Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined

A detailed hands-on review of the Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined.

This detailed review of the Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined includes live pictures, specification and pricing.

Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined

In 2014, Chopard proclaimed its commitment to ethically sourced gold under the ‘Fairmined’ banner by releasing a glorious timepiece, the L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined. One year later, the Swiss brand unveiled the L.U.C XPS Fairmined, a boutique-only, limited edition watch restricted to only 250 pieces and, once again, made of ethical rose gold.

This year, the Swiss brand has launched a derivation of the L.U.C XPS Fairmined, the L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined. With its unique dial and case combination, this latter watch differs from its older sibling. It also possesses the Fleurier Quality Foundation label.

The L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined, as the name implies, features a crown and small seconds display which are not positioned in their customary location, but have been rotated to deliver a distinctive mien. The crown resides at 4 o’clock, while the small seconds subdial is positioned at 7 o’clock, bestowing a wonderful asymmetrical appearance.

The dial

The slate grey hue of the dial is quite distinctive and makes this watch stand out from the crowd. However, the differentiation does not stop with the colour, but extends to the stamped sunburst texture of the dial canvas. The swirling pattern of the dial epidermis is unlike any other and immediately sets the tone for this timepiece which tears up the rule book and looks quite different from any other watch.

Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined

Positioned between 7 and 8 o’clock, the small seconds display deviates from the usual 6 o’clock position and imbues the L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined with a idiosyncratic flourish of style.

The dauphine-type hands conform to the maison’s house style. They have a meritorious ability to converse with clear tone, deftly sidestepping any ambiguity. The hours are denoted with elongated batons. They have triangular profiles and their faceted forms capture light, aiding legibility.

On paper, the notion of a grey dial combined with a rose gold case does not sound ideal, however, in reality the two colours make comfortable bedfellows and grant the Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined with a distinctive appearance.

The case

Measuring 40mm in diameter with a case thickness of only 7.20mm, the Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined sports unassuming dimensions. However, with its warm, resplendent case, unusual dial treatment and individual crown, this watch arrests attention and could never go unnoticed.

Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined

As previously stated, the non-conformist crown resides at 4 o’clock. Its location does not compromise functionality, indeed, it has impressive ease of adjustment.

The case-band is satin-brushed, while the other surfaces are delivered in a gleaming, highly-polished finish. This timepiece carefully treads a path between flamboyance and restraint and, in so doing, delivers a harmonious, tasteful composition.

A notable aspect of the case is the Fairmined gold from which it is made. A few years ago, Chopard entered into an agreement with the South American NGO Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), becoming the first watch and jewellery brand to support gold mining communities to achieve Fairmined certification. The objective of Fairmined certification is to ensure ‘both miners and the environment are properly treated..’.

Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined

Beyond its ethical considerations, the 18-carat red gold case proffers much eye-appeal, delivering style with a conscience.

The movement

The Calibre L.U.C 96.09-L is an automatic movement containing a 22-carat gold micro-rotor. Only a handful of companies offer movements featuring micro-rotors, again, distinguishing this watch as special.

Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined

The Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined is a certified chronometer (COSC) and also meets the onerous requirements of the Fleurier Quality Foundation (FQF). The FQF requirements encompass precision, durability, reliability and the quality of finish.

Admiring the movement, one is left amazed at its beauty and sublime execution. The bridges are adorned with superbly defined Côtes de Genève motif with resplendent bevels. Circular grained wheels vie for attention with the polished jewel and screw sinks. Beneath the micro-rotor there is a sea of petit perlage helping to make this an exemplar of fine watchmaking and worthy of the appellation ‘haute horlogerie’.

Twin barrels collaborate to deliver an impressive power reserve of 65 hours.

Closing remarks

Luxury and fairness may seem like diametrically opposed entities. Indeed, some individuals would argue that only the fortunate can embrace the sweet indulgence of luxury. However, Fairmined gold does exhibit a socially responsible face and puts something back into the communities which mine this precious metal.  It is for this reason that Chopard should be applauded for their ethical practices.

However, to focus merely on the case material of this watch would be to do a disservice to the design and specification of this charming timepiece.

The Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined is both distinctive and handsome. Its unusual dial design is eye-catching and the movement powering this watch is a technical tour de force. Reassurance is conferred with the independent certification of both COSC and the FQF, delivering a welcome peace of mind.

Ultimately, the distinctive dial and case aesthetics may not be to everyone’s taste, however, I am personally in awe of this latest timepiece from the Swiss firm, Chopard. Moreover, whether the styling of this watch is to your liking or not, there is no escaping the technical prowess manifest in the creation of this unusual timepiece.

Technical specifications

• Model: Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined

Case: 18-carat rose gold; diameter 40mm; height 7.2mm; sapphire crystal to front and caseback; water resistant to 3 ATM (30 metres).

• Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds

• Movement: LUC 96.09-L; Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 29 jewels; power reserve 65 hours.

• Strap: Black alligator strap with 18-carat rose gold pin-buckle

• Price: £15,220 (RRP as at 17.8.2017)

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