Chopard L.U.C. 1860 - 1.96 movement - Silver Guilloché dial
Introduced exactly 25 years ago, the Chopard L.U.C. 1860 model is a highly esteemed timepiece from the brand. Thanks to its rich history, extraordinary movement, and effortless design. This example features an 18-carat white gold case fitted with a silver 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 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 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. 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.
Condition & set
This discontinued and rare white gold Chopard L.U.C. 1860, homage to Louis-Ulysse Chopard is in fully serviced condition. The case back is signed with "Douce France - Bal de la Mer 2000", in homage to the evening organised by the Yacht Club of Monaco. This Chopard comes with the Chopard extract, service papers and the original leather strap and buckle. The watch is fitted with a Mr Watchley Saffiano Speckled Khaki strap.
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.
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 Saffiano Speckled Khaki|
|Papers||Extract from archive & 2022 service papers|