11 October 2016, London U.K.
Chopard chose London — Keeper of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC) — for the premiere of the first worldtime watch in the L.U.C collection. The L.U.C Time Traveler One will be indispensible for the globe-trotting lifestyle. It allows the urbane traveller to track the time in every zone around the globe.
Despite the ubiquitous ‘smartphone’ that also displays local time everywhere, the L.U.C Time Traveler One does it with that added panache and elegance. For the distinguished gentleman traveller, this is no mere tool but a refined statement of his savoir-faire in any situation.
Chopard launched its first worldtime watch: the L.U.C Time Traveler One in the 20th anniversary year of Chopard Manufacture (2016), which is very apt because of the illustrious journey that they have made in timekeeping. You know how disorientated one can get when travelling long-haul through multiple time zones.
This is even more complicated when you travel back and forth across the International Date Line or zig-zag in both easterly and westerly directions e.g. Tokyo – New York – Paris – London – Tokyo via Vancouver. You don’t want to call the wife when it is 3 a.m. at home — trust me — you’ll only do that once! Even worse, is calling the mistress at that time 🙂
At any given moment, a single glance at this watch will reveal the time in every time zone around the world. It is available in three versions offering variety with regard to the dial colour, appearance and preciousness. Interprete that as three levels of Luxe: Steel, Rose Gold and Platinum. All of them meet the high standards of the L.U.C collection by Chopard: Excellent micro-engineering and finishing, imbued with refined aura intended for men of good taste in general – and particularly for modern-day nomads.
It is not the cold hum of electrons zipping across microcircuitry but the finesse of 262 hand-crafted parts, assembled by master artisans, that enmesh within a beating heart of this mechanical wonder that is the L.U.C Time Traveler One.
The L.U.C Time Traveler One operates in concentric layers. A discreet central arrow hand points to the date, while a surrounding “railway-track” circle indicates the normal hours and minutes of the local time zone – swept over by two hands that are adjusted via a crown positioned at 2 o’clock.
Moving a step outwards, a large 24-hour graduated ring operates in coordination with the outermost disc printed with 24 reference cities representing the 24 main time zones. Once they are synchronised with the local time zone via the 4 o’clock crown, no further adjustment is required. The universal symbol of travel is denoted by the globe motif on the 4 o’clock crown while the 2 o’clock crown bears the L.U.C logo.
You simply read off the time around the globe with the same minutes hand as local time. The hours in each time zone are indicated by the numeral on the 24-hour ring next to the reference city.
In the photo above, I have travelled from my UK Home to Geneva on the 15th of the month. It is 10:08 a.m. in Geneva Local time as shown by the two dauphin-shaped hands. As I have synchronised the local time after arriving at Geneva airport, all the other time zones are correct. Thus, it is 09:08 back home in London. It is 18:08 in Tokyo and my friends in New York are still asleep at 04:08 (dark blue hours of the night on the 24-Hour ring).
The Universal Time mechanism
If you only wanted to know the simple user-friendly instructions, please do not read this section.
The above is all you need to use the watch. Technophiles…please read on.
A complex yet user-friendly instrument, the L.U.C Time Traveler One is based on a new movement or calibre entirely developed, produced and finished in the Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier, Switzerland. Calibre 01.05-L is only 6.52 mm thin and the automatic-winding movement has a 60-hour power reserve. This allows the L.U.C Time Traveler One to continue running reliably on Monday morning even after spending a relaxing leisure weekend on the bedside table.
Calibre 01.05-L is finished in accordance with the criteria governing the most prestigious watchmaking certifications, including decorations such as chamfering and Côtes de Genève applied to the various components. This meticulous finishing work may be viewed through a transparent case-back revealing the movement.
Three Levels of Luxe
The stainless steel L.U.C Time Traveler One has a sunburst black dial with contrasting orange accents. The worldtime ring stands out clearly, with a slate grey half indicating the night-time hours, and a silver-toned half showing daytime.
Entry Price of Steel Luxury: £10,040
The 18-carat rose gold version has an entirely silver-toned dial, apart from the night-time hours that are shown in deep blue on the 24-hour disc.
Price of Gold Luxury: £17, 650
The most precious interpretation, the platinum L.U.C Time Traveler One has a naturally cool grey hue to the case, that inspired the subtle blue-tinged grey dial colour, while its worldtime ring is half silver-toned to mark the daytime hours.
Ultimate Price of Platinum Luxury: £27,610
All three versions measure 42mm in diameter, an ideal size for the wrist and for legibility of the indications. Despite the complex mechansim, the case is only 12.09mm thin that allows it to be worn discreetly under a shirt sleeve. The alternating satin-brushed and polished finishes distinguishes it from lesser products.
Like all L.U.C watches with a seconds hand, the L.U.C Time Traveler One is chronometer-certified by the C.O.S.C. This has been demanded by Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele for independent certification of chronometric precision and it is one of the fundamental principles of L.U.C watches ever since the creation of Chopard Manufacture in 1996.
I first saw and handled prototypes of L.U.C Traveller’s watches over a year ago at a private meeting with Mr Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. He casually handed me a tray of watches and asked me what I thought of the new Chopard watches planned for the next few years.
I immediately homed in on, the then, ‘nameless’ travel watches. Even though they were prototypes, I could tell from the user-friendly function and proportions that this was going to be a desirable watch, especially as there were three levels of luxury proposed, by case material.
As this report is published, I am inspecting the final finished watches in London, and taking lots of photographs. I’ll come back with an updated report in future.
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He was also CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelog ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).