The L.U.C 8HF caused a sensation at the time of its launch in 2012. This exceptional timepiece housed L.U.C 01.06-L, the first ever movement with a high-frequency escapement to be chronometer-certified by the COSC. Beating at a frequency of 8 Hz – compared with 4 Hz for ordinary mechanical movements – meaning 57,600 vibrations per hour, this mechanical movement was conceived, developed and perfected by Chopard Technologies in Fleurier. Today, Chopard presents the L.U.C 8HF Power Control model, a concentrated blend of sophisticated technical features.
Faithfully pursuing its determination to push the limits of mechanical horology, Chopard unveils the new L.U.C 8HF Power Control model, an exceptional timepiece housing L.U.C Calibre 01.09-L equipped with a high-frequency (8Hz) escapement having successfully undergone the rigorous tests conducted by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), a token of excellent precision and reliability. In this respect, it is entirely in line with the tradition of chronometer certification dear to the L.U.C collection.
After several years of studies and development, the engineers and watchmakers of Chopard Technologies, the horological research division of the Chopard Group, have succeeded in perfecting a mechanical movement beating at a frequency of 8 Hz, meaning 57,600 vibrations per hour and meeting the most stringent Swiss watchmaking standards.
The primary value of high frequency in watchmaking applications lies in a significant improvement in the precision timekeeping properties of a calibre, particularly in terms of rate resumption and stability. A higher number of vibrations of the balance means less sensitivity to disturbances, and Chopard’s technology breakthrough takes on its full meaning when viewed from this angle. For if the choice of high frequency implies enhanced reliability and consequently increased precision, it is quite logical that a product comprising this added value should be duly recognised by an official certification. In addition to its COSC-certified precision, this L.U.C 01.09-L movement is distinguished by the highly adaptable nature of its high-frequency escapement. It is indeed compatible with almost all existing L.U.C movements developed by the Chopard Manufacture, although it is currently reserved for special and exclusive versions. In terms of materials, the engineers at Chopard Technologies decided to work with silicon for certain escapement components (impulse-pin, lever, escape wheel) and developed a new means of fixing silicon on steel (patent pending).
The new L.U.C 8HF Power Control takes on even greater character and technical sophistication thanks to a new design. Its movement is not the only element pushing the boundaries of technology. For this Power Control version, the 42 mm-diameter case graced with curves similar to the titanium version of the L.U.C 8HF now comes in high-grade black machined ceramic. The various production, assembly and design constraints relating to this material forced the Chopard engineers to entirely revise the case assembly. This model is water-resistant to 100 metres and presents a DLC-coated titanium case-band, allowing a broad bezel diameter, along with a ceramic crown at 4 o’clock bearing the L.U.C logo. This resolutely avant-garde model features monobloc matt black ceramic lugs and case-back, as well as a screw-down crown guard with the same finish. A sapphire crystal built into the half-closed case-back is positioned just above the high-frequency escapement, providing a chance to appreciate its finer details.
On the black sunburst satin-brushed black dial, entirely in harmony with the matt ceramic and semi-matt titanium of the case, the date is in a pointer-type display between 5 and 6 o’clock, while the red small seconds hand at 7 o’clock travels far more smoothly than on an ordinary watch thanks to the high-frequency escapement and its 57,600 vibrations per hour.
The approximately 60-hour power reserve appears between 9 and 11 o’clock. Generated by a single barrel, this remarkable power reserve represents a real feat, since a high-frequency escapement naturally requires more energy and may thereby imply a lower power reserve.
The L.U.C 8HF Power Control is teamed with a hand-sewn matt black alligator leather strap with a cognac-coloured alligator lining, fitted with a titanium pin buckle. It is issued in a 250-piece limited series.
Model: L.U.C 8HF Power Control
Ref. 168575-9001, limited series of 250 pieces
Black ceramic case
Ceramic bezel with central strip in DLC-coated titanium
Black ceramic crown with L.U.C logo (6.50 mm)
Monobloc matt black ceramic case-back with integrated lugs and sapphire crystal revealing the high-frequency escapement
Total diameter: 42.00 mm
Thickness: 11.20 mm
Water resistance: 100 m
Glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Mechanical self-winding: L.U.C 01.09-L
Diameter: 28.80 mm
Thickness: 4.95 mm
Number of jewels: 24
Frequency: 57,600 vph (8 Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours
Côtes de Genève adorned bridges
Dial and hands
Sunburst satin-brushed black dial
Metallic black hour and minute hands
Red small second hand
Functions and displays
Central hour and minute hands
Small second at 7 o’clock
Date window between 5 and 6 o’clock with red arrow
Power-reserve indication between 9 and 11 o’clock
Strap and buckle
Hand-sewn matt black alligator leather with cognac-coloured alligator lining
Titanium pin buckle