Named after Chopard founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the L.U.C line is all about haute horlogerie, encompassing both complications and fine finishing. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier, the brand is releasing the L.U.C QF Jubilee, a doubly-certified chronometer with a steel case, offering a finely finished movement at a relatively accessible price.
The L.U.C QF Jubilee is an attractive watch that straddles the line between vintage and modern design. It is 39 mm wide and a hair under 9 mm thick, making it the perfect size for a classically-styled dress watch.
The vintage inspiration extends to the shape of the lugs and the proportions of the mirror-polished case – both the bezel and case back are domed and sandwich a thin case middle, giving it proportions reminiscent of watches from the first half of the 20th century.
Despite being a dress watch, the QF Jubilee is surprisingly practical – the hands are filled with Super-LumiNova, as are the indices. While the sector-style design and syringe hands are vintage-inspired, the blue-on-silver colours and lume are concessions to modernity.
But the best thing about the watch is the movement, which is an in-house automatic with a sophisticated construction and refined finishing. Even though the calibre is not decorated to the top grade of L.U.C finishing (those have the Poincon de Geneve), it is good enough to be better than almost all watches at this price range.
Notably, Chopard has chosen to use a steel case for this commemorative edition instead of a precious metal, so it will retail for an affordable US$14,500. For a watch that is as well finished as it is, especially on the inside, the L.U.C QF Jubilee offers solid value.
In keeping with the rest of the L.U.C line, the QF Jubilee is executed very well in terms of fit and finish. The dial for instance, has a two-texture surface – radially brushed before the blue chapter ring dial is applied with as a galvanic coating.
The distance of the seconds sub-dial from the outer edge of the dial hints at the small but impressive L.U.C 96.09-L inside, which is visible through the case back.
Chopard’s signature micro-rotor automatic is just 3.30 mm high, but powered twin, stacked mainsprings for a longish running time of 65 hours. It’s is decorated by hand to a notably high standard, with Côtes de Genève on its bridges and polished, bevelled edges on most of the components – even the steel rocker arm for the rotor. And the 22k gold rotor itself is decorated with two techniques, radial brushing on its centre and solarisation on its outer edge.
Not only is it a fine movement, but the cal. 96.09-L also undergoes not one, but two tests for chronometric performance. It’s first examined by the Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) as a movement without a case, and then samples of completed watches from each production run undergo a three-week battery of tests, known as Chronofiable, at the Fleurier Quality Foundation (FQF).
Set up by Chopard and a handful of other brands, FQF tests for performance in heat, cold, and humidity, as well as its winding efficiency, and resistance to magnetic fields and shocks. Finally, every finished watch watch is tested on a Fleuritest machine, which simulates a full day of use.
Key facts and price
Chopard L.U.C QF Jubilee
Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 8.92 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 30 meters
Movement: Calibre L.U.C 96.09-L
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Winding: Microrotor automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 65 hours
Strap: “Responsible” leather strap and stainless steel pin buckle
Availability: At Chopard boutiques and retailers
For more, visit Chopard.com.
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