BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN
My favourite thing about covering watch shows like Watches & Wonders Geneva is seeing all the crazy things that I know I’ll never be able to afford but still appreciate anyway. Although the pre-owned Rolex market is like that at the moment, it’s not in the same league as the two new L.U.C watches coming in from the folks at Chopard. It was back in 2016 that Chopard introduced the L.U.C Full Strike, their first minute repeater, we didn’t get to see one on our factory tour, though. The Full Strike won the Aiguille d’Or at the GPHG that year for its design which used the sapphire crystal over the dial as an amplifier for the minute repeater, as well as the quality of the execution.
L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon
For 2022, two new L.U.C Full Strike watches are coming to town, and they’re both firsts for the brand. First up is the L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon, which is the very first tourbillon minute repeater for the brand. I covered another tourbillon repeater from Jaeger-LeCoultre recently, and while that had artistic impressions first and science second, you get the sense that the L.U.C is the other way around. The dial allows you to see the hammers striking the sapphire crystal gongs, and there’s a helpful power reserve for the minute repeater there too. There’s also the tourbillon at 6 O’clock, which is sat in the three-spoke cage that L.U.C tourbillons always seem to have. The rest of the grey dial is made up of wavy guilloché. The calibre L.U.C 08.02-L meets the requirements of the Geneva Seal and has bridges made of German silver, which will patinate nicely over time. Presented in a 42.5mm case made of 18k Fairmined rose gold, this watch is limited to 20 examples.
L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire
The second watch is more intriguing despite being less technically complex in terms of the movement. As far as I am aware, this is the very first time that Chopard has made a watch with a sapphire crystal case. Also worth noting are the sapphire crystal disks on the dial, which have the markers printed on them, no idea how legible this will be in real life, but my guess is not very. Still, it does offer a striking view of the calibre L.U.C 08.01-L which holds five patents. I love that the minute repeater pusher is still integrated into the crown for this watch despite the sapphire crystal case. I’m not sure whether the case also becomes a resonator like the crystal, but I would think the minute repeater comes through really clearly with this watch. It also measures 42.5mm across but is limited to 5 pieces. Visit Chopard here.