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Chopard  - L.U.C Full Strike

Chopard L.U.C Full Strike

A new platinum limited edition for the crystal-clear minute repeater by Chopard Manufacture

Unique in terms of its design, its sound and its natural elegance, the L.U.C Full Strike timepiece is appearing in a new 20-piece limited series featuring a platinum case and a grey-blue dial. It combines the nobility of the L.U.C 08.01-L minute repeater movement with that of a precious metal as well as Haute Horlogerie finishes acknowledged by the ‘Poinçon de Genève’ quality hallmark. With this collector's watch featuring chronometer-certified precision and patented innovations, Chopard Manufacture has created an exceptional minute repeater in which the sapphire crystal and gongs form a single entity, thereby generating a rich, crystal-clear, constant and powerful sound that is unique in the world. 

In 2017, Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele was thrilled to receive the “Aiguille d'Or” – the “Best in Show” award at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève – for his L.U.C Full Strike timepiece that had emerged from the Manufacture the year before. Not only was it the first minute repeater in the L.U.C collection, but also a supremely innovative striking watch. By indicating the time through a combination of two notes, C# and F, as well as incorporating numerous world firsts within a complex movement, the L.U.C Full Strike model has continued to assert itself as a powerful link between Haute Horlogerie and musicality.

L.U.C Full Strike

L.U.C Full Strike © Chopard

The glass protecting its dial, along with its gongs providing an audible indication of time, form a single whole. Machined in one piece from a block of sapphire, without any welding, screws or glue, it gives the L.U.C Full Strike watch a unique sound intensity. This as yet unmatched construction is the object of one of the many patents filed by Chopard during the 15,000 hours required to develop L.U.C Calibre 08.01-L. 

A crystal-clear sound unique in the world In the case of all other minute repeaters, the material from which the case is carved transmits the sound vibration generated by the movement. It creates the tone of the watch and defines its sound. In this context, platinum is known to be a material that does not produce much sound or musicality because it is both dense and soft. The L.U.C Full Strike successfully overcomes this obstacle, as the sapphire crystal is directly linked to the gongs with which it forms a single entity – that vibrates and excites the surrounding air – thus forming a perfect loudspeaker. In doing so, it generates the sound and musicality of the platinum L.U.C Full Strike. The case material naturally also influences the result. Like a violinist playing the same instrument but with a different bow, the sound of the L.U.C Full Strike in platinum differs from that of previous editions. Nonetheless, the intrinsic limitations of platinum are entirely compensated by the crystalline nature of sapphire and by the fact that the L.U.C Full Strike emits a sound through the top of the watch, meaning that the case material does not affect the quality of the sound nor its power. This technical feat enables Chopard to interpret its minute repeater model – previously introduced in 18-carat rose gold (2016) and white gold (2018) – in an equally finely crafted platinum interpretation. 

A nickel silver movement involving highly complex machining With the L.U.C Full Strike timepiece, the frontier between movement and case is complex, since whereas gongs are normally part of the movement, they are in this instance also part of the case. This duality is one of the unique characteristics of L.U.C Calibre 08.01-L. 

Machined from nickel silver and adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif, the mainplate and bridges gleam with the half-grey, half-golden sheen of this prestigious alloy. While the material lends itself perfectly to surface finishing, it does not tolerate even the slightest execution errors, as such mistakes cannot be corrected by repolishing. Given that this material is more resistant to oxidation than traditional brass, Chopard has chosen to use it without any protective treatment, an approach that requires even more meticulous care during production, decoration and handling.

L.U.C Full Strike

L.U.C Full Strike © Chopard

Elegant and pleasing displays A solid gold half-disc serves as the base for the dial of the platinum L.U.C Full Strike watch. It is openworked with a snailed outer ring and features a grey-blue colour obtained through galvanic treatment, before adding the L.U.C collection’s characteristic applied rhodium-plated Roman numerals. Finally, the white and black transfers are printed, tracing the contours of the power reserves, the small seconds counter and the railway-type minutes track.

