The Fleurier Quality Foundation label is undoubtedly the most demanding of all watch certifications. It combines the COSC, Chronofiable and Fleuritest trials. The latest Chopard L.U.C Qualité Fleurier chronometer perfectly embodies the essence of Haute Horlogerie according to Chopard.
L.U.C movements, entirely developed, crafted and assembled at Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier since 1996, represent the quintessence of Haute Horlogerie, cultivated in harmony with the spirit of the brand founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard. Chopard has already submitted on three separate occasions one of these models to the Fleurier Quality Foundation tests – an independent certification reputed to be extremely difficult to obtain. After the L.U.C Qualité Fleurier model in 2005, the L.U.C Tech Quaité Fleurier in 2009, and the L.U.C Triple Certification Tourbillon 2011, Chopard once again unveils a new L.U.C Qualité Fleurier model bearing the prestigious label. Chopard is thus the brand that has certified the most watches since the creation of the certification which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
The Fleurier Quality Foundation certification is unique in terms of its scope as well as the experience it has accumulated through its ten years in operation. It derives its strength and its legitimacy from prestigious institutions such as the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute and Chronofiable, which perform testing in addition to the label’s own procedures. The “Qualité Fleurier” and “Chronometer” inscriptions, along with the Foundation logo, are clearly visible on the dial of the Qualité Fleurier chronometer in its 2014 edition. These certifications are a constant reminder of the long and arduous trials that this watch has sailed through with flying colours.
The Fleurier Quality Foundation label is a particularly demanding guarantee of global quality granted by the Foundation bearing the same name: an independent certification body created in 2001. Chopard is one of the founding brands alongside several partners in the Val-de-Travers, the Jura region of which Fleurier is the epicentre. It is open to all Swiss and European watch brands, and operates under the control of a Technical Committee and the Foundation Council. The independence – and thus the objectivity – of these two bodies is guaranteed by the support of Swiss public authorities, including the Swiss Federal Government itself.
The certification process involves a series of steps aimed at guaranteeing not only the watch movement’s precision, but also its reliability, its durability and the quality of its aesthetic finishing. After the movement itself, the finished watch is also tested in simulated wearing conditions – hence the notion of global quality.
The precision of each movement is tested by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), which delivers the much sought-after “chronometer” title. The tests last two weeks, during which the movement is put through its paces in five positions and at three different temperatures. The average variation in rate must fall within the tolerance range of -4/+6 seconds per day. Reliability is tested by the Chronofiable procedure conducted on a representative selection of finished watches. The latter are subjected to tests relating to ageing, heat, cold and damp, as well as to repeated pushing and pulling on the winding stem, to magnetic fields as well as to recurrent impacts of varying intensity. This test lasts three weeks. Finally, the smooth operation of the finished watch undergoes a further control by the Fleuritest machine specially developed by the Fleurier Quality Foundation to provide the most faithful possible simulation of wear on the wrist over a 24-hour cycle. The variation in rate must remain within 0 to +5 seconds for the entire 24-hour cycle.
Further to these stringent conditions relating to the operation of the cased-up movement, the Fleurier Quality Foundation label stipulates that the entire watch, including movement and exterior components, must be made in Switzerland. It also includes aesthetic quality criteria governing the whole watch and encompassing both visible and hidden areas, however small.
For the fourth time in its history, Chopard Manufacture is presenting a model bearing the Fleurier Quality Foundation label. To underscore the exceptional technical qualities of this authentic precision instrument, the dial of the new L.U.C Fleurier Quality Foundation reveals refined and original technical details that are focused on readability: the sunburst satin-brushed ruthenium base strikes a remarkable contrast with its gilded hands featuring a unique design among L.U.C ranges. The slender applied gilded baton-shaped hour-markers are surrounded by a minute track.
The 39 mm-diameter, 18 carat rose gold case with a transparent back houses the L.U.C Calibre 96.09-L, featuring Chopard’s exclusive “Twin” technology stacked barrels ensuring an approximately 65-hour power reserve. Beating at the rhythm of 28,800 vibrations per hour, it drives the hour and minute hands as well as small seconds at 6 o’clock. The new L.U.C Qualité Fleurier model is fitted with a black alligator leather strap. A token of the omnipresent insistence on quality which is characteristic of Chopard Manufacture, it is lined with brown alligator leather instead of the traditional lighter and more delicate natural leathers. The watch is thus beautifully finished on both sides, including its case, movement and lugs.
Model: L.U.C Qualité Fleurier
Case in 18-carat rose gold
Total diameter: 39 mm
Thickness: 8.92 mm
Water resistance: 30 metres
18ct rose gold crown with L.U.C logo
Glare proofed sapphire crystal
Self-winding L.U.C 96.09-L
Diameter: 27.40 mm
Thickness: 3.30 mm
Number of jewels: 29
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 65 hours
Two stacked barrels, L.U.C “Twin” technology
“Fleurier Quality Foundation” (FQF) certification
Dial and hands
Sunburst satin-brushed ruthenium dial
FQF logo at 12 o’clock
Gilded hour, minute and small seconds hands
Functions and displays
Hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock
Strap and buckle
Hand-sewn black alligator leather strap with brown alligator leather lining
18ct rose gold pin buckle