Hands-On with the Chopard L.U.C Time Traveler One UAE Edition

Twenty pieces fitted with a striking metallic sand dial.

Chopard’s latest L.U.C wristwatch is something of a surprise. L.U.C watches, being the top of the line, serious horology offered by Chopard, are typically conservatively styled. The L.U.C Time Traveler One ‘Time of the Desert’, on the other hand, is strikingly coloured.

Only just concluded, Dubai Watch Week was five days of exhibitions, talks and seminars, but also a platform for several watchmakers to introduce special editions unique to the Gulf, like the TAG Heuer Autavia UAE edition we covered last week.

A variation of the world time watch Chopard announced last year, the L.U.C Time Traveler One ‘Time of the Desert’ was another unveiled at the event, which was scheduled to take place just after the Chopard Classic Rally Dubai; the watchmaker’s co-president Karl Friedrich Scheufele is a classic car enthusiast.

Chopard Time Traveler One UAE Edition 4

While, the ordinary Time Traveler One in steel is fitted with a sporty black and orange dial, the UAE edition has a striking dial. While salmon- and copper-tone dials are fashionable right now, the dial on the Time Traveler One is neither colour, being instead a metallic sand.

While the dial colour is almost uniform, the dial surface has different textures, giving the colour tones that vary with the light. The centre is radially bused, while the chapter ring for the hour and minute markers has a stamped concentric guilloche.

Chopard Time Traveler One UAE Edition 2

All of the 24 cities on the world time disc are the conventional placeholders for each time zone, save for Gulf Time Zone, or GMT+4, which is represented by Dubai written in Arabic script – “دبي‎”.

Chopard Time Traveler One UAE Edition 3

The rest of the watch is identical to the stock Time Traveler One. The steel case is 42mm in diameter, which is largish though it feels smaller than it actually is. But at 12.09mm high with brushed, vertical sides, the thickness of the case is apparent.

The case has two crowns: one at two o’clock for local time and the other crown for world time. Each time zone is via the 24-hour ring and adjacent cities disc, and on the innermost ring sits the date indicator.

It’s powered by the in-house cal. L.U.C 01.05-L, an automatic with a 60-hour power reserve.

The movement as seen in the stock Time Traveler One

Price and availability 

Limited to just 20 watches, the L.U.C Time Traveler One ‘Time of the Desert’ (ref. 168574-3005) is priced at AED52,900, equivalent to US$14,400. It’s available from Seddiqi & Sons in Dubai.


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Introducing the Molnar Fabry Time Machine Regulator 911

Powered by a Unitas that's been skeletonised and decorated by hand.

Slovakian watchmaking duo Molnar Fabry have just taken the covers off the Time Machine Regulator 911, a custom watch commissioned by the owner of the classic Porsche. Like many of their other watches – including last year’s White Lotus Split-Seconds – the Time Machine Regulator 911 is based on an existing movement, in this case a Unitas 6498, but elaborately modified and finished.

Founded by Michal Molnar and Igor Fabry, both of whom trained as jewellers, Molnar Fabry emphasises fine metalworking and finishing as a consequence of its founders’ backgrounds.

On the Time Machine Regulator 911 the time display has been converted into a regulator-style display, with the hours in a sub-dial at 10 o’clock, while the minute hand remains in the centre. Both sub-dials for the hours and seconds are made from pure silver.

Molnar Fabry Time Machine Regulator 911 3

Molnar Fabry Time Machine Regulator 911 2

The movement has been skeletonised by hand, front and back, with the bridges and main plate cut down to leave just straight, geometric forms. The open-working is thorough and detailed, with even the barrel, keyless works and gears having been skeletonised or punched to suit the new aesthetic.

Molnar Fabry Time Machine Regulator 911 5

Molnar Fabry Time Machine Regulator 911 1

Most of the components are either rhodium- or ruthenium-plated – even the balance wheel is ruthenium coated – while the screws have been blued. In fact, the only component still recognisable as stock from the original Unitas is the regulator index.

The case is titanium, 44mm in diameter, and made in-house by Molnar Fabry.

Molnar Fabry Time Machine Regulator 911 6

Price and availability 

The Time Machine Regulator 911 was a one-off creation priced at €14,900, though similar watches are available upon request.


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Pre-SIHH 2018: Cartier Introduces a Pair of Mysterious High Complications

Hands and gears floating in space.

While Cartier has recently placed its bets on more affordable classics like the steel Tank Americaine, the jeweller is still growing its Fine Watchmaking collection, albeit more selectively. In the lead-up to SIHH 2018, Cartier has unveiled two “mysterious” complicated watches: the Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon and the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day & Night.

Both draw inspiration from its early 20th century mystery clocks produced in collaboration with Maurice Couët, which had hands mounted on sapphire discs, leaving them seemingly disconnected from the clock movement. And like much of the rest of Cartier’s complicated watches, the movements are the brainchild of Carole Forestier, the talented head of development at Cartier’s Swiss watch headquarters.

The Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon Watch is the open-worked version of a watch unveiled in 2013, which has a double axis tourbillon rotating in an oculus without any visible support.

Lens Position: 4015

Just like Cartier’s original mystery clocks, the Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon operates on same principle of a sapphire disc fitted with a toothed rim that meshes with the gears of the movement, hidden within the chapter ring of the dial. The tourbillon cage itself makes one revolution per minute while the sapphire disc, on which the cage is mounted, rotates once every five minutes – hence the double axes.

It’s powered by Cartier’s in-house cal. 9465MC, a hand-wound calibre with a 52-hour power reserve. The movement’s bridges have been skeletonised to form the shape of outsized Roman numerals, a signature design flourish of Cartier’s high-end timepieces, offering a glimpse of its mysterious gear work and amplifying the airiness of the whole watch.

Limited to 30 pieces, the Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon has a platinum case that measures 45mm and bears the Poinçon de Genève hallmark. It will be priced at US$216,000.

Less complicated but more whimsical, the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day & Night combines a “mysterious” movement with a day and night indicator.


With the dial split in two halves horizontally – hours above and minutes below – it features a radial guilloche centre surrounded by a brown satin sunburst chapter ring.

Inspired by Cartier’s comet clocks of the 1920s, the hour indicator is a clear sapphire disc with a Sun and Moon, each pointing to the current hour during day and night time respectively.

Minutes are indicated with a blued steel sword-shaped, retrograde hand that travels from zero to “60” before jumping back to its origin and starting over.

Available in white or pink gold, the case measures 40mm in diameter.  The Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day & Night is powered by the newly developed, in-house cal. 9982 MC. It’s hand-wound, being made up  of 174 components, and offers a 48-hour power reserve. The price tag will be US$63,000.


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