The Superlative L.U.C Watches Of Chopard

The Superlative L.U.C Watches Of Chopard

Chopard is a major luxury group whose main activities center around high-end jewelry and watchmaking. However, Chopard also owns a luxury hotels and its co-president owns several fine wine shops.

Owned by the Scheufele family, who bought the company from its Swiss founders in 1963, Chopard has worked for years on verticalizing its manufacturing, in particular its luxurious timepieces. Spearheaded by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, who runs the company as co-president with his sister Caroline, the high-end watchmaking collection is called L.U.C in honor of Louis-Ulysse Chopard, who founded the watch company in 1860.

The L.U.C models are the most complex, exclusive, and refined that Chopard makes. Created in 1996, the dedicated factory called Chopard Manufacture is based in the Swiss Jura and currently produces about 5,000 movements, all decorated and finished in a traditional way. In 2000, Chopard introduced the Quattro, which offers a superior power reserve thanks to serially operating twin spring barrels. At that point in time, long power reserves were an exception, and the Quattro system proved the quality of Chopard’s engagement as regards its L.U.C unit.

The L.U.C watches are also the most tested and certified of the brand. During their conception phase, the movements were conceived and manufactured so that they could be stamped with the Geneva Seal.

Speaking of technology, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele insists on delivering solid and reliable watches. For this reason, Chopard is part of the Fondation Qualité Fleurier, which has the most demanding testing protocol covering both aesthetic and technical aspects that exists today. The best incarnation of this spirit can be found in the Chopard L.U.C Triple Certification Tourbillon launched in 2011. This watch is the only chronometer to have passed all three certification processes of the Qualité Fleurier – each of which involves the risk of breaking parts or damaging the mechanism. Thus, you can be assured of their superior quality.

The L.U.C collection is divided into two main lines: the Heritage and the Tech. And speaking of the technological side of the unit, it is interesting to know that it developed in-house an escapement utilizing silicon components. Beating at 8hz, or 57,600 beats per hour, which is a rather high frequency; it is in addition compatible with almost all of the L.U.C calibers. At the moment, it is integrated in the L.U.C 8HF model launched at Baselworld 2012.

Most recently, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele unveiled the first Ferdinand Berthoud wristwatch in history. Ferdinand Berthoud was one of the major chronometers makers of the eighteenth century along with John Harrison and Abraham-Louis Breguet. His new brand’s goal is to create contemporary watches paying tribute to Berthoud’s work in hsi quest for chronometry. The movement of the new FB1 comprises 1,120 components and is C.O.S.C-certified, a rarity for such complex caliber.

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PRIMETIME – Watchmaking in the News – October 2015

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