Chopard has always been very, very Swiss. In fact, ever since Louis-Ulysse Chopard got the company ticking back in 1860, the Geneva-based brand have exceeded the level of meticulous craftsmanship, mechanical dedication and sheer innovation typical of the watchmaking nation.
And yet, for the Maison’s latest launch, Chopard has looked beyond its borders. South of Switzerland, to be precise; to the supremely stylish and impeccably tailored nation of Italy. To be even more precise, to Naples — and the bespoke sartorial brand Kiton.
Kiton is a champion of young tailoring talent and, like Chopard, is family-owned. The watch you see before you, the L.U.C XP Il Sarto Kiton, was dreamt up during a meeting between Chopard’s Karl-Friedrich Scheufele and the CEO of Kiton — and it’s quite the statement-maker.
Strictly limited to 100 ultra-thin editions, this L.U.C has an Italian eye for style. Crafted from bead blasted DLC-coated steel, the case may be 40mm in diameter — but it is a mere 7.2mm thick. This wafer-thin look affords the watch an air of simplicity; something the pared back grey and black colour scheme also helps with.
But the brass dial is where the partnership really comes together. Achieved with galvanic treatment and lacquered finishes, Chopard have adorned the dial with the Italian tailor’s signature houndstooth motif. It’s a pattern we’ve not before seen on a dial — and yet it sits confidently and naturally behind the golden Arabic numerals and fusée-type Dauphine hands.
Look closer, and there’s also the smallest hints of red on the dial — the quarter-hour indications and Kiton logo at 6 o’clock.
These red touches are also picked up in the topstitching of the strap — which is, in itself, a triumph of tailoring. Free from any chemical treatments, the soft strap is a blend of Mongolian cashmere, wool and flannel. There’s a slight hint of elastane in there to ensure flexibility and comfort, but it’s a mostly natural affair — down to the alligator leather lining.
But it’s not just the Italian-influenced style of the L.U.C XP Il Sarto Kiton that has us talking. Inside that striking black case, you’ll find Chopard’s in-house L.U.C 96.53-L calibre. It’s an impressive piece of kit; ultra-thin and equipped with twin barrels to give you a 58-hour power reserve. It’s powered by a micro-rotor made of tungsten, features movement bridges finely decorated with ‘Côtes de Genève’ and is pleasingly visible through a transparent case-back.
“L.U.C is a collected of Haute Horlogerie watches that stands out for its distinctive character,” says Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. “Our partnership with Kiton is an entirely logical move, in that over the years our two family Maisons have proven the excellence of their craftsmanship and their fertile creativity.”
They’re big words — but you need only look to the brands’ mutual creation for proof of their truth.
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