At 6 o’clock, you may see the moments sub-dial using a hand that’s much like the minutes and hours hand in that it’s also gilded, but it is not done in the same style. I love Chopard’s own-designed and proprietary font and red color used to indicate that the time increments at 15, 45, and 60 and even though I wasn’t sure about the markers in between the digits at first, it is something I really like now. Also, a noteworthy detail is that these markers — equally the numerals and the small points between them — are so small, despite my great near-sight I could barely take them out.Additionally, as is normal for a lot of L.U.C watches, there is the date window positioned at the base of the moments sub-dial, blended into the second track to minimize its influence on the dial aesthetics. — that is always the matter, but I can love Chopard sticking to its thought of adding this extra bit of performance. Again, to be taken into account is, in addition, the fact that this is one of the smaller date dividers — think about that the sub-40mm size of the watch and the proportionally yet smaller date window, and also the distraction-factor is in fact minimized.The exhibition case-back permits a view to the Geneva Seal accepted 97.01-L Calibre movement which, like the 97.03-L found from the L.U.C Tonneau view, is a tonneau-shaped automated movement. A 22ct gold micro-rotor compels the two stacked barrels constructed using Chopard’s Twin technology, providing a total of 65 hours of power reserve at a frequency of 4Hz. The movement steps at 28.15mm with 27.60mm in only 3.3mm thick and is made of 197 parts, and contains 29 jewels.Chopard calls the L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru “the sole tonneau shape watch wound by an automated motion” — though the Clé de Cartier, many Richard Mille bits, and even some Franck Muller models spring to mind as additional watches which fit this description.The Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire is indeed a tonneau shaped watch with a tonneau shaped movement, but one that’s a manual wind, but the RM 67-01 (hands-on here) is very much a tonneau-shaped movement at a tonneau watch.
A large and unattractive jewelled Chopard watch made for Muammar Gaddafi will soon go under the hammer at Antiquorum’s upcoming Hong Kong auction.
Antiquorum auctioneers continues to build its rogue’s gallery of timepieces: having sold a Patek Philippe Nautilus once owned by a yakuza boss earlier in 2015, the auction house will soon sell a possibly unique (thank goodness) Chopard chronograph made for Muammar Gaddafi. Created for the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Libyan revolution, and a watch Chopard surely regrets, it’s in white gold and unappealingly set with diamonds and emeralds. In the ostentatiously gauche style of the late Libyan leader, the dial is dark green with a silkscreened image of Gaddafi along with independence leaders of other nations. This gaudy chronograph is just one of a several hundred watches Chopard created for the Libyan revolution anniversary celebrations in 2009.
A controversial move at the time, Chopard’s creations for the anniversary event included a series of L.U.C XP watches featuring a stylised map of Africa on the dial (one of which Sotheby’s sold in 2013). And several news reports at the time also note that guests at the celebrations were each given a Chopard wristwatch with an African map on the dial, with Libya marked by a single diamond. Chopard, however, is not the only watchmaker to have made wristwatches for unsavoury leaders, though it’s probably the most recent. Timepieces made by Patek Philippe featuring the emblem of Saddam’s Iraq continue to pop up regularly at watch auctions. But such happenings are increasingly rare, especially for established brands, given their awareness of the resulting bad press. The Gaddafi chronograph is estimated at US$32,000 to US$62,000, and will be available at Antiquorum’s October 25 auction in Hong Kong.