Back in 2017 we saw Chopard win the “Aiguille d’Or”, at the 17th Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix (GPHG), with their first minute repeater in the L.U.C. collection. Now this latest addition may not have a transparent dial, but they’ve taken this concept further by adding a tourbillon with a sapphire bridge, on the new “L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon”. The round 42.5 mm case is made of 18k ethical rose gold with brushed sides, while most of the other components, including the bezel have a polished finish. All the watches that Chopard describes as “ethical” are guaranteed to be sourced from cooperatives that operate in a certified fair and sustainable manner by respecting the natural habitat and paying workers a fair wage.On the flip-side is a sapphire exhibition case back that allows a view into the inner workings of the mechanical movement. It comes equipped with untreated nickel silver plates and bridges, plus a free-sprung adjustable mass balance with a Philipps terminal curve. On the thin gold rim we can see the inscription of each unique limited edition number.It comes equipped with a knurled crown embossed with the Chopard logo. This crown can wind the movement in one direction, or its striking mechanism in the other,due to a differential gear that's able to redirect the wind towards each corresponding barrel. Time is exhibited on a ruthenium gray dial with gold applied Roman numerals, while circling around the flange is an off-white 60-minute track. The inner portion of the dial has an elegant hand-guilloché rose gold decoration, which gets cut into to reveal two complications: repeater mechanism and tourbillon.At 10 o’clock we find where the Full Strike Tourbillon chimes the hours, quarters and minutes by using transparent crystal gongs. These sapphire rings are an integral part of the watch glass itself, which Chopard designed this way to enhance the audibility of these chimes, as the hammers directly strike the sapphire.Also worth noting is that during the chimes the crown is disconnected from the movement, which prevents users from time-setting, but also prevents damaging the movement. It's a thoughtful failsafe mechanism that ensures the proper operation of this complication. On the lower-half of the dial is the large tourbillon with a transparent sapphire bridge, which provides stability, while also allowing the user to enjoy a better view of this flying element. There is also a double power reserve and strikework power reserve indicator at the two o’clock spot. These small hands are made of gold, just like the central dauphine-fusée style hour/minute hands. Despite all these moving parts and three off-center counters, this dial is quite legible.
Chopard L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon
The “Chopard L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon” (Ref#: 161987-5001) is powered by the in-house hand-wound mechanical movement, caliber L.U.C 98.02-L with 61 jewels, 568 parts, 16 lines, and 28,800 vph. Power reserve can last up to 50 hours, when fully wound.Mounted to the watch is a double-sided, hand-sewn, and plant-dyed CITES-certified alligator leather strap, secured to the wrist by an ethical gold buckle.This is a limited edition of only 20 manufactured pieces. For more up to date information visit the official Chopard website here.
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