Chopard Introduces the L.U.C Perpetual Twin CronotempVs Edition

A striking execution of an excellent watch.

Unveiled five years ago, the L.U.C Perpetual Twin is Chopard’s most affordable perpetual calendar, but finely executed as is typical of L.U.C, the brand’s line of mechanical watches powered by top-class in-house movements.

Featuring details absent in similarly-priced peers, such a micro-rotor movement and oversized date, the Perpetual Twin has since been iterated into several versions, but the winner is now clear: the L.U.C Perpetual Twin CronotempVs Edition, a collaboration between the watchmaker and eponymous collectors club based in Spain.

The CronotempVs edition has a striking palette: dial with an uncommon, grained-gold finish with black sub-dials and indices, giving it a strong, high-contrast look that suits the largish steel case.

Initial thoughts

Chopard’s prowess in watchmaking is indisputable – its top-of-the-line creations rival even the work put out by best independent watchmakers – but the brand is often overlooked, especially since prevailing fads mean most turn to bigger names or “safer” choices. And it doesn’t help that Chopard generates most of its revenue from cheerful ladies’ watches and jewellery.

The L.U.C line stands out for its movements with sophisticated construction and finishing, even for the simplest, entry-level models – demonstrated by the double-chronometer wristwatch unveiled earlier this year. But it still receives a lukewarm reception from the broader market. That’s in part due to the designs, which are often satisfactory but not impressive. The CronotempVs edition manages to be different, in a great way.

The collaboration results in refreshing look that’s eye catching; the rich, golden dial contrasts with the bold hour markers and sub-dials. It’s instantly differentiated from earlier versions of the same watch.

My only gripe is a personal one – the 43 mm case is big. Though it might be the ideal for larger wrists, the size still leaves the movement looking small in comparison. That’s evident from the back, but also the dial with the “floating” small seconds at six o’clock.

At €27,200 including the approximate 20% local tax, the CronotempVs edition costs around 10% more than the production version, making it an easily worthwhile upgrade (and for those living outside the EU it would cost practically the same). Unfortunately, it’s only available to the club members, who have spoken for all available watches.

The 22k gold micro-rotor of the cal. L.96.22-L

CronotempVs Club

Founded in 2009, CronotempVs is a watch club that’s based in Madrid, though its members hail from around the world. In an age where social media has made everything open to one and all, CronotempVs is notable as membership requires a sponsor.

Would-be joiners have to be proposed by a known individual, either a current member, watchmaker, or watch-brand executive. Club founder Dario Fernandez de Villavicencio states that passion for the hobby is the criteria for evaluating prospective members, rather than background or purchasing power.

The club has collaborated with several brands on special editions, ranging from bigger brands like IWC and Montblanc to independent watchmakers like Habringand D. Dornblüth & Sohn. In fact, the new Perpetual Twin is the club’s second outing with Chopard, with the first being the L.U.C Tech Twist launched a decade ago.

The silver hour marker at five o’clock is a nod to the club’s notation of complication, of which calendar is donated as type five

While its colours and finish are unique, the CronotempVs edition retains the attractive details of the standard Perpetual Twin. One is the layered dial in different textures, from the concentric guilloche on the railway minute track that contrasts with the granular centre, as well as a bevelled cut-out for the big date.

The movement is equally attractive, most notably in the form of the bridges, which have flowing, organic outlines – a trait not often found in contemporary movements.

That said, being an entry-level L.U.C movement, the finishing is slightly simpler than that found on the highest-end L.U.C calibres. The bridges, for instance, have stamped anglage, as opposed to bevelling polished by hand. But the parts are still carefully attended to, resulting in an attractive, neat appearance. Importantly, the overall finish is still better than most watches in the price range.

Though hidden, the perpetual calendar mechanism on the dial side is sophisticated and carefully finished

Key Facts and Price

Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin CronotempVs Edition
Ref. 168561-30043

Diameter: 43 mm
Height:  11.47 mm
Material: Steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: L.U.C 96.22-L
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and perpetual calendar
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 65 hours

Strap: Black alligator strap

Limited edition: Yes, over 20 pieces  
: Sold out
Price: €27,200 (including 21% VAT)

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