Chopard L.U.C 1963: a pristine commemorative chronometer
There is no better incarnation of the back to basics movement than this chronometer, which will appear at Baselworld armed with primordial values: precision, classicism and the Geneva Seal.
Fifty years ago, the Scheufeles, a German family of jewelers and watchmakers from Pforzheim, stepped onto Switzerland's horological stage convinced that it was the best place to continue and expand their work. And they were right. They failed in their initial attempts at acquiring and developing brands, when historical names such as Baume & Mercier turned them down. But then they put their faith in a brand originally launched by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in Sonvilier in 1860. Since then – apart from a short phase when they were seen as jet-setting VIPs rather than watchmakers and manufacturers – they have been accepted in the inner sanctum of flagship brands.
Since then, though, the family-run company has always done everything the right way and has always found the means to transform the passions of its members, be it cinema or classic cars, into commercial hits.
To celebrate their fiftieth year at the helm of the brand, and to prove their grit, the Scheufeles, led by Karl Friedrich, took a step that transcended the initials of the brand's founding father, and released this chronometer with lots of fanfare. For the record, a chronometer is not a watch with a mechanism to measure off the time (that is a chronograph), but rather a high-precision instrument that faithfully fulfills its principal role: to give time as accurately as possible. In fact, before even being certified to bear the name, it has to be subject to various tests carried out by an official certification body.
Beautiful watchmaking and the Geneva Seal
This elegant 44-millimeter timepiece is an authentic reproduction of ancient chronometers manufactured as pocket watches like those Chopard still produced in 1963. The translucent white dial evokes porcelain. Behind it is a generous caliber – the manually-wound L.U.C 63.01-L. It also features a sixty-hour power reserve developed in collaboration with the Ecole d’Horlogerie de Genève (EHG, the city's watchmaking school).
The movement was given all the decoration and finishing to justify the honor of the Geneva Seal. The technical mastery is underscored by the use of two metals, gold and steel.
In order to make sure the watch will be part and parcel of the brand's posterity, Chopard is only manufacturing two series of fifty pieces each, one in pink gold, the other in platinum. Subtracting one of each series that the family will keep for itself, we can bet the farm that these commemorative timepieces will become a coveted collector's items, even outside the growing circle of the brand’s aficionados.
A brief overview of the L.U.C. 1963
This anniversary chronometer was certified by the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) and also earned the Geneva Seal. It features dauphine hands, Roman numerals, a railway-style minute-track, small seconds at 9 o’clock and a dial that covers the timepiece entirely. Its caliber, the L.U.C 63.01-L, is a simplified version of the L.U.C 63.0-L caliber. It was developed in collaboration with the Ecole d’Horlogerie de Genève and is particularly large, at 38 millimeters. It's precisely its size that dictates the esthetics of the whole dial.
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