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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Fashion & Lifestyle

LUC Flying T Twin by Chopard: a great complicated watch

The new L.U.C Flying T Twin is a first for Chopard, for a number of reasons. As the first ever Chopard flying tourbillon, the watch combines the technical mastery of a tourbillon with the elegance and style that has come to be expected from a Chopard watch. It is also the first Chopard watch of its kind with an automatic movement.

A tourbillon watch is the height of precision and accuracy, and is the only choice for a serious watch-wearer. The tourbillon places some of the watch’s internal mechanics into a rotating cage so that, however the wearer holds their wrist, there doesn’t exist the miniscule drag that gravity causes in other watches. This irons out any positional errors in accuracy, meaning that once the time is set it stays absolutely accurate.  The ‘Twin’ in the name refers to Chopard’s patented Twin Technology, which dedicates two mainspring barrels within the workings of the watch to provide an incredible 65-hour power reserve. The watch is effortlessly powered by Chopard’s much-lauded Caliber 96.24-L, which is just 3.30 mm thick including a 22ct gold rotor.

The sophisticated mechanics of the Flying T Twin are only one part of its appeal. This timepiece also holds great aesthetic appeal, boasting a hand-guilloché gold dial and an ultra-thin case, all fashioned from ethically certified Fairmined rose gold. The Flying Tourbillon is a slim and delicately designed watch, but it has a weight and size that makes it stand out, so that it makes the perfect centrepiece to any outfit.

This is a substantial and serious piece of fine watchmaking, but it is the elegance of the design that Chopard is particularly proud of, saying: “While the LUC Flying T Twin houses an exceptional movement, it stands out first and foremost for the finesse and refinement of its dial.”

Effortlessly chic, the sophistication of the watch carries through to the dark grey dial, which creates a surprising yet understated contrast with the rose gold of the case, as well as the hand and hour markers. The dial features a chapter ring with a stunning snailed motif, and the central medallion is decorated with a honeycomb design – a reference to the original logo used by Chopard’s founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard.

Whilst offering a formal and modest approach to design, this latest addition to the L.U.C collection isn’t above a little fun, as the charcoal face plays off of the rose gold detailing to deliciously vibrant effect, and is designed for those who wish to stand out from the crowd –  this watch is certainly not for wallflowers!

Working with ethical gold

Gold is a L.U.C signature, and is fast becoming one of Chopard’s major selling points, after the Maison committed to 100% ethical gold being used in all of its jewellery production as of July 2018. All Fairmined gold is responsibly sourced from artisanal mining organisations, to which Chopard pays a premium so that  every effort is taken to ensure that workers are treated correctly, and that the environment is taken into consideration throughout the mining process. Profits from the sale of this gold are reinvested into the community as a whole, creating a totally sustainable supply chain which doesn’t cause harm to the areas it is mined from.

Chopard is currently the world’s number one purchaser of Fairmined Gold, and has been directly responsible for a number of smaller mines achieving Fairmined certification, helping to provide the resources, as well as the social and environmental support necessary to achieve this.

Chopard’s commitment to private production

Chopard has been run as a family business dating all the way back to its inception in 1963, and places great importance on being self-reliant. Thus, the Maison is involved in every step of the watch-making process, and every step of the creation of L.U.C watches is performed at the Geneva and Fleurier production sites, to ensure the right balance of uniformity and the creative flourishes that set Chopard apart from other brands.

But Chopard’s philanthropic spirit doesn’t end with sourcing and production, the Maison is also dedicated to ensuring that its buildings are environmentally-friendly, and all of their processes sustainable. The company is dedicated to providing excellent working conditions for staff, and all facilities are strictly designed to meet all legislative requirements. More recently, Chopard has committed to taking this a step further, with low environmental impact buildings designed for the head office buildings.

The Geneva building was completed in 2010, and constructed under advisement from Minergie, the Swiss eco-friendly construction standard. The building features a double isolation envelope that allows cooled air from the restaurant to flow into the air conditioning systems, and rainwater collectors keep the garden watered naturally. Further to this, following years of upgrades and modifications, the Fleurier Ebauches building was also awarded Minergie status in 2013. One of the major production centres for Chopard watches, the Fleurier building was the largest building to be awarded the Minergie label in the Canton of Neuchâtel.

These sites are run according to the REDUCE – REUSE – RECYCLE motto, which ensures that all operations are as environmentally friendly as they can be, and the sites pay close attention to waste production as well as greenhouse gas emissions, working towards a continuous goal of adapting and improving.

It is under these conditions that the L.U.C Flying Tourbillon was produced. Every part of the watch production operation is carefully monitored in-house, from movement development to the completed product design, gold smelting, case stamping and machining, hand-crafted finishes, polishing, adjustments and quality controls. This delicate process allows Chopard complete control over the process, and the finished product, which is why these beautiful timepieces are so eye-catching as well as totally sustainable.

The L.U.C collection “epitomises the highest standard of Swiss watchmaking”, according to Chopard, and is aimed to meet the “aspirations of contemporary gentlemen”. The L.U.C Flying Tourbillon is part of an extremely limited 50-piece series, certified by the “Poinçon de Genève” quality hallmark, offering a rarity and dignity which should make it the pride of any fine watch collection.


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Anna Papadopoulos
Editor, writer, teacher, consultant. Advocate for plain language, journalism, free speech, and tolerance. Feminist. Based in Sydney, Australia.
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