Countdown mode for Baselworld 2019 has commenced and Chopard presents its first flying tourbillon combined with an automatic movement on board the elegant rose gold L.U.C. Flying T Twin. The ultra-thin case is produced using “Fairmined” gold and houses a considerably thinner automatic movement dependent on Chopard’s absolute first manufacture movement. Decorated with a sophisticated hand-guilloché dial, the watch is chronometer-certified and bears the Poinçon de Genève seal of quality. Collectors be cautioned, this is a limited edition of just 50 pieces.
Ultra-thin Fairmined Gold Case
For numerous gentlemen, the case of the L.U.C Flying T Twin flaunts perfect proportions. Crafted from 18k rose gold, the case measures 40mm in diameter and has a ultra-thin profile of just 7.2mm. That is actually 0.4mm thinner than the pre-Baselworld 2019 L.U.C XPS Twist watch we audited recently, and exactly a similar height as the L.U.C XPS 1860 , but with a flying tourbillon to boot.
Chopard’s commitment to using 100% ethical gold from July 2018 has positioned the brand as the current leader of sustainable luxury and is the principle global purchaser of “Fairmined” gold, held exclusively for the production of its Grand Complication timepieces and some high jewelry models. The rose gold case is beautifully completed along the lines of all L.U.C models. The polished bezel contrasts with the vertical satin-brushed completion on the casebands and the gently sloping lugs have smooth, rounded corners for comfort.
A flying tourbillon is a regular tourbillon without an upper extension crossing its circumference. Supported from underneath, this variation of tourbillon creates the feeling that the tourbillon is flying and offers a unimpeded perspective on the carriage. Although the tourbillon escapement has been around since Breguet patented his invention in 1801, the flying tourbillon was invented by Alfred Helwig in 1920, an instructor at the German School of Watchmaking in Glashütte.
Compared to the hand-wound L.U.C models with regular, non-flying tourbillons, the industrial-looking rectangular scaffold that is used to secure the tourbillons isn’t necessary and the esthetic upgrade notable. Placed in a large aperture at 6 o’clock, and outlined with a gilded ring to match the case color, the flying one-minute tourbillon doubles up as a small seconds counter and is indicated with a small white triangle-molded hand.
The solid gold dial has an anthracite dim surface obtained with a galvanic treatment, which thusly has been decorated by hand with sophisticated guilloché. The chapter ring bearing the gilded hour markers and numerals – applied and facetted – features an elegant snailed motif while the central territory of the dial is decorated with an intriguing honeycomb motif that was first seen on the 2017 L.U.C XPS Officer edition. Almost like an Escher print in its abstract geometry, the hexagonal compartments of the honeycomb pattern are positioned at different angles adding a great deal of relief and playing with the light surprisingly. According to the brand, the pattern brings out a colony of bees and alludes to the first logo used by founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard. Like the hour markers, the Dauphine hands are also gilded to match the case metal.
The new in-house automatic movement has been developed, produced and assembled in L.U.C’s workshops in Geneva. An evolution of Chopard’s original ultra-thin Caliber 96.01-L – which was first fitted on board the L.U.C XPS 1860 of 1997 – the new Caliber 96.24-L retains similar measurements as its predecessor (27.40mm diameter x 3.30mm thickness) and features a similar 22k gold micro-rotor. The ‘Twin’ appellation featured for the sake of the watch alludes to Chopard’s patented Twin technology capable of giving a 65-hour power save thanks to its two stacked barrels. To allow ample space for the tourbillon, the date window has been deserted on this model. Completed to L.U.C’s exclusive requirements, the movement displays Côtes de Genève stripes, has been granted the Geneva Seal of quality and is chronometer-certified.
A matte black alligator leather strap with cognac-colored alligator lining (colored with plant colors) with a 18k rose gold pin buckle completes the package. The L.U.C Flying T Twin is a 50-piece limited edition – price will be EUR 109,000. More details at www.chopard.com .