Along with time, complications include a perpetual calendar in addition to a 122 year true moon phase indicator. The overall design of the dial is logical, and about as busy as it is possible to get with no feeling overly cluttered. My sole problem with the dial is that while a number of the sub-dial hands are easy to view, others aren’t. For instance, two of the sub-dials possess a stubbier, lume-filled hands that’s easy to spot. At precisely the same time, those same dials also have a thinner, more polished hand which does not benefit from using a contrasting color. These thinner hands readily vanish given the lack of powerful comparison, and make it hard to see the day of this week and the month if you would like to read them at a glance.Legibility is not a problem with the most crucial hands, which are those for your hours and minutes. Beautifully perfect in proportion, the hour and minute hands farther benefit from using luminous substance, which contrasts nicely with the glossier tones of additional dial elements.Over the rich, metallic blue face are applied 18k white gold Roman numeral hour markers. Chopard made these elements cleverly, as they are curved in only 1 direction. That means they play with the light, but not so much as to trigger blur blur. I will, nevertheless, ask that moving ahead Chopard opt to coat the sapphire crystal over the dial with AR-coating on either side (not just the bottom as is done here).
Two years ago Chopard unveiled its first in-house, manually wound chronograph movement in the L.U.C 1963. True to the traditions of the L.U.C line – the jeweller’s range of high horology watches with admirable movements – the movement inside was impressively put together. Now it has received a major upgrade with the new L.U.C Perpetual Chrono.
The L.U.C Perpetual Chrono is powered by the calibre 3.10-L, essentially the chronograph movement from the L.U.C 1963 wristwatch with the addition of a perpetual calendar mechanism. Both complications are polar opposites – the perpetual calendar measures time in decades while the chronograph is concerned with mere hours and minutes – but together they form a complication cocktail that’s traditionally included in the repertoire of high-end watchmakers.
A sapphire case back reveals the intricacies of the chronograph movement, including the impeccably finished components. Though the movement decoration is traditional and elaborate, the chronograph is constructed in an efficient, modern manner.
|The rear of the movement (left), and the side that is hidden under the dial.
The power transmission mechanism of the chronograph, for example, is a vertical clutch that allows the chronograph to run continuously without affecting timekeeping. That contrasts with the more traditional horizontal clutch, found in most high-end chronograph movements, which creates friction that eventually slows the movement.
Precious but socially responsible
The dial is a disc of solid gold, given a radiating guilloche and coated a dark grey. It features an oversized date display at 12 o’clock, one of the key features of Chopard’s perpetual calendar mechanism, and the other calendar functions in sub-dials at three, six and nine o’clock.
A large 45 mm in diameter and some 15 mm thick, the 18k white gold case of the L.U.C Perpetual Chrono bears the Fairmined certification, meaning the raw gold was sourced from socially responsible mining cooperatives in Latin America.
The L.U.C Perpetual Chrono is a limited edition of 20 pieces, with a price of S$121,890. That’s equivalent to about US$85,000.