Chopard LUC Quattro 2018
At Baselworld 2018, Chopard unveiled a new, contemporary version of its gorgeous Chopard LUC Quattro. Featuring the Geneva Seal on its 18-carat rose gold case, this matchless mechanical watch is a shining example of high-end watchmaking.
This detailed review of the Chopard LUC Quattro 2018 includes live images, specification details and pricing.
On several occasions, I have arrived at a hotel and approached the check-in, feeling tired and grumpy. The receptionist has issued a swipe card and I have gone to my room, seemingly walking forever. Arriving at my room on the top floor, at the end of a very long corridor, I have discovered my swipe card doesn’t work. Thereafter, I have returned to reception, lugging all my bags, in order to obtain a further swipe card, hoping this time it will work. At the end of the fiasco, I invariably ponder, ‘What is wrong with a normal key? Does a swipe card really constitute progress?’
My point is that so-called progress can often frustrate a middle-aged soul. Indeed, it seems that despite an object fulfilling a need adequately, some individuals feel a compunction to meddle, all in the name of progress.
A few years ago, I wrote about the LUC Quattro. The watch proved exquisite, featuring prominent Roman numerals on the dial, a small seconds display and an beautiful hand-wound movement. Such was my profound liking for this watch that I have often thought of adding the white gold version to my own modest watch collection.
Recently, whilst attending Baselworld 2018, I heard that Chopard had updated the gorgeous LUC Quattro. To be honest, my heart sank. Why tamper with a wonderful watch that comes very close to horological perfection? With my middle-aged mind overflowing with cynicism, I was eager to see this latest watch and ascertain whether it represents progress.
The Chopard LUC Quattro 2018 is endowed with a ‘vertical satin-brushed silver-toned dial’. The straight lines on the dial provide a fascinating texture and confer a contemporary aesthetic. Immediately, the watch looks different from its forebears.
Chopard has set aside the Roman numerals that encircled the dial of the original LUC Quattro. Instead, blued Arabic numerals are positioned at 3 and 9 o’clock with tear-shaped indices occupying all the other hourly positions, save for noon. While I liked the Roman numerals of the former LUC Quattro, the dial of this new model looks cleaner and more youthful.
Blued hour and minute hands, painted with Super-LumiNova, mimic the profile of the Dauphine-fusée type hands seen on other L.U.C models. However, the hands on this latest LUC Quattro 2018 are open-worked, adding a dose of visual lightness to the overall aesthetic.
A subdial, positioned above 6 o’clock, displays the running seconds and date. Where Chopard has refined the design of this date display is by restricting the use of numerals solely to odd-numbered dates. By taking this action, the subdial appears less cluttered and easier to read.
The styling of the power-reserve indicator has subtly changed. This function now features a nine-day scale (formerly an eight-day scale) and reworked typography. A fundamental strength of the power-reserve indicator is its succinct interaction with the wearer.
This latest iteration of the Chopard LUC Quattro 2018 is offered in a sumptuous 18-carat rose gold case. The dimensions remain unchanged. The watch has a diameter of 43mm and a case thickness of 8.84mm. While the case could not be described as ‘ultra-thin’, it does prove slender and affords an impressive ergonomic fit.
Chopard has skilfully blended different case finishes. The case-band is satin-brushed, while the bezel and case-back are highly polished. All elements fuse together harmoniously.
The ‘Poinçon de Genève’ or Geneva Seal, graces the case-back. This hallmark indicates that the watch has been made to exacting standards. Indeed, this emblem can be found on some of the finest exemplars of haute horlogerie.
The new LUC Quattro is contemporary. Its use of vivid blue dial detail sets aside the classicism of the former LUC Quattro. Another area where this is evident is with the strap. The blue calfskin leather strap has a woven appearance and is lined with alligator leather, effervescing with modernity.
In the sphere of watch collecting, there are many brand names which are held in high-esteem. Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet are all noted for making some of the finest watches available today. There is another name I would add to the aforementioned list, Chopard LUC. This maison blends technical prowess with aesthetic virtue.
At the heart of the Chopard LUC Quattro 2018 is the hand-wound Calibre 98.01L. This movement is equipped with the brand’s patented Quattro technology, a system comprising of four barrels, arranged in two columns of two barrels. These barrels are series-linked, ensuring the amplitude remains relatively consistent, conferring excellent precision. Indeed, this watch is certified as a chronometer (COSC).
By storing energy within four barrels, the Calibre 98.01L (formerly L.U.C 1.98) is capable of delivering an incredible 216 hours of autonomy. However, despite harnessing much power within the four barrels, the movement remains relatively slender, measuring a mere 3.70mm.
The bridges are embellished with Côtes de Genève motif, flawless anglage and gold engraved text. Both the jewel and screw sinks are polished. The balance spring is equipped with a Philips terminal curve, aiding isochronism. The rate of the movement is adjusted using a Swan Neck Regulator. Every element of the movement is the distilled conclusion of patient endeavour.
The frequency of the balance is 28,800 Vph (4Hz) and the movement contains 39 jewels.
Chopard has granted its LUC Quattro a new face. The dial displays the same functions as its predecessor and the layout remains unchanged. However, the appearance looks crisper, younger and more contemporary. This is not to decry the styling of the previous generation LUC Quattro, it still remains a beautiful watch, however, this latest version looks quite different.
Despite changing the dial of the Chopard LUC Quattro, nothing has diminished the impressive readability synonymous with this model. The blued hour and minute hands articulate time cleanly and the vertical satin-brushed silver-toned dial exudes a sumptuous character.
The case and the Calibre 98.01L have remained unaltered. Clearly, Chopard knows when it is best to leave excellence untouched.
The Genevan brand has deftly restyled the dial of the Chopard LUC Quattro 2018 and the resultant mien is stunning. The Genevan based maison has carefully retained the successful elements of the former model while sprinkling a small number of well-judged details upon the dial. The overall aesthetic is cohesive with no hint of visual dissonance.
I still like the white gold version of the former LUC Quattro but, in all honesty, I would probably favour this latest reference in 18-carat rose gold. Perhaps some companies understand progress better than others. If only Chopard made swipe cards!
- Model: Chopard LUC Quattro 2018
- Case: 18-carat rose gold; diameter 43mm; height 8.84mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back; water resistant to 5 atm (50 metres)
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; pointer date; power-reserve indicator
- Movement: L.U.C 98.01-L; hand-wound movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 39 jewels; power reserve approximately 216 hours
- Strap: Blue calfskin leather with brown alligator leather lining
- Price: £20,800.00 (RRP as at 30.4.2018)