Chopard 2017: L.U.C Lunar One Platinum perpetual calendar watch

03/22/2017
Melvyn Teillol-Foo

Perfection Just Got Better

 

L.U.C Lunar One Mk II platinum limited edition

At Baselworld 2017 trade show in Switzerland, Chopard unveiled their new flagship model of L.U.C Lunar One in a 100-piece limited edition. Chopard’s perpetual calendar model with astronomical moon-phase display has already won the hearts of watch connoisseurs including the PuristSPro Purity Prize in 2009 [CLICK].

Yours truly, even put my money where my mouth is by acquiring the previous Mk I white gold version.

L.U.C Lunar One Mk I white gold model circa 2009

This new 2017 watch has a 950 platinum case and desirable deep blue, sunray-patterned dial. One of Chopard’s highest horological complexity is energised with a rare, precious and extremely elegant interpretation, highlighting the highly regarded Geneva Seal of approval.

First launched in 2005, the L.U.C Lunar One has become the star model in the Chopard premier L.U.C collection. Its perpetual calendar display boasts a large date and moon-phase display to showcase the full range of watchmaking skills at Chopard and pays tribute to the deepest principles of the L.U.C aesthetic. This classic gentlemanly model, governed by strident rules of symmetry and optimal legibility that results in perfect balanced appearance, is introduced this year, in platinum.

.U.C Lunar One platinum Ref. 161927-9001

PuristS watch for purist connoisseurs

Exemplifying balanced proportions and excellent elegance, the L.U.C Lunar One Mk II watch is still designed for daily wear. Unlike many other perpetual calendar wristwatches, it is perfectly legible despite multiple displays. The fine finishing and masterful, classic play on colours makes it a PuristS masterpiece. Within Chopard Manufacture, its nickname is “The Presidents’ Watch” because both former President Karl Scheufele III and his son, current Co-President Karl-Friedrich wore one as their daily watches.

.U.C Lunar One platinum Ref. 161927-9001

Its special significance in the L.U.C collection encouraged Chopard to offer the L.U.C Lunar One in this exceptional 2017 version: 100-piece limited series with a 950 platinum case. The 43 mm-diameter case has the L.U.C signature vertical satin-brushed sides accompanied by mirror-polished bezel and lugs; the contrast of texture enhances visual depth and interest. The dark, neutral grey colour of platinum is highlighted by the royal blue dial.

The L.U.C Lunar One is famed for its multi-level dials. A sun-ray pattern radiates from the L.U.Chopard logo positioned at 12 o’clock. This signature motif of the L.U.C collection naturally draws your eyes, appearing in a glow of light that stands out from the rest of the dial. The perpetual calendar indications appear on a lower level, surrounded by bevelled frames that make them stand out.  The fonts are white to ensure perfect readability while the large Roman numerals with Chopard distinctive font are mirror-polished. A deep blue sky, speckled with the actual star positions of the Northern Hemisphere, also features a moon phase display for stellar aesthetic.

Driven by Haute Horlogerie

Calibre 96.13-L movement is a gem in the crown of Chopard Manufacture.

The perpetual calendar always shows the correct date, whatever the month and all the variant lengths of February in normal and leap years.

The moon-phase display is unique as it is not merely a printed disc of different moon sizes rotating beneath the dial but a complex set of overlapping components creating the exact appearance of the moon. This orbital moon imitates the path of our real moon. Expertly adjusted by the finest Chopard watchmakers, this display boasts astronomical precision; it takes 122 years to accumulate a one-day time lag compared to the actual moon and only then, will it require adjustment.

Calibre L.U.C 96.13-L movement dial-side

The L.U.C Lunar One is rare amongst mechanical perpetual calendar watches as it is self-winding (automatic) and even rarer with a micro-rotor. The small rotor is made of solid 22-carat gold and embedded within the movement thickness to make the whole assembly slimmer. Engraved with the historical L.U.C logo and finely engraved, it shows the sophisticated finishing lavished on calibre 96.13-L.

Calibre L.U.C 96.13-L movement back view

Embellished with bevelled bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif, circular-grained baseplate, mirror-polished steel parts and a regulator with swan’s neck adjustment, the movement meets the highest quality standards of Chopard Manufacture and also displays the prestigious Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark to which Chopard has remained loyal. An independent mark of distiction and validation is still admirable when many brands are now self-validating their work.

Both aesthetic and technical certification is approved by an independent authority and governed by a law promulgated by the Canton of Geneva. It dictates the peerless criteria of excellence relating both to the case and the movement in terms of its structure, appearance and accuracy. In keeping with the decisions taken by Mr Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-president of Chopard and head of development at L.U.C, this precision is also certified by the COSC, the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute.

Conclusion:

I love my L.U.C Lunar One Mk I watch that has served well for 7 years. I am still convinced by its high status in the ranking of mechanical perpetual calendar watches…but…
I have to admit that with aging eyes, this new Mk II version of L.U.C Lunar One with larger and more legible dial, especially in this gorgeous royal blue colour, comes closest to enticing me away.  🙂

 

L.U.C Lunar One platinum Ref. 161927-9001 case back

Ref. 161927-9001 – in platinum
100-piece limited edition

 

 

Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)

Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on 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).