Stealth mode activated – whenever you can, travel in style with the new Chopard L.U.C GMT Watches
Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the releases from the Watches & Wonders 2021. Before we get to dive deep into the releases and go hands-on with as many of these as the two of us here can, here’s our preview and the Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new Chopard L.U.C GMT watches. For our other detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
My first reaction on seeing these was ‘really, dude?!’ Travel watches? In 2021? But then I realised something. These bring an air of optimism. After all, why not? I guess all of us are getting itchy feet, wanting to spread our wings, and ready to soar when international travel is allowed again. Aiding in this mythical quest that will happen someday in the future, are the new Chopard L.U.C GMT and Chopard L.U.C Time Traveler One Black watches.
That ceramised grade 5 titanium case has got to be the star here, providing these travel watches with an almost military, stealth appeal. That grey on black tone leads the way. The monochromatic charm is further complemented by the lightweight and ultra-durable case in ceramised grade 5 titanium, which also happens to mark the introduction of this material for the first time in the world of travel watches.
The new Chopard L.U.C GMT ref. 168579-3004 in ceramised grade 5 titanium with black rubber strap features the calibre L.U.C 01.10-L that comprises of 31 jewels, 262 components, beats at the frequency of 4Hz, and offers a decent 60-hour power reserve. The 31.9 x 5.95mm movement is COSC-certified with its bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève motif.
The movement is encased inside a 42mm diameter and 11.71mm thick case with 50m water-resistance and two ceramised grade 5 titanium crowns — one at 2’o clock that adjusts the date and time and one at 4’o clock that adjusts the second time zone — L.U.C logo and globe.
The vertically satin-brushed in the centre with a snailed chapter ring dark grey dial shows the functions of:
- Central display of the hours, minutes and seconds
- Semi-instantaneous date display at 6’o clock
- GMT function displayed on the outer dial disc
The dial features decent legibility that appears pretty good in the press images, and thankfully has not been left completely Plain Jane featuring:
- Hour-markers and Arabic numerals painted with Super-LumiNova®
- Circular satin-brushed GMT function disc, grey between 6.30 am and 6.30 pm with black transfers; and black between 6.30 pm and 6.30 am with white transfers
- Metallic black Dauphine-type hours and minutes hands
- Metallic black baton-type hand for the GMT function
- Metallic black baton-type central seconds hand
The new Chopard L.U.C Time Traveler One Black ref. 168574-3008 in ceramised grade 5 titanium with black rubber strap features the calibre L.U.C 01.05-L that comprises of 39 jewels, 291 components, beats at the frequency of 4Hz, and offers a decent 60-hour power reserve. The 35.3 x 6.52mm movement is COSC-certified with its bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève motif.
The movement is encased inside a 42mm diameter and 12.09mm thick case with 50m water resistance. The dial treatment is pretty similar to the GMT version and we will discuss it in more detail once we get hands-on with these dark beauties.
Ceramised grade 5 titanium is traditionally used in areas such as aerospace, automotive and medical component manufacturing, and is obtained by oxidising surface layers of titanium at extreme temperatures. The end result: a material that is hard, corrosion-resistant and biocompatible.
Cradled inside this body is the in-house L.U.C 01.10-L movement in the GMT version or the L.U.C 01.05-L in the worldtimer one. When it comes to making their own movements, Chopard has two branches: Fleurier Ebauches that makes movements for watches like Mille Miglia GTS Power Control, and Chopard Manufacture that makes movements for watches under the L.U.C banner. Both the movements belong to the latter.
L.U.C is Chopard’s higher-end collection, a sort of tour de force for the Maison if you must. It’s named after the original founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard and has since been reserved for timepieces that challenge the very best in the horology world.
I would have preferred if the GMT version was a regular production model, with an increased 100m water resistance.
“It is thanks to this thriving hub of unique skills, and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s vision of what a modern Fine Watchmaking manufacture could be, that Chopard has been able to create timepieces that are truly valued by connoisseurs – gentlemen who recognise that passion and artistry will combine to create extraordinary masterpieces”.
That’s All Folks!
The beauty of the timepieces lies in the watches as a complete package: in-house movements, COSC-certification, decent 60-hour power reserves, a wearable 42mm diameter, use of innovative materials and dark, handsome aesthetics.
I reckon these are best suited for those who like the idea of taking the path less beaten and wish to wear watches that are truly unique rather than wait-list unique.
Limited to only 250-pieces (each), both the new Chopard L.U.C GMT and Chopard L.U.C Time Traveler One Black are battle-ready for that sojourn beyond the boundaries of your home town.
To find out more about the new Chopard L.U.C GMT Watches and other Chopard watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise specified are Copyright © Chopard, All rights reserved. Make sure to check out our reviews of other Watches & Wonders 2021 releases here.