A few weeks ago I attended an annual ball held by the ACMA (Australasian Council of Chinese Medical Association) in Adelaide. The event was strictly black tie and was fundraising for Kickstarter for Kids. This noble cause ultimately provides disadvantaged South Australian children with a breakfast and dinner. The founder of this program delivered a heart-warming speech that resonated with everyone in the room. As far as I am aware the gala dinner was an enormous success and people really did reach deep inside their pockets. Just as we were leaving I was introduced to the chairman of ACMA called Dr. Francis Ghan. As it turned out he is a real watch fanatic and was interested to hear I am a watch writer. In fact he is really well informed about the world of horology especially about brands like Tag Heuer, Rolex and Chopard.
Presently large groups and some massive independents dominate the watch industry. Until I visited Baselworld last March I didn’t really have a grasp of the scale of things. Literally these companies spend millions for the fair to assert their presence. Certainly Chopard fits in this category and is currently one of the world’s most profitable watch brands. Really its not suprising because they produce exquisite timepieces and have a massive marketing budget.
My primary contact at Chopard has always been their International PR Manager Cedric Laforge. I was delighted to finally meet him at Baselworld and found him very affable. As well as spending the time to present the brand he also allowed me access to some wonderful watches. One of these timepieces is a 2015 novelty called the L.U.C Regulator. Dimensionally the timepiece displays modest proportions and measures 43mm x 9.78mm. Although I only actually wore this watch for a few minutes I did find it sat comfortably on my wrist. Primarily that is down to the classical round case shape and the choice of luxurious 18-karat Rose Gold in production.
Visually the L.U.C Regulator has a really distinctive and high quality appearance. The dial successfully replicates the façade of master clocks found in traditional watchmaking workshops. Interestingly all the functions of the timepiece are displayed on different dials. For example a central hand indicates minutes and hours/seconds are positioned at 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock respectfully. The watch also has a second time zone located 9 o’clock and a retrograde power reserve at 12 o’clock. Certainly the composition is unique and should appeal to serious collectors.
At the heart of the watch is a highly sophisticated (COSC certified Chronometer) hand-winding movement bearing the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark. The Caliber L.U.C 98.02-L comprises 39-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. This mechanism is powered by L.U.C Quattro Technology (two sets of two stacked barrels) and is meticulously decorated by hand. Functionally the L.U.C Regulator features hours, minutes, seconds, GMT facility and small date indication (between 4-5 o’clock). The timepiece also has an impressive power reserve of 216 hours and is water resistant to a depth of 30 metres.
The L.U.C Regulator has a brown alligator strap with matching 18-karat rose gold buckle. Priced for the connoisseur at: €27,970 (approximately $30,841).
For more information about Chopard visit the company’s website: http://www.chopard.com