The two hammers whose role is to strike the sapphire gongs appear at 10 o'clock. Their surface is entirely mirror-polished, a quality of finish testifying to the fine craftsmanship lavished on the rest of the movement. These hammers are on the same level as the dial itself, meaning high-perched and clearly visible. The refusal to establish a clear frontier between the case and movement is thus further reinforced by the design. 

A patented strikework-pusher disengagement system Minute repeaters are naturally exposed to the risk of breakage when mishandled. In order to provide the owner of a L.U.C Full Strike timepiece with a perfect wearing experience, its movement has been the subject of numerous developments that secure its operation. Reactivating a striking mechanism (strikework) while a sequence is already in progress can lead to breakage of certain components. To counter this risk, L.U.C Calibre 08.01-L is equipped with a disengagement system for the crown-integrated strikework pusher. When the watch is striking, this pusher can be activated at will without affecting the movement, from which it is disconnected. Chopard has filed a patent for this ingenious feature. 

Perfectly secured sound When the minute repeater slide is not fully depressed, the striking sequence may be incomplete and the audible time indication inaccurate. For this reason, L.U.C Calibre 08.01-L is equipped with a separate barrel dedicated to the strikework. It stores enough energy for 12 complete soundings of the longest time, i.e. the 32 strokes heard at 12:59 pm (12 for the hours, two times three for the quarters, 14 times for the remaining minutes). The strikework will not be activated if the barrel has insufficient energy for the entire set of strikes required. Moreover, the constant intensity of each strike on the gongs is guaranteed by this separate barrel. Finally, in a supremely refined touch, the time units not struck are skipped. This means the L.U.C Full Strike timepiece does not make a silent pause between the hours and quarters, nor between the quarters and minutes. On the contrary, it sounds them smoothly in direct succession, whatever the time.

The strikework power reserve is indicated by the longer hand at 2 o'clock, appearing on the graduated counter topped by a bell. In the same space, on an adjacent scale, a slightly shorter hand indicates the movement's power reserve, which is 60 hours. 

Chronometer-certified precision As sophisticated as it is, the platinum L.U.C Full Strike timepiece remains true to the fundamental rules of the L.U.C. collection. The first of these is the imperative of precision, a personal requirement expressed by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, which is why all 20 examples of L.U.C Calibre 08.01-L have successfully passed the COSC chronometer certification test. 

L.U.C Full Strike

L.U.C Full Strike © Chopard

L.U.C Calibre 08.01-L has a 4 Hertz frequency, guaranteeing enhanced rate stability and a rare feature in a minute repeater. Taking this precision to even greater levels, the L.U.C Full Strike is equipped with a mechanism that brings the seconds hand at 6 o'clock to a halt when the crown is pulled out. This stop-seconds device enables perfectly accurate time-setting.

Like all L.U.C. timepieces, the L.U.C. Full Strike is the object of exceptional care lavished on its finishing, whether for the case, dial or the movement as a whole. Entirely assembled, fitted and adjusted in the workshops of Chopard Manufacture, the L.U.C Full Strike in platinum bears the prestigious ‘Poinçon de Genève’ quality hallmark. This not only attests to the quality and precision of the timepieces produced in the Canton of Geneva, but also to the high level of finishing applied to all watch components. 

The L.U.C collection: 25 years of watchmaking excellence In 1997, Chopard Manufacture launched the first watch to emerge from its watchmaking workshops: the L.U.C 1860, equipped with the L.U.C 96.01-L movement. Since then, through the L.U.C collection, it has acquired comprehensive mastery of all the major horological complications. Between Fleurier and Geneva, Chopard Manufacture devises, develops, produces, assembles, decorates and certifies all its timepieces. Thanks to Karl-Friedrich Scheufele's commitment to watchmaking traditions, the Manufacture maintains a high level of finishing by preserving numerous artistic crafts. Finally, it is rooted in a solid tradition of precision watchmaking, with all L.U.C. timepieces bearing a seconds indication earning chronometer certification. 

 

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