacture movement made by Chopard L.U.C, the 96.01L (L.U.C 1.96). This is not a bad thing. In fact, quite the opposite, as when the L.U.C 1.96 was unveiled, some 20 years ago, it immediately led to legions of purists falling under its beguiling spell.
The self-winding Calibre L.U.C 96.51L features a micro-rotor and two stacked barrels which work together to deliver 65 hours of autonomy and chronometer certification (COSC). However, it is the finishing of this movement which captures my heart.
Beneath the micro-rotor is a sea of beautifully formed pearls (perlage). This motif extends to the main plate with the decoration appearing on both sides. The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif.
The jewel sinks are beautifully polished, while the screws feature polished slots and chamfered rims. The wheels are circular grained and the anglage confers a glorious gleaming edge adjacent the aforementioned Côtes de Genève motif.
There is a mechanical rectitude with this movement. Everything is distilled to an elevated standard. This is a paragon of fine watchmaking.
Some watches necessitate much explanation in order to convey their ‘added-value’. The Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin delivers a simple to understand dial in combination with a magnificently made movement.
The steel case blends harmoniously with the gorgeous sunburst dial, while the vertical satin-brush of the case-band tempers the exuberance of the polished areas of the case.
The aspect I appreciate the most about this timepiece is the palpable honesty it proffers. It does not pretend to be something it is not. It is the genuine article. It is an exemplar of haute horlogerie befitting a gentleman of sartorial astuteness.
- Model: Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43mm; height 11.47mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; large date; day; month; leap-year indicator (perpetual calendar).
- Movement: L.U.C 96.51L, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz), 27 jewels; power reserve 65 hours
- Strap: Hand-sewn black alligator leather with alligator leather lining presented with steel pin buckle.
- Price: £17,950 (RRP as at 20.2.2017)