Chopard Introduces The L.U.C 1860 Lucent Steel Watch (Live Pics)

Chopard's new L.U.C draws inspiration from the very first L.U.C watch.


For Watches & Wonders 2023, Chopard unveiled a slew of new watches. One of the most interesting is the L.U.C 1860 ref. 68860-3003. This classy number is the newest entry into Chopard’s high-end watchmaking line entitled L.U.C, named after the company’s founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard. L.U.C are some of the most impressive watches in the business and can be compared to watches from Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. In fact, Chopard’s booth was sat right next to Patek Philippe’s in Palexpo this year, although “booth” isn’t really accurate as it was more like a mansion.

The L.U.C line appeared in the 1990s as Chopard’s way of improving its watchmaking skills. Their journey began with the calibre 1.96, which is widely regarded as one of the finest mechanical wristwatch movements ever made, from its design and construction to its decoration. 

The new watch uses a very classy 36.5mm diameter case, which is made from Lucent Steel A223, Chopard’s proprietary stainless steel blend, which is made of 80% recycled steel. Now that Chopard has perfected Lucent Steel and introduced it with the Alpine Eagle collection, it’s rolling it out across its product range. The other Chopard watches made of steel that we saw this year, such as the renewed Mille Miglia collection (article coming soon), are also made of Lucent Steel A223, along with every new steel watch Chopard will introduce from now on.

Being a smaller dress piece, this watch is very light. That means it’ll blend into your wrist nicely and will slide under cuffs with ease. It’s also presented on a grey calfskin leather strap complete with a prong buckle as well, the leather straps from Chopard are always of very high quality, and the one on the new L.U.C is no different.

A big difference, though, is the new gold dial with hand-finished guilloché. It’s designed to recreate the finish of the dial on the very first L.U.C watch, and with the classic cursive Chopard logo on there, it goes a great job. Chopard has also used traditional dauphine-shaped hands rather than its own notched design hands. This adds to the class level and keeps it simple, as does the lack of any date window. The contrast between the silvery hands and markers and the galvanic-treated salmon dial means this watch is both classy to look at and easy to read, with the different colours making the hands stand out.

Powering it all is the self-winding calibre L.U.C 96.40-L. This movement is made in-house by Chopard at their Haute Horlogerie. Based on the architecture of the calibre 1.96, this movement is a COSC-certified chronometer, running at a 4Hz beat rate for a total of 65 hours thanks to the watch’s twin barrels. It’s wound either by hand or a 22k gold micro-rotor which has been set into the movement. The placement of the rotor, coupled with the configuration of the barrels, allows this movement to be extremely thin at just 3.3mm thick. It’s also received the Geneva Seal, or Poinçon de Genève, which guarantees not only accuracy but also that the high level of finishing is carried out for all movement components, even those that you’ll never see. All of this is on display through the Sapphire caseback. 

This watch is a serially-produced addition to the L.U.C collection with the only limit being the speed at which Chopard can build them. The price is $23,200.