BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN
Unlike other well-established watchmakers, Chopard does not have a huge library of history books to look through when it needs some inspiration for a new model, at least not for their L.U.C watches. L.U.C is Chopard’s high-end line of watches, going above and beyond the Alpine Eagle and Mille Miglia in terms of complexity, metal combinations and price tag. Despite L.U.C only being around for 25 years now, they have an exciting and extremely varied catalogue of watches to look through.
For 2022, the focus is most definitely on striking watches. We’re starting with this: the L.U.C Strike One. First released to mark the tenth anniversary of the L.U.C division, the Strike One is an idiosyncratic-yet-charming repeating dress watch. It’s not a full-on minute repeater, but back at its release, it was a hint of the minute repeaters to come.
Inside it is the calibre L.U.C 96-32-L. It’s automatically wound and in-house made (of course), it has a 65-hour power reserve and is only 5.6mm thick yet it incorporates two mainspring barrels and the repeating system. Just like on their Full Strike, the Strike One features a crystal gong that is connected directly to the crystal covering the dial, using it as an amplifier for the repeater. We’ve yet to see it in action.
Chopard’s Strike One is not a traditional minute repeater but rather what’s called a sonnerie au passage, a sonnerie that strikes the passage of time. In this case, it strikes on the hour, much like A.Lange & Söhne’s Zeitwerk Striking Time also chimes the hours (that watch also strikes the quarter-hours, but we’ll let Chopard off on this one).
The hammer for the striking mechanism is found on the dial rather than the underside. It’s sat in a cutout of a solid gold dial which has been given a galvanic treatment to turn it grey and a honeycomb guilloché pattern. This is Chopard’s current theme for its dress watches and is likely to remain so for the future. The watch case is made of 18k Fairmined rose gold and measures 40mm x 9.86mm. It’s limited in production to just 25 units and a price has yet to be confirmed. Visit Chopard here.