Introducing the Chopard LUC 8HF with an Ultra-High Frequency 8 Hz or 57,600 bph Escapement

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Ultra high-frequency escapements are slowing gaining ground, though it remains to be seen how their long term reliability will be. Chopard is the latest to join the likes of De Bethune’s Resonique

The LUC 8HF utilises the COSC chronometer certified L.U.C 01.06-L movement with a balance wheel that beats at 8 Hz or 57,600 bph, twice the speed of most movements which run at 28,800 bph. This high frequency implies better stability and more precise timekeeping, at least in theory.

The LUC 8HF has some notable features. It manages a respectable 60 hour power reserve with a single barrel. And the escape wheel and pallet are in silicon. For that Chopard developed a new method of attaching steel to silicon, on which is patent is pending. This is quite a sharp departure from Chopard’s more conventional fare like the new Lunar One perpetual calendar. It is interesting to see where this will lead however.

The case is 42 mm in titanium with a porthole on the back fitted with a small magnifier that enlarges the high-frequency escapement. Though still experimental – I fear for its reliability – this will be a limited edition of 100 pieces. – SJX

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Full moon for Chopard at Baselworld 2012

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Chopard presented a pair of LUC moon phase watches at Baselworld 2012. The first is the face-lifted Lunar One perpetual calendar in a largish 43 mm rose gold case, which like all Chopard cases is cast at Chopard’s own foundry.

This is just one of the few LUC watches that have been redesigned since Guy Bove, IWC’s ex-chief designer took over at Chopard. The new Lunar One is styled similarly to the LUC Triple Certification “3C” tourbillon, and unfortunately it suffers from the same problem – a superb movement presented in a less than compelling case.

While the L.U.C 96QP movement is superbly finished (revamped Geneva Seal certified naturally), and it’s an instantaneous perpetual to boot, the new Lunar One is still visually lacking in my opinion.  The new semi-Dauphine hands are especially not to my taste. The dial is a mixture of classical and modern elements that I cannot appreciated. It’s a shame because it is an technically outstanding watch, one of the best perpetual calendar calibres available today in fact. 

Chopard LUC Lunar One
Chopard L.U.C 96QP with Geneva Seal

The other moon phase timepiece is the LUC Lunar Twin. This only displays the date, as well as the moon phase. Again not my cup of tea (same hands), though the simplicity of the watch is appealing.

The Lunar Twin is in a 40 mm white gold case and equipped with the L.U.C cal. 96.21-L.

Chopard LUC Lunar Twin

I wish Chopard would unveil more watches like the new LUC Skeletec which has a much more coherent design. – SJX

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Baselworld 2013: Chopard L.U.C Engine One H

Rolex Baselworld 2012 teaser for Sky-Dweller

Chopard Introduces the L.U.C Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

Chopard combines its wonderfully constructed chronograph movement with a perpetual calendar in the limited edition L.U.C Perpetual Chrono cased in Fairmined gold.

Hublot bling at Basel 2012

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To continue on yesterday’s theme of unashamed bling. You know the old saying that goes, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it?” Well the Hublot $5 Million Big Bang at Baselworld 2012 solves that problem nicely.

It has 1281 diamonds, including over 100 carats of baguettes and six square emerald cut stones of three carats each. That’s about 120 carats of diamonds I reckon.

According to Hublot, 12 cutters spent seven months polishing the diamonds, followed by five setters placing the stones, all done by Atelier Bunter in Geneva. The skill and effort involved in creating this is impresive.

Naming the watch after its price is a smart move, given that this sort of watch would appeal to buyers for whom price, rather than value, is paramount. Incidentally Singapore retailer The Hour Glass purchased this watch.

And for those who want more colour, Hublot offers lots of it with the Big Bang Tutti Frutti Tourbillon. It is available in various colours including green, pink and blue.

Similar but at a lower price point is the Big Bang Tutti Frutti Caviar. This watch has a ceramic case cleverly cut and faceted to resemble black diamonds – bling on a budget. Originally available in black or white ceramic with no precious stones, the Big Bang Caviar is now presented in a rainbow palette of colours, set with gems on the bezel to match.

Lastly is the Big Bang Boa Bang in a python pattern. 

– SJX

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