Let me be honest from the start: I’m not normally a fan of dress watches as having large-ish wrists I always tend to find them to small and dainty for me but this has got me. It oozes the very essence of a dress watch, 40mm or under, check. Simple dial, check. Thin case, check and finally precious metal, check. This piece from Chopard has it all, the case is 39mm and 18k gold which has class and masculinity written all over it without being ostentatious.
The curved lugs have been added to the round case and very reminiscent of early wrist watches. Chopard have made the dial from ruthenium with a beautiful sun burst pattern with a slight difference, the sunburst pattern originates from the ‘O’ in the logo instead of the usual centre, another example of Chopard’s eye for the tiniest detail. In different lights the dial changes slightly from a gorgeous bright brown to a warm grey. The gold case is replicated with the applied indexes and hands being made from the same 18k gold with a wonderful discreet shape and small sub-dial is placed at 6’0clock with a faint circle of gold round to edge of the dial. There is no date window to spoil the clean crisp aesthetics of this watch.
As with the current lines Chopard have added a exhibition case back which shows of the L.U.C 96.09L in-house movement beautifully featuring twin barrels and an off-centre micro rotor which which winds it up to it’s very impressive 65 hour power reserve. Personally I really like that some manufactures are using micro rotors so to not obscure the view to the movement.
The finishing on the movement is very impressive with circular graining on the main plate and Geneva stripes on the bridges. Every part of the movement is finished, even the parts that you cannot see. The movement is made in accordance with the Qualite Fleurier standard, the certification differs from either the Geneva seal or COSC as it certifies the whole watch and not just the movement on accuracy, finishing, assembly and reliability with the piece being tested for 24hrs as though it was on the wrist. Last but not least it makes sure that the watch is totally Swiss made with all parts manufactured in Switzerland all in all a very tight standard to adhere to.
The piece is finished off with a superb black alligator strap with the lining of brown alligator as opposed to the normal calf skin, another small detail that shows Chopard pulled out all the stops and every little detail was thought long and hard about in order to produce this stunning piece. It’s priced at 14,880EUR.
This, in my opinion, is as close to perfection as you can get for a dress watch with it’s clean crisp lines and uncluttered dial, it has just about everything you want. Coupled with that gorgeously finished movement this will definitely turn heads and I for one found the first dress watch I would definitely have in my collection. For more info, please visit chopard.com
John Galt – Contributing Editor
John Galt caught the horology bug 4 years ago on his first visit to a London watch show and has snowballed since; John has become an avid writer and blogger of timepieces of all kinds, from everyday timepieces to modern Luxury Haute Horology, his favorite brands being HYT and Greubel Forsey that push the bounders of modern watch-making. John keeps a keen interest in the UK watch scene with their many emerging brands and timepiece’s. John Galt currently contributes watch related articles for online publications in the UK and USA. You can follow John on Twitter @johng73Read his articles here.