You know the drill by now: A good watch is worth more than the sum of its mechanical parts. A good watch is a sly nod, a knowing wink to your refined tastes and savoir faire. Buckle the right strap around your wrist and you’ll be flying; opt for the wrong one and you’ll be the target of sympathetic grimaces from the bus stop to the boardroom.
This latest offering from Chopard, the new spin on the L.U.C Perpetual Twin, is a good watch. That goes without saying. The old L.U.C Perpetual Twin, launched back in 2016 at Baselworld — remember Baselworld? Wasn’t that nice? — became a hit because of the maison’s luxurious attention to detail. Compared to similar-priced watches, the finishing and detailing on that bold L.U.C was second-to-none. And the same can, unsurprisingly, be said for its successor.
These two new models have a leg-up already on the original Perpetual Twin. Where that watch worked wonders with its combination of steel and silver, these two have employed precious metals and alternative colourways to raise the bar even higher. One keeps the steel, but ups the aesthetic ante with a blue dial, and the other pulls out all the stops — giving us an 18k rose gold case and ruthenium grey dial.
They’re undoubtedly handsome things. But it’s the little touches that make these timepieces so impressive. Those colour-matching alligator leather straps, for one, are a nice touch. As are the faceted rhodium-plated or gilded hour-markers, a refinement of the Roman numerals the previous model gave us. Even that almost imperceptible leap year ring, sitting on the edge of the month subdial, is a treat when noticed. Nothing here has been overlooked.
And that goes double for what’s ticking away inside the case. The watchmaker may have seen fit to tweak the appearance of the new Perpetual Twin, but its beating mechanical heart remains the same. In fact, Chopard is so proud of the L.U.C 96.22-L calibre that it’s calling it “a work of true technical and artisanal mastery”. Big words.
But then it’s a big movement. Not in size, of course. Intricate components including a 22k gold micro-motor afford the entire thing a slim profile of just 6mm. But, in watchmaking circles, this movement is a big deal — being the only perpetual calendar you’ll find in a stainless steel timepiece anywhere on the market. Pair that with Chopard’s dual-barreled Twin Technology and a 65-hour power reserve, and you’ve got a winning watch on your hands (or should that be wrists?)
But the most noticeable feature of this model — and the thing that’ll earn you that gentlemanly respect we mentioned above — is the design of the dial. Assembled at the company’s Geneva and Fleurier workshops, it hosts a large date display at 12 o’clock, with three sub-dials also neatly slotted in; two showing the perpetual calendar day, month and leap year, and a third indicating small seconds at 6 o’clock.
It should look busy, but it looks calm, delicate and purposeful. Those new hour-markers undoubtedly may have calmed things down, but the dial still has obvious callbacks to the previous model. In fact, the whole thing is undeniably ‘Chopard’. It’s practical, personal and has just a hint of flair — which is just what a gentleman’s watch should be.
Want more timekeeping gems? Last week we buckled up Vacheron Constantin’s Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955…
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