Chopard L.U.C. 1860 - 1.96 movement - Blue 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. Various 1860 pieces have been produced over the years featuring a range of case materials and dial colours.
A noteworthy evolution with early 1860 references relates to their case configuration. The full initial reference number for these watches is 16/1860/1, and regardless of their case materials, featured hunter case backs. They’re believed to (but remain unconfirmed) be produced in 100 editions per configuration. Following the /1 was the 16/1860/2, which removed the hunter-style caseback in favour of a sapphire crystal display caseback; although a hunter-style caseback was still included in the watch box. The blue dial format of the 1860 was believed to only have been produced with a guilloché decoration during the production run of the 16/1860/1, until today.
2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the LUC 1860 and 2023 marks the newly released 1860 reedition with a salmon dial. What better way to celebrate this milestone than with a remarkably significant breakthrough in the lineage of this cult classic. Mr Watchley is proud to present this 16/1860/2, a LUC 1860 fitted with a dial previously only believed to have made its way into the 16/1860/1. This offering is extremely rare, and after comprehensive research, we believe this to be one of the first times this configuration has made its way to the open market.
Produced between 1997-1999 but purchased in 2001, this example features an 18-carat white gold case fitted with a blue 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 on this 16/1860/2 is detailed and precise in its design and execution, yet simultaneously undiluted. Crafted from gold by Metalem, the youthful blue 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. It’s worth bringing to attention the matching blue aperture window, as this extra nuance is yet another example of Chopard’s keen eye. 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 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
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.
On either a male or female wrist, this specific expression truly excels unlike any other 1860, as its desirable blue dial doesn’t just offer eye-catching appeal thanks to its tone, but the additional depth achieved by its finely decorated guilloché pattern is simply wonderful. Due to its stepped bezel and minimal case, the watch has a contemporary wrist presence appropriately dominated by its dial. It's also worth highlighting the lugs, which further sensibly aid its presence. It’s difficult to downplay the importance of this significant 1860; for Chopard connoisseurs and experts within the neo-vintage space alike.
This exclusive Chopard LUC 16/1860/2 with blue guilloché dial is sold complete with its original box, warranty papers, COSC papers, Geneva Seal papers, additional hunter-style caseback, white gold pin buckle, unworn official Chopard strap, manual, and leaflets. The watch is offered in mint condition after having recently undergone a full service and is presented in like new condition.
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 *
|Size (Case)||36,5 mm|
|Material (Case)||White gold|
|Bracelet||Mr Watchley grained mid-grey|