Chopard Introduces the L.U.C Eight-Day Jump Hour

In fired enamel and gold.

A watchmaker with many excellent movements – and some exceptional calibres – Chopard is instead better known for its jewellery watches or auto-racing chronographs. Now Chopard keeps at its, and has just added to its list of excellent movements with the L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25.

Conceived to mark the 25th anniversary of the L.U.C line – made up of the brand’s high horology offerings and named after Louis-Ulysse Chopard – the Quattro Spirit is its first jump hour. Dressed up with a fired enamel dial, it is powered by an impressive and refined eight-day movement.

Initial thoughts

An instinctively appealing watch, the Quattro Spirit is good looking and size well; most notably, the movement is interesting. While jumping hours isn’t particularly complicated, the leap of the digital display on a mechanical watch is still an intriguing sight. Add to that four barrels that supply a run time of eight days, the cal. L.U.C 98.06-L becomes even more compelling.

Assembling one stack of twin barrels

Notably, even with the long power reserve, the watch remains relatively compact, just 40 mm wide and 10.3 mm tall. That’s thanks to a clever optimisation of space, with the movement relying on twin stacked barrels, with each stack containing two mainsprings connected in series.

Priced at a bit under US$45,000, the Quattro Spirit costs substantially more than other L.U.C watches with the same eight-day base movement without the jumping hours. In fact, the addition of the jump hours and enamel dial raises the price by some US$20,000 against that of the standard Quattro.

That said, the Quattro Spirit does offer a lot more – not just mechanical ingenuity, but also a more upscale dial in grand feu enamel. The price increment for the additional features feels a bit too high, but the Quattro Spirit is an excellent watch in almost all other respects.

Subtle design

Though simple, the design of the Quattro Spirit is peppered with interesting details inside and out. The case flanks, for example, are finished with an uncommon vertically brushing inspired by the brand’s vintage pocket watches, instead of the conventional horizontal graining.

And the font for the Arabic numerals has fine serifs while the railroad minute track has tiny arrowheads for the five minute markers. All the markings on the dial are printed in black enamel, and give the watch a retro feel without looking too austere.

Jumping hours

But the highlight is the jumping hours display – the paradoxical combination of a digital display in a mechanical watch is especially intriguing.

The basics of a jumping hour display are straightforward: the central minutes pinion drives a snail cam that completes one rotation every hour. Only at the top of each hour, the lever falls onto the lowest point of the cam’s rim, triggering the hour disk, making it spring forward to the next hour.

The base movement with the jumping hours parts laid out

And being an L.U.C movement, the jumping hours is executed to a high level. Though they are hidden under the dial, the components of the jumping hours mechanism are finely finished, with straight grained surfaces and bevelled edges, as well as polished screw heads and pivots.

The cam in the centre rotates once every hour, leading the lever to fall into the trench of the cam, triggering the jump of the hours disc

The jump hour module sits on the eight-day movement Chopard unveiled almost two decades ago as the cal. 1.98. Though the view of the movement is dominated by the enormous bridge for the four barrels, the movement does sport delicate details like the swan’s neck regulator index, as well as the Poincon de Geneve hallmark on the going-train bridge.

Key Facts and Price

Chopard L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 
Ref. 161977-5001

Diameter: 40 mm
Height:  10.3 mm
Material: 18k rose gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: L.U.C 96.29-L
Functions: Jumping hours and minutes
Winding: Hand-wind
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 8 days

Strap: Black alligator strap with 18k rose gold pin buckle

Limited edition: 100 pieces
: At Chopard retailers and boutiques
Price: US$44,700; or 61,700 Singapore dollars

For more, visit


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Genus Bestows a Dragon on the Figure-of-8 Display

Bold and avant-garde.

A young company founded just two years ago, Genus is all about exotic expressions of time. Though the brand is young, Genus cofounder Sébastien Billières is an industry veteran, having established a workshop that specialises in producing complicated movements for major brands exactly a decade ago.

The brand made its debut with the GNS1 – essentially a time-only watch made ultra complicated by virtue of its unique time display – a snaking procession of pointers travelling in a figure of eight that create a dynamic tension unlike anything else. Genus has now taken the concept further with the GNS Dragon, which layers a miniature sculpture over the original in the form of a segmented gold dragon.

Initial thoughts

The rise of independent watchmakers with atypical time displays started two decades ago – personified by brands like Urwerk – so Genus is rather late to the game, but it still made an impressive entrance. The original GNS1 was a fresh perspective in a crowded arena, the very sort of diversity that makes this hobby fun.

And the GNS1 is a serious watch in terms of quality and construction – it also did win the Mechanical Exception award at the 2019 GPHG. While the focal point is the intriguing time display, the movement finishing is excellent; not quite artisanal haute horlogerie like Akrivia, for instance, but nevertheless done by hand and done well, particularly in the genre of avant-garde watches.

Made of solid 18k gold, the bridges have wide, polished bevels and countersinks

The highlight of the new model is, of course, the dragon. Special-edition iterations of such a watch are a given, but this is a thoughtful iteration that suits the theme and style of the complication.

