Created to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chopard L.U.C collection, the limited edition Full Strike Sapphire is the first minute repeater watch whose case is made entirely of sapphire.
The 42.5 mm diameter case is 11.55 mm thick, with well-balanced proportions identical to previous versions of the L.U.C Full Strike, and which contribute to the characteristic elegance of the L.U.C collection. The bezel, caseband, crown, case-back and rear glass are all made of sapphire crystal.
In addition, the dial too is made of sapphire. Its distinctively cut shape enhances the indication elements essential for reading. Absolute transparency can in fact have the effect of blurring the view and Chopard has remedied this by creating a railway-type minutes track engraved on the sapphire crystal and painted.
It complements a chapter ring punctuated with rhodium-plated herringbone-shaped applied hour-markers, and black transferred counterparts. The sapphire ring is interrupted by three elements. The first is the off-centre seconds counter. The second is an applied white gold plate bearing the “L.U.CHOPARD” logo.
The third is the concentric power-reserve indicator in which two hands respectively indicate the energy remaining in the barrel that drives the movement as well as in the other powering the minute repeater.
The L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire is the first non-metallic timepiece to bear the prestigious Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark, covering both the design and finishing of the movement and the case. In addition, the L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire watch inherits the latest advances with which the L.U.C 08.01-L movement is endowed. Its patented resonant sapphire structure is complemented by several innovative technical systems, four of which are patented.
In a minute repeater mechanism, the energy required by the strikework is provided each time the winding lever is activated. Here, the energy comes from a separate, dedicated barrel wound directly by the crown. It enables the L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire to chime the most complex and energy-intensive time of day (or night) – namely 12 hours and 59 minutes – up to 12 times.
This exceptional autonomy is due to several factors. It benefits from the contribution of a patented clutch-lever mechanism that ensures that the strikework going train is blocked, to avoid losing power reserve during the information capture that controls the minute repeater.
This autonomy is moreover also the result of Chopard Manufacture’s experience in multiple barrels. Since it has an autonomous energy source, the strikework systematically respects the defined rhythm, whatever the time that is chimed and however many times it chimes.
Keen to preserve the user-friendliness of the minute repeater and to make its operation as secure as possible, Chopard Manufacture has introduced a number of innovative systems. Thus, if the barrel no longer has sufficient force to power the minute repeater, a safety mechanism blocks its release. In addition, Chopard has filed a patent for a new strikework-activation device. As soon as it is activated, the pusher is disengaged, thereby making it impossible to disturb the running of the minute repeater or to damage it.
So as to optimise and perpetuate the acoustic richness of the monobloc sapphire crystal/gong system derived from the L.U.C Full Strike, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has initiated a new approach. In 2018, while attending a concert given by violinist Renaud Capuçon, he realised that a minute repeater watch should be designed as a musical instrumentand should deliver something more – namely emotion.
Renaud Capuçon is a specialist in acoustics and sound – just like his brother, cellist Gautier Capuçon. Both play instruments that are several hundred years old and which embody a perfection and uniqueness that have stood the test of time.
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele decided to call upon the two soloists to join forces with Professor Romain Boulandet – head of the Applied Acoustics Laboratory at Geneva’s HEPIA engineering school – whose work in an anechoic chamber perfectly isolated from noise pollution has demonstrated that the sound of Chopard’s minute repeater is powerful, harmonious and crystal clear.
Together, these experts have combined their skill and knowledge to conduct an analysis that goes beyond the purely measurable criteria of acoustics to enter another dimension: that of sound as perceived by the listener. The L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire timepiece benefits from their analysis and their contribution.
Model: Chopard L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire
Numbered five-piece limited edition in sapphire
Total diameter 42.50 mm
Thickness 11.55 mm
Crown with integrated strikework pusher in sapphire, with L.U.C logo 8.80 mm
Polished caseband, bezel and case-back, engraved case-back
Exhibition case-back fitted with sapphire crystal
Sapphire crystal with two Chopard-patented integrated monobloc gongs
Mechanical hand-wound L.U.C 08.01-L
Number of components: 533
Total diameter: 37.20 mm
Thickness: 7.97 mm
Number of jewels: 63
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours
Mainplate and bridges in untreated nickel silver
Bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève motif
Chopard-patented monobloc sapphire crystal and gongs
Chopard-patented variable-inertia balance
Chopard-patented clutch-lever device serving to block the strikework so as to avoid losing power reserve during information capture
Chopard-patented dedicated ratchet-driving mechanism serving to avoid pauses during chiming
Strikework-activation device serving to act on the pusher whether it is chiming or not, in normal, low, continuous or fast mode (patent pending)
Balance-spring with Phillips terminal curve
Chronometer-certified by the COSC
Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark
Dial and hands
Open-worked sapphire dial
Applied logo plate in 18-carat white gold with black transfers
Satin-brushed chapter ring
Satin-brushed small seconds
Railway-type minutes track engraved on the sapphire crystal
Applied rhodium-plated herringbone-type hour-markers
Applied rhodium-plated Dauphine hours and minutes hands
Rhodium-plated baton-type small seconds hand
Rhodium-plated baton-type movement power-reserve and strikework power-reserve hands
Minute repeater striking sapphire gongs (Chopard-patented system)
Central display of the hours and minutes
Small seconds display at 6 o’clock
Concentric display of the watch and strikework power reserves at 2 o’clock
Strap and buckle
Strap in hand-sewn grey alligator leather with grey alligator lining
Folding clasp in polished and satin-brushed ethical 18-carat white gold