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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 10.3 mm
Material: 18k rose gold
Water resistance: 30 m
Movement: L.U.C 96.29-L
Functions: Jumping hours and minutes
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
Availability: At Chopard retailers and boutiques
Price: US$44,700; or 61,700 Singapore dollars
For more, visit Chopard.com.
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