Dr. Edwina Davies reviews the Chopard Classic Manufactum, Automatic, a watch presented with a pure white porcelain type dial and an in-house movement.
Lovers of haute horology who visit this site may eschew automatics but this is not a watch to ignore bearing many features associated with haute horology and watches which have a much higher price point. This Chopard offering is not from their L.U.C collection but it is beautifully designed and finished and merits close attention. Certainly it upholds the high reputation of Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the brand founder.
Beautifully crafted this watch has a timeless classicism.
It is available in 18ct rose, yellow or white gold.
This has an immediate appeal. It presents itself, unblemished, in pure white porcelain type material which is in its clarity has an instant appeal since nothing detracts or demeans it. Unadorned it is uncontrived and has great charm. It rises above changing fashion, refined, and discreet. It does not need embellishment. There is nothing to impinge or intrude on the pleasure of enjoying that clear face against which the shiny black numerals stand out. The sapphire crystal glass ensures that the clarity will be maintained because of its scratch resistance.
At 6 o’clock the seconds sub-dial depicts their passing, concentric circles outlined in black. The dial is quartered. The outer “railtrack” marks off each second. The inner circle has 15, 30, 45 and 60 seconds identified in simple Arabic numerals.
The Chopard name at 12 o’clock is in simple upper-case letters, a little bolder than the identifying “automatic” beneath it and the “Swiss Made” statement at 6 o’clock.
At three o’clock a rectangular aperture, mirroring in size the space taken by the “III” depiction accommodates the date. The awareness of proportion adds balance, creates harmony. Again there is simple black numbering, no need for ostentation.
The graceful dauphine hands are unobtrusive and in the same finish as their respective cases.
The highly polished gold case in the buyer’s choice of gold reflects on the clear white face.
It is a neat 38 mm in diameter, 10.06 in thickness.
An 18 carat knurled crown rests, traditionally placed, at three o’clock.
Finely sculpted lugs provide for the attachment of the strap but also elevate and proffer the case and dial for admiration.
This is a Chopard development. Produced in house it is the Chopard 01.04-C, a new self winding movement. This is the first watch in Chopard’s Classic collection to be fitted with this movement.
It has 27 jewels some of which can be viewed through the exhibition back.
It also has a generous power reserve of 60 hours.
A gaze within shows a level of finish which would not disgrace many watches which command a higher price point.
For the wearer’s comfort the watch has a padded alligator strap with a matching gold pin buckle.
It is also water resistant to 30 metres.
This watch ticks so many boxes. There is the appeal of an attractive price point but far more beguiling is its elegant and refined appearance and the purity of line, the timeless allure which it exudes.
A philistine might describe this watch as standard. What an insult! This is a watch, not only to note but which defines and sets standards for other automatics.
Model: Chopard Classic Manufactum
Ref. 161289-5001 – in 18ct rose gold
Ref. 161289-0001 – in 18ct yellow gold
Ref. 161289-1001 – in 18ct white gold
Case: 18-carat rose, yellow or white gold; 38.00 mm diameter; 10.06 mm height; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front with antireflective coating on both sides.
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.