Chopard L.U.C. 1860 - Full collectors set - 1997 - Pink gold
From ornate jewellery and gems to fine mechanical watchmaking, Chopard stands as one brand that exemplifies beauty. Although arguably more well known for their jewellery making, Chopard's mechanical timekeeping legacy stretches back to 1860 when Louis-Ulysse Chopard established the firm at just 24, and ultra-thin yet precise pocket watches were being produced. Initially founded in the Swiss Jura before eventually moving to Geneva under Chopard's son and grandson Paul-Louis and Paul-André, Chopard's watchmaking savoir-faire perpetually evolved eventually under complete control of Paul-André. However, due to none of his sons showing an interest in taking over the firm, Chopard was acquired by Karl Scheufele III. Once the acquisition was completed, Scheufele III worked closely with his family to develop each string to Chopard's bow, including the ladies' collections and high-end jewellery headed by Caroline Scheufele. At the same time, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele captained the watch department. Today both siblings remain at Chopard and share the presidency of this esteemed manufacturer.
The 1990s represented somewhat of a turning point for their watchmaking department as, despite the influx of quartz watches, Karl-Friedrich opened up a manufacturer dedicated to the development and production of in house calibres. Albeit a risky move, this decision was a prosperous one for Chopard. In 1996 the watchmaker announced its first in-house calibre, the Calibre 1.96. With a reputation for using svelte movements, the micro-rotor powered 1.96 debuted in the LUC 1860 collection in 1997, a new elegant and timeless design dress watch. This piece was named after the brand's founder and was greatly received by the watch collecting scene and industry alike.
With its traditionally executed details and proportions, the LUC 1860 was also fitted with a finely produced solid gold dial created by Metalem - a manufacturer who has gone on to work with the likes of Philippe Dufour for his Simplicity. Various 1860 pieces have been produced over the years featuring white gold, yellow gold, pink gold, and platinum cases, as well as different dial colours from black, salmon, and silver.
Due to the careful curation of our offerings, watches offered as complete sets aren't uncommon for the Mr Watchley site. However, this specific LUC 1860 takes the term 'full set' to the next level. Removing the original outer box reveals its original inner box, which houses the second solid caseback, including the original stickers to protect it. The Geneva seal tag is also included, as is the original watch strap the watch was sold fitted to, which still holds the original gold spring bars and its original pink gold buckle. Also included with this Chopard is a 1997 LUC 1860 catalogue, the 1997 price list, the Chopard distribution offices catalogue, and the original purchase receipt plus certificate of origin, both signed 1997. Furthermove, the watch is presented with the original certificate for its Poinçon de Genève seal, detailed Bulletin Officiel Suisse De Chronometres, and the original LUC 1860 manual. Finally, a two-page cutting from a 1997 magazine that discusses the LUC 1860 plus a Chopard branded holder to store the aforementioned documents, along with a service pouch to complete this unrivalled collector set. Provenance is highly desirable when dealing with pre-owned timepieces, and this offering is one of the best sets we have seen here at Mr Watchley.
And last but not least, we have the final and most important piece of the puzzle, the very watch itself.
2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the LUC 1860, and what better way to celebrate this milestone than with a pristine example of the Chopard LUC 16/1860/2 dating from the year it was introduced. Purchased in 1997, this example features an 18-carat pink gold case fitted with a silver guilloché dial. The watch was initially released in limited quantities totally 1,860 examples, with this piece being No. 0013/1860. Due to its double-digit production number, it is likely that this piece is only of the first pink gold examples to have left the manufacturer. The soft and elegantly restrained exterior of the 36.5mm case is gently defined by its stepped bezel before flowing into the blended lugs and case body with remarkable slenderness.
The dial on this 16/1860/2 is detailed and precise in its design and execution, yet simultaneously undiluted. Crafted from gold by Metalem, the silvery tones of the base house a beautiful handcrafted engine-turned stepped dial surrounded by a simplified seconds track before presenting the sharply shaped raised arrow hour markers. Complementing these are a large set of dauphine style hands sitting just above a subsidiary seconds register, complete with concentric circles and half of the dial matching date aperture at six. Like the dial they sit on, the hour markers and handset are also solid gold. This traditionally configured dress watch is simply signed 'Chopard' at twelve and includes 'automatic' neatly within its sub-register.
The LUC manufacture calibre 1.96 is the beating heart of this Chopard and, much like the watch it powers, has its own celebrated reputation. Michel Parmigiani designed the movement in conjunction with Chopard taking three years to develop. The movement is awash with black polishing from its swan neck regulator to each screw head. The anglage on each bridge alongside the engraved and signed 22k gold micro-rotor glows effortlessly and plays with light and shadow. The bridges feature Côtes de Genève striping and house the Geneva hallmark identifying this as a Geneva Sealed piece. Not only is this a gorgeous movement to view through the display caseback, but it's also technologically impressive. Said micro-rotor generates energy which is stored in its two mainspring barrels that are stacked on top of each other to optimise space and produce 70 hours of running autonomy. With a Breguet overcoil hairspring, 32 jewels, COSC certification, and a beat rate of 4 Hz, it's no wonder this precise and efficient movement remains highly regarded. So much so, Philippe Dufour is said to have rated this as one of the top finished movements at the time, only behind his own creations and famously Lange & Söhne.
The movement on this specific example is a very early example: number 000007.
How It Wears
Proportions can truly make or break a watch, and thanks to its balanced sizing, the Chopard Chopard LUC 16/1860/2 is thankfully made by its size. At 36.5mm wide, it's conservatively mid-sized and is only bettered by its 8.4mm thickness. Due to its stepped bezel and minimal case, the watch has a contemporary wrist presence appropriately dominated by its dial. It's also worth bringing to attention the lugs, which further sensibly aid its presence. There are special watches, and then there are pieces like this Chopard LUC 16/1860/2.
Alongside the previously discussed box, paperwork, and accompanying accessories, the LUC 16/1860/2 watch has recently returned from the Chopard LUC service centre, where it underwent a complete service. The piece is sold with its services papers and remains unworn since.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium
No stock kept on site
|Size (Case)||36,5 mm|
|Material (Case)||Pink gold|
|Bracelet||Mr Watchley Saffiano Green|
|Condition||As new, Chopard service sealed|
|Papers||Yes, collectors set|