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Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback

The Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback has received a makeover for 2019. It’s neater, even more attractive and is now offered with a choice of two new cases, Titalyt® or stainless steel. Angus Davies visits the brand’s new boutique on London’s prestigious Bond Street to view these new references up close.

Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback

Earlier this year, Chopard, the luxury Genevan marque, inaugurated a new boutique on London’s prestigious Bond Street. The imposing building plays host to haute joaillerie creations, exquisite items, such as writing instruments and handbags, and, most pertinently, sublime timepieces.

While the uppermost floor exudes femininity and glamour, incorporating the aesthetic influences of the Maison’s Co-President, Caroline Scheufele, the lower-ground floor proves very different. This area of the boutique is a gentleman’s enclave.

Within this calm haven, bedecked in muted and tasteful tones, is a breathtaking array of Chopard’s watches. Indeed, the assemblage of timepieces ranges from the brand’s most egalitarian offerings to über complicated masterpieces with commensurate six-figure pricing, all presented against a backdrop of motorsport memorabilia.

After receiving a press release about the star-studded opening of the boutique, I vowed that I would visit 12-13 New Bond Street on my next sojourn in London. Recently, the time to visit the brand’s boutique came to pass. Dodging puddles, I sought temporary refuge from the grey skies and and entered the Chopard boutique. Immediately, on crossing the threshold of the store, my heart slowed to a relaxed tempo as I was greeted with a friendly smile. I had arrived in watch heaven.

Perusing the vast array of watches in the aforementioned masculine domain of the lower-ground floor, I happened upon an achingly gorgeous chronograph, the LUC Chrono One Flyback.

The Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback

The Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback, launched at Baselworld 2019, is offered in two versions, one featuring a Titalyt® case and another housed in stainless steel. Both models are limited editions, restricted to 100 and 250 examples, respectively. While the Titalyt® model is highly unusual, I personally favour the stainless steel option.

In recent years, the Chrono One Flyback has only been available in precious metals. Despite these two new models proving cheaper, they feel every bit as luxurious. Indeed, I can already reveal I actually prefer the steel model to its gold encased antecedents.

The dial

The dial of the Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback is smartly attired in slate-grey and incorporates a ‘hand-crafted vertical satin-brushed finish’. While the appearance of this new reference has been enriched with a dose of modernity, it retains the elegance synonymous with those three coveted letters, L.U.C.

Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback

Disciples of the L.U.C brand will note the Dauphine fusée-type hour and minute hands and immediately feel at ease. Although this latest watch evinces a fresh look, Chopard has not abandoned some of the cherished design language seen on its existing products. For example, faceted and tapered indexes denoting the hours.

A casual glance may fool the onlooker to believe this model features a bi-compax layout, however, on closer inspection a self-effacing small seconds display comes into view. Its design is discreet but legible.

Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback

Image – note protective film affixed to bezel

Positioned adjacent the crown, a 30-minute chronograph register makes its presence known. Its broad shoulders and puffed-out chest facilitate ease of read-off. The centre of the register shares the same vertical satin-brushed finish as the main dialscape, while a grained, circular track frames the subdial. A 12-hour chronograph register is located opposite and shares the same design language.

Nestling between the indexes at 4 and 5 o’clock, a large aperture announces the date with notable clarity. A chapter ring frames the dial and proves especially useful when reading off elapsed seconds.

The case

The former version of Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback measured 44mm in diameter. With the advent of this new model, the case diameter has shrunk a couple of millimetres and exhibits a slightly thinner waistline. By fasting, this new version will suit a greater number of wrists. Personally, I felt the watch looked splendid on my hirsute arm. 

Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback

Image – note protective film affixed to bezel

The bezel is highly polished and gleams beautifully. Likewise, the upper surface of the lugs and the bevelled edges of the rectangular pushers also shine resplendently. Once again, Chopard has respected the L.U.C design codes which have attracted legions of fans over the years by embellishing the flanks of the case with a seemly dose of vertical satin-brush.

Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback

An exhibition case back affords views of the self-winding movement within. On the former model, the movement appeared to sit within an arena with the case sloping downwards and narrowing to accommodate the movement. By reducing the diameter of the case, the arena-like appearance has disappeared. In some ways I miss the idiosyncratic sloping internal walls, however, from a purist’s perspective, the movement better suits the reduced case diameter.

Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback

The Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback is supplied on a slate grey alligator leather strap, lined with contrasting brown alligator leather and paired with a polished stainless steel folding clasp.

The movement

While the Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback is new, the Genevan company has not abandoned the existing L.U.C Calibre 03.03-L. This is not a criticism, quite the contrary, it is wonderful news. This calibre ‘developed, crafted and assembled within Chopard Manufacture’ is a peach of a movement and will lead many connoisseurs to nod in appreciation.

Beyond the open-worked oscillating weight, a sea of Geneva waves adorns the bridges. Gleaming bevels abound and the jewel and screw sinks are polished to perfection. The L.U.C Calibre 03.03-L is a fully integrated movement featuring a column-wheel.

This is a movement which will sate the horological foibles of the most discerning clientele. The specification includes a variable-inertia balance. The masselottes are positioned on the inside of the balance wheel’s rim, mitigating air turbulence, hence aiding precision.

The movement also features a sliding stud cap, providing a watchmaker with a user-friendly means of correcting any beat error. It may sound like a small detail but it demonstrates the brand’s horological rectitude.

Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback

The L.U.C Calibre 03.03-L has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and incorporates 359 components of which 45 are jewels. The power reserve is 60 hours.

Closing remarks

The Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback is a magnificent watch. On one hand, the dial is pure, sidesteps the superfluous and efficiently converses with the wearer. However, such proficiency does not come at the expense of style. The dial’s slate-grey vertical satin-brushed finish exudes grace and refinement. This watch does not talk loudly in a restaurant, it converses with its wearer in seemly tone.

Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback

While Chopard has suffused the dial and case with a becoming quotient of modernity, the Maison has not abandoned the very design codes which have engendered loyalty among the cognoscenti. By pairing highly polished surfaces with vertical satin-brush, Chopard has conceived a tasteful exterior which should confer lasting eye-appeal.

Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback

Image – note protective film affixed to bezel

At the heart of the Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback is a fabulous movement, the L.U.C Calibre 03.03-L. It brims with technical virtue and is beautifully finished. Moreover, by reducing the case diameter slightly, the movement seems better suited to its new home.

Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback

Chopard’s L.U.C marque is unlikely to appeal to the nouveau riche, craving celebrity status and an evergrowing Instagram following. This is a brand for those individuals of discerning temperament who can appreciate excellence in their midst. The Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback perpetuates this reputation and should appeal to those gentlemen who recognise style. Indeed, these are the same individuals who will appreciate the masculine surroundings of the lower-ground floor of the brand’s London boutique, who choose to relax in a leather arm chair with a glass of malt and selection of fine watches to hand.

Further reading

https://www.chopard.com

Technical specifications

  • Model: Chopard LUC Chrono One Flyback
  • Reference: 168596-3001
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 42mm; height 13.42mm; water resistance 10ATM (100 metres) sapphire crystals to the front and back
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; chronograph
  • Movement: L.U.C Calibre 03.03-L; automatic movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); contains 45 jewels; power reserve 60 hours; 359 components
  • Strap: Slate grey alligator leather strap, lined with contrasting brown alligator leather and paired with a polished stainless steel folding clasp.
  • Price: £23,500 (RRP as at 8.10.2019)
  • Limited Edition: 250 pieces

 

  • Reference: 168596-3002 (Titalyt® case)
  • Price: £25,400 (RRP as at 8.10.2019)
  • Limited Edition: 100 pieces

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