Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Fine Barrel: Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru

A New Tonneau Chronometer from Chopard LUC, a montre de forme with a sensual barrel shaped movement.

Sep 21, 2017 | By Jonathan Ho

Even though there’s a preponderance of round watches in the industry, the belief that form watches only have a niche appeal is fundamentally unsound. That Chopard is enriching its range with a form chronometer in the “form” (pardon the pun) of a barrel shaped L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru in 18kt rose gold is case in point (sorry, again) that tonneau shape watches aren’t going anywhere (if they were, why make them?).

L.U.C. watches, named for the founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard, is emblematic of the finest watchmaking skills cultivated by the Chopard manufacture. The ultra-slim, curvaceous L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru is exceedingly elegant  and the Fleurier manufacture’s only tonneau or barrel shape watch wound by an automatic movement.

Fine Barrel (Watch): Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru

‘Grand Cru’ is a term more commonly associated with the classification and certification of wine, to wit – Grand Cru wine. While aged wood barrels inspiring a barrel watch are readily apparent – what’s not immediately understood is that Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-president of Chopard is a distinguished epicurean and passionate lover of not just fine watches but also great wines. Most of us recognise Mr. Scheufele as one of the owners of Chopard but he’s also proprietor of another business venture – Le Caveau de Bacchus, a little network of three wine shops in Geneva, Lausanne and Gstaad (which has since been joined by a Bergerac wine estate) – then the synergy of barrel shaped Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru and its wine barrel muse no longer seems perfunctory but symbolic of the passions of a lifelong fan who has found expression for his two loves in one, exemplary, hallmark “Poinçon de Genève” certified L.U.C. timepiece. Yes, the L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru was conceptualised by the Co-President himself as a way of showing off a great vintage be it wino or heritage pocket watches of the Fleurier manufacture. The latter, represented by the emotionally charged pure white porcelain dial bearing black Roman numerals.

Aesthetically, the gleaming ivory countenance of the dial, dressed with minute track following the central part of the dial and balanced with small seconds at 6 o’clock and topped with gilded Dauphine hands produce sophisticated equilibrium.

It must be said that the Chopard Heritage Grand Cru is not the first L.U.C. tonneau watch, the first was released in 2001, but it is the first tonneau L.U.C.  equipped with an automatic calibre with micro-rotor. The automatic Chopard in-house caliber L.U.C 97.01-L is super-slim 3.3mm thin featuring  a 22kt gold micro-rotor with a power reserve of 65 hours courtesy of Chopard’s patented Twin Technology (two barrels) system.

Bearing the Geneva Seal, the L.U.C 97.01-L with well chamfered Swan neck regulator, finely tuned balance spring with Philips curve. and bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève is everything we’ve come to associate a watch affixed with the respected Poinçon and chronometer-certified to boot.

 

Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru price and specifications

Case: 38.5mm 18kt rose gold, water resistant to 30 metres
Dial: White porcelain-type dial with black and red transfers, Roman numerals and subsidiary seconds
Movement: Automatic manufacture calibre L.U.C 97.01-L with a power reserve of 65 hours
Strap: hand-sewn brown alligator leather strap with alligator leather lining and an 18kt rose gold pin buckle.
Price: S$31,980

 
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