Crafted from solid gold, the dragon adds significant dimensionality to the dial, and unlike most decorative elements, adds to its functionality. The dragon enhances legibility, being in gold and relief, with an easy distinction between the dragon’s head from the rest of its body, making reading the minutes easier.

But the segmented appearance of the dragon is slightly jarring. The gaps between each segment of the dragon’s body are large, making it seem cut up; it unfortunately brings to mind the image of a freshly-sliced sausage.

At around US$160,000, this watch isn’t that much more than the standard GNS1, which is fair. But it is a lot relative to much else on the market. So it is very much something for the collector who finds an Urwerk too tame.

Dragon in the making

What is the time now?

The dial is exceptionally complicated – the time-display mechanism actually is that complicated – but reading the time is easy. Hours are read via the fixed red hand at nine o’clock against the slowly rotating outer hour track. Not only does the hour track make one revolution every 12 hours, each numeral is essentially a satellite, turning slowly on its own axis to keep all the hour numerals vertically aligned.

The minute display is broken up into the tens and single digits. At the centre, the tens are further separated into two circular, 30-minute segments, forming a figure-of-eight. The dragon sculpture forms a train that travels along the figure-of-eight track, with the head pointing to the tens unit of the minutes.

Like the hours, the single digits of the minutes are indicated with fixed pointer at three, with a minute wheel beneath rotating once every 10 minutes.

The time shown is 8:24

Key facts and price

Genus Dragon
Ref. GNS1.2 WG Dragon

Diameter: 43 mm
Height: 18.8 mm
Material: 18k white gold
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: 160W – 1.2
Functions: Hours and minutes
Frequency: 18,000 beats per hour (2.5 Hz)
Winding: Hand wind
Power reserve: 50 hours

Strap: Calfskin with pin buckle

Limited edition: No
Direct from Genus
Price: CHF150,000 (excluding tax)

For more, visit


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NASA Velcro Straps for the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

Like an astronaut.

The Omega Speedmaster Professional is an icon for one reason: the three astronauts of Apollo 11 each worn one during the Moon landing of 1969. And five decades later, Speedmaster remains the only mechanical watch that’s part of NASA’s official kit for astronauts. After many Speedmaster limited editions marking its longstanding relationship with the American space agency, Omega now unveils a set of NASA Velcro straps for the Speedmaster Moonwatch.

Initial thoughts

From memorable advertisement starring George Clooney and Buzz Aldrin to the paraphernalia and accessories that accompany the multitude of Moonwatch iterations, Omega relentlessly reminds us about the provenance of the Moonwatch, and doubles down on the NASA association with the new straps.

The NASA-themed straps are a first, but also a logical and expected extension of the Moonwatch franchise, especially since independent strap makers have offered similar aftermarket straps in the past. The new straps are cool and affordable, making them something of a perk for Speedmaster enthusiasts.

As an owner of a Moonwatch myself, I’m a fan of the new straps. Not only are they a nod to the history of the Speedmaster Professional, but they also inject a bit of fun into the no-nonsense Speedmaster design. And they also bring to mind the extra-long velcro straps that actual astronauts use in order to wear the Speedmaster on a space suit. Who doesn’t want to feel like an astronaut?

If Omega’s earlier velcro straps are anything to go by – past versions of Speedmaster Professional included a black velcro strap inspired by the astronaut-issue bands – the NASA-themed offerings will be comfortable. Priced about 10% more than the standard velcro straps, the new straps are a small step upwards in price, but a giant leap forward in terms of the fun factor. I’ll be buying one.

Space on Earth

The NASA Velcro straps are offered in three colourways – black, white, and silver. The straps feature NASA’s iconic “Meatball” logo on the short end, and Speedmaster Moonwatch text on the long portion, along with matching colour stitching.

Of the three, the black strap is the most historically accurate, being reminiscent of the straps worn during the Moon landing, and best paired with the classic Speedmaster Moonwatch for a functional, stealthy look.

Meanwhile, the silver strap is a nod to the silvery, foil-likes space suits of the 1950s that were worn during the Mercury and then Gemini missions. I can imagine it working exceptionally well with either a vintage “pre-Moonwatch” Speedmaster with straight lugs, or the modern-day remake of the same, the “First Omega in Space” Speedmaster.

However, my personal favourite is the blue-on-white strap, colours synonymous with NASA and space. This pays tribute to both the white spacesuits worn by Apollo-era astronauts as well as Alaska Project, a joint initiative by Omega and NASA to develop a watch capable of withstanding extreme environments.

The white strap evokes spacesuits and is the most striking

Key facts and price

Omega NASA Velcro Strap for Speedmaster Moonwatch
Ref. 032CWZ016042 (black)
Ref. 032CWZ016041 (white)
Ref. 032CWZ016040 (silver)

Material: Velcro
Weight: 7 g
Lug Width: 20 mm

Availability: At Omega boutiques
Price: US$190

For more information, visit


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