Watches: Chopard L.U.C Lunar Big Date
By Thierry Ané on August 15, 2014
Among the large palette of watch complications, the display of the phases of the moon has always had a special place in my heart. Knowing that your watch keeps track of how the Moon appears from the Earth is extremely poetic and gifted designers also turn it into the most decorative element a timepiece can offer.
If centuries ago the rhythm of life may have been dictated by the seasons, the tides, the phases of the moon… there is no denying that these natural phenomena have lost of their importance for today’s lifestyle. The appeal of such indications on a timepiece has thus become purely aesthetic.
It is why I particularly appreciate when the lunar cycle is paired with what I consider to be the most useful complication for a wristwatch: a big date. Don’t you hate it when you have to frown at your watch for a while before deciphering the date? What a relief when the date occupies one or two large windows and becomes perfectly legible!
Like many other models, the “L.U.C Lunar Big Date” that Chopard first launched in 2009 skilfully combines these two somehow antinomic complications. But unlike most rival timepieces it does so in the purest standards of Haute Horlogerie with the presence of a chronometer-certification by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) to certify its accuracy.
While remaining elegant and timeless, the codes of Chopard’s high-end L.U.C collection have evolved over the years. It was thus high time for the previous version of the L.U.C Lunar Big Date to adopt the new aesthetic traits of this Fine Watchmaking collection.
Now available in white gold, the L.U.C Lunar Big Date still showcases a multipurpose 42 mm case, subtly revamped but always perfectly balanced. Slightly thicker than before (11.04 mm versus 10.90 mm previously), it now presents slender lugs and a gently bevelled bezel. The case is highly polished except for the case bands with a satin-brushed finish. All in all, it looks more contemporary while preserving all the refinement of a Chopard timepiece.
Inside the watch still beats the Fleurier Manufacture L.U.C 96-20-L calibre. This self-winding movement with a gold micro-rotor uses two stacked co-axial barrels to store 65 hours of energy. This 33.00 x 5.25 mm calibre can be admired through the exhibition crystal back. It exhibits all the decorative features of an Haute Horlogerie movement: perlage on the main plate, Côtes de Genève on the bridges, gold-plated engravings, 33 jewels, and perfectly bevelled and polished edges.
The face of the watch is the part that has experienced the most drastic redesign. The silver-toned satin-brushed dial now features elegant white gold Roman numeral appliqués following the “railway” style track. The Dauphine hands now present a SuperLuminova centre and the moon phase and small seconds counters have been entirely rethought. They are perfectly balanced and bring a nice symmetry to the dial.
It is always a perilous task to update a wonderfully balanced timepiece like the L.U.C Lunar Big Date but Chopard’s design team outdid themselves: the new version is everything one could hope for in a high-end model both technically and aesthetically. This is a timepiece any watch aficionado will be pleased to wear for many years to come…
For more information please visit the Chopard web site.