Chopard expands its L.U.C Haute Horlogerie collection by introducing a multi complication timepiece incorporating the brand’s emblematic striking minute repeater mechanism and tourbillon. Limited to 20 pieces, this watch features an ethical 18-carat rose gold case.
Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the L.U.C collection, the L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon model is one of the most sophisticated and most innovative Grand Complication watches ever created to date.
It follows in the footsteps of Chopard’s L.U.C Full Strike minute repeater timepieces, of which the first ethical rose gold edition was awarded the “Aiguille d’Or” best-in-show award at the 2017 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. These timepieces feature a unique Chopard-patented system in which the gongs and sapphire crystal form a single entity, which resonates in its entirety to produce the chime.
Dressed in a 42.5 mm diameter and 12.58 mm thick case, the L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon is distinguished by well-balanced proportions contributing to the characteristic elegance of the L.U.C collection. With its interplay of grey and gold colours between the case and strap, dial and hands, as well as between the movement’s steel and nickel silver components, this watch flaunts its aesthetic perfection at every level.
For the first time in the history of the Full Strike, the L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon model has an almost entirely solid dial. Instead of broadly revealing the watch’s internal mechanisms, it reserves its openings for the two horological complications that make this piece so special.
The first cut-out between 9 and 11 o’clock, highlights the two mirror-polished steel hammers whose striking generates the chime. The other, at 6 o’clock, reveals the tourbillon of the L.U.C 08.02-L calibre.
Thanks to a cross-through sapphire crystal tourbillon bridge, nothing obscures the view of the spiral-shaped carriage bridge. The final touch, made possible by the use of sapphire with its multiple properties, lies in the four rounded notches. This L.U.C signature tourbillon bridge is derived from a design by the founder of the Maison, Louis-Ulysse Chopard.
The dial is made from a base plate in solid gold and this material remains visible along the openings, featuring mirror-polished edges. It also features a hand-guilloché radiating floral pattern belonging to the collection’s aesthetic repertoire that is then ruthenium grey-coloured by means of a galvanic treatment.
It is complemented by applied Roman numeral hour-markers and hands, all of which are gilded in a rose gold matching the case. The latter, like all Chopard’s watch and jewellery creations since 2018, is crafted from ethical gold.
Chopard Manufacture watchmakers have placed the tourbillon of the L.U.C 08.02-L calibre at 6 o’clock, beneath the seconds hand. Its high-quality steel carriage picks up the distinctive spiral design – a signature of L.U.C tourbillons.
This regulator further enhances the precision of the movement, a subject to which Chopard’s Co-President, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, takes a resolutely uncompromising approach. It combats the adverse effects of gravity on the balance-spring and escapement by placing them in a variety of spatial positions.
The tourbillon placed on the Chopard Manufacture minute repeater mechanism thereby contributes to the extreme precision of L.U.C Calibre 08.02-L as well as to the obtention of chronometer certification from the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute.
The L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon is not a mere modification of the L.U.C Full Strike. Moving from a calibre comprising 533 components to one with 568 is not an addition, but a revolution. The decision to include a tourbillon regulator required a complete development process that involved rethinking interactions and layouts.
With such a delicate complication subject to as many parameters as the minute repeater, the Chopard Manufacture workshops had to ensure that this tourbillon would not in any way modify the acoustic qualities of the chime.
This equilibrium is preserved by the sapphire gongs that are all-of-a-piece with the watch glass, which acts as a resonator. Moreover, the fact that the minute repeater has its own barrel naturally eliminates any energy-related interference, while the presence of the tourbillon does not alter the striking reserve.
L.U.C Calibre 08.02-L inherits the unprecedented advances featured in the L.U.C 08.01-L: the first minute repeater movement introduced by Chopard Manufacture in 2016. In addition to its resonant structure, whose role is taken on by the sapphire crystal, several innovative technical systems have been added.
It also benefits from the innovations introduced in L.U.C Calibre 02.01-L in 2003. A total of seven are the subject of patents. In a minute repeater mechanism, the energy used by the strikework is provided each time the arming 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 Tourbillon to chime a maximum of 12 times the most complex and energy-intensive time: namely 12 hours and 59 minutes.
This exceptional power reserve is due to several factors. Benefiting from a patented clutch-lever device, it ensures that the strikework gear train is blocked to avoid losing power reserve during the information capture that controls the minute repeater.
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 instrument and should deliver something more – namely emotion.
Renaud Capuçon is a virtuoso of his time as well as 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 Tourbillon timepiece benefits from their analysis and their contribution, both scientific and emotional.
Thanks to Chopard’s unalterable sapphire gongs, the sound of the L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon is unchanging, stemming from the orchestration of complementary talents: Karl-Friedrich Scheufele for watchmaking precision; Renaud and Gautier Capuçon for artistic and emotional endorsement; and Romain Boulandet for scientific expertise.
Model: Chopard L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon
Numbered 20-piece limited edition in ethical 18-carat rose gold
Ethical 18-carat rose gold
Total diameter 42.5 mm
Thickness 12.58 mm
Crown with integrated strikework pusher in ethical 18-carat rose gold with L.U.C logo 8.80 mm
Vertical satin-brushed caseband
Polished bezel and case-back, hand-engraved case-back
Exhibition back with sapphire crystal
Mechanical hand-wound L.U.C 08.02-L
Number of components: 568
Total diameter: 37.20 mm
Thickness: 8.90 mm
Number of jewels: 61
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 50 hours
Mainplate and bridges in untreated nickel silver
Bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève motif
Chopard-patented one-minute tourbillon regulator equipped with a Chopard-patented monobloc pallet-lever
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 while 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 in ruthenium grey hand-guilloché 18-carat rose gold
Chapter ring with snailed concentric circle pattern
Applied gilded Roman numerals
White transferred power-reserve graduations
Gilded Dauphine fusée-type hours and minutes hands
Gilded baton-type small seconds hand
Gilded baton-type power-reserve and strikework power-reserve hands
Railway-type minutes track engraved on the sapphire crystal
Tourbillon bridge in glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Minute repeater striking sapphire gongs (Chopard-patented system)
Tourbillon with small seconds display at 6 o’clock
Central display of the hours and minutes
Concentric display of the watch and strikework power reserves at 2 o’clock
Strap in hand-sewn grey alligator leather with grey alligator lining
Folding clasp in polished and satin-brushed ethical 18-carat rose gold