Chopard 2010 – 2020 : the top 5 Chopard timepieces of the decade
Worldtempus is taking a look back at the past decade to pick the most interesting, relevant and outstanding achievements of several major brands. The series goes on with Chopard.
When Chopard outdo themselves, it's on two different fronts. One is jewelry timepieces, often unique pieces which are highly adorned with stones that are the main attraction. The other is the brand's high watchmaking collection, L.U.C. Mostly for men, it encompasses every complication and all the know-how Chopard have gathered in their Fleurier and Geneva manufactures. So it surely comes as a surprise that the first watch from this top 5 should be a member of the Chopard main collection, and made for ladies. Happy Sport Manufacture is neither a high jewelry nor a high watchmaking timepiece. Happy Sport has been a resounding and continuous success for over 25 years. When celebrating that anniversary, Chopard had at last fitted their smaller manufacture movement, caliber 09.01-C, in their best-seller. For indeed, the Happy of all sorts make for the brand's majority of sales. So this model's becoming successful was an absolute must.
Chopard Happy Sport Manufacture © Chopard
The L.U.C Quattro Régulateur is a surprising member of any top 5. The regulator display separates the minutes from the hours, which are shifted to a sub-dial not unlike a small seconds'. It is therefore a rarity, an oddity even. Its original purpose is to make the information separate and therefore, clearer. But in this case, clearer, it is not. This model is proof that L.U.C goes through watchmaking history in their own way, executing every classic, in terms of style or technique, from the last 150 years. Introducing a regulator was indispensable, as it was to make it slightly off the beaten track. Therefore the Quattro Régulateur features the date, a second timezone and a power reserve (of 9 days, thanks to the Quattro system and its four barrels). It resulted in perfect symmetry, a sport-like style and a set of functions that is probably one-of-a-kind.
Chopard L.U.C Quattro Régulateur © David Chokron/Worldtempus
Even more surely one-of-a-kind, since it's utterly peerless, the L.U.C Fullstrike is the absolute flagship of Chopard's watchmaking expertise. Launched in 2016, it is the first minute repeater created by the brand, entirely so but for a number of consulting missions required by the chiming system's particular nature. Let's not dwell on its numerous safety devices, its chiming reserve which allows it to strike the hours, quarters and minutes up to twelve times, or the finishings of its German silver movement. The Fullstrike is the only watch on Earth with sapphire chimes. They are crafted from the same block of material as the sapphire glass, and together, they are a single, continuous component. When the movement strikes the gongs, their vibration is also the flat surface's, like a loudspeaker. It is loud and it is melodic.
Chopard L.U.C Fullstrike © David Chokron/Worldtempus
During the arm's race of the short-lived high frequency quest, Chopard had decided to sing with the choir of brands that had ventured beyond the 5 Hz ceiling. The aptly named L.U.C 8HF beats at 8 Hz, or 57,600 vibrations per hour. It could as easily have been 10 or 9 or 7, but 8 is a lucky number in the Chinese culture, and that made the choice easy. As often in the high frequency realm, the whole escapement in made of silicon. It's light, easy to manufacture in otherwise impossible shapes and so smooth the moisture in the air is enough to lubricate it, even at high speed. The 8HF had a slightly badass look, a ceramic case (an oddity for Chopard) and a crown at 4 o'clock.
Chopard L.U.C 8HF © David Chokron/Worldtempus
Chopard's men style is often classical, lean and quiet. The XPS, with its ultra slim case thanks to a micro-rotor movement, is the perfect example. Yet Chopard insist on having all their movements chronometer-certified, which demands a seconds' hand. That kind of gets in the way of the aforementioned leanness. So the latest installment of the XP (no S therefore no seconds) is a great design. It sets itself apart from the XPS with a younger appeal, a more informal look with its vertical-brushed dials, blued applied indices and cloth straps, made of cashmere, tweed (and surely more interesting stuff coming up). The first one in the series, grey and blue, made of steel, was paving the way for the future.
Chopard L.U.C XP © David Chokron/Worldtempus
Maison Chopard epitomises the alliance between watchmaking and jewellery. It has always known how to meet the expectations of its day, relying on four essential values: expertise, tradition, innovation and commitment to philanthropy, whilst working hard to pass on knowhow and skills to future generations.Find out more >
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