Chopard L.U.C. 1860 - 1.96 movement - Black Guilloché dial
From ornate jewellery and gems to fine mechanical watchmaking, Chopard is 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. Chopard's watchmaking savoir-faire perpetually evolved ultimately under the complete control of Paul-André, Louis-Ulysse’s grandson. 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.
During the 1990s, 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 industry. With traditionally executed details and proportions, the LUC 1860 was 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.
The year 2022 commemorates the 25th anniversary of the LUC 1860, while 2023 introduces the newly launched 1860 reedition in steel featuring a salmon dial. What could be a more fitting way to honor this milestone than with a truly noteworthy advancement in the legacy of this iconic classic?
Purchased in 2011, this example features an 18-carat white gold case fitted with a black guilloché dial. 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 of the 16/1860/2 showcases intricate and precise design execution while maintaining a sense of purity. Constructed from gold by Metalem, the black tones of the base frame an exquisitely handcrafted engine-turned stepped dial, encircled by a simplified seconds track. The dial then reveals sharply defined raised arrow hour markers. A large set of dauphine-style hands complements these markers, positioned just above a subsidiary seconds register adorned with concentric circles. Additionally, a matching date aperture at six adds to the aesthetic, featuring a black aperture window that perfectly aligns with Chopard's meticulous attention to detail. Noteworthy is the fact that both the hour markers and handset are crafted from solid gold. This classically styled dress watch is elegantly signed 'Chopard' at twelve, with 'automatic' neatly integrated 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 platinum 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 A. Lange & Söhne.
How It Wears
The Chopard LUC 16/1860/2 owes much of its appeal to its well-balanced proportions, where the sizing plays a crucial role. Measuring a conservative 36.5mm in width, it falls within the mid-sized category, complemented by a slim 8.4mm thickness.
This particular iteration stands out exceptionally on both male and female wrists, distinguishing itself from other 1860 models. The captivating black dial not only grabs attention but also boasts added depth due to the intricately adorned guilloché pattern, the white gold markers and hands. With its stepped bezel and understated case, the watch presents a contemporary wrist presence that is primarily defined by its dial. The lugs contribute sensibly to its overall appearance.
It's essential to underscore the significance of this noteworthy 1860, appealing to both Chopard enthusiasts and experts in the neo-vintage realm.
This exclusive Chopard LUC 16/1860/2 with black guilloché dial is sold complete with its original box, warranty papers, COSC papers, Geneva Seal papers, additional hunter-style caseback, white gold pin buckle, official Chopard strap, manual, and leaflets. The watch is offered in mint condition after having recently undergone a full service of the movement.
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
* Every watch is delivered in a Mr WATCHLEY Membrane Protection Box for a safe transportation in addition to its original set *
|Mr Watchley Saffiano Onyx
|Sold in 2011