Most watch collectors want more then just a pretty face, for them the movement is of equal importance when they add a watch to their collection. A watch that can more than please in both areas is Chopard’s L.U.C Lunar One. True connoisseurs only need to read L.U.C to know that the initials of Chopard’s founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard, mean that this watch is fitted with one of Chopard’s own movements, which they make completely in house.
Over the last decades Chopard has really established itself as a Manufacture that makes a very distinct style of movements. The movement in the Lunar One, caliber L.U.C 96QP, is perhaps one of the best examples of this. First, this perpetual calendar has a generous power reserve of 70 hours. Extended power reserves are something that the L.U.C movements are known for (they even offer a Tourbillon movement with 200 hours of power reserve!), and in the case of the Lunar One, this is achieved by two spring barrels that are placed slightly over each other, and work in sequence.
Another hallmark, although Chopard doesn’t use it on all their L.U.C movements, is the micro-rotor. Only a few watch manufactures still use them on a regular basis. Chopard crafts theirs from 22 karat gold, to give it some extra mass and the bonus is a more luxurious touch. The rotor is enclosed on three sides by bridges decorated with Geneva Striping.
A close look at the back of the movement also reveals something else; the very desirable Geneva Seal. Chopard is one of the few manufactures that is awarded this seal, and is in the company of Vacheron Constantin and Rogier Dubuis. The Geneva Seal sets standards for how the movement should be built, finished and decorated. It’s no easy feat to earn this prestigious stamp of approval. Apart from the Geneva Seal, the Lunar One is also Chronometer certified, which means it must keep time between -4 to +6 seconds per day, which is measured by an independent institute. This earned attribute is listed on the dial of the watch.
It is always a pleasure when a watch manufacture takes the time to not only create a great movement but also design a case and dial that really set it apart from the competition. Chopard gave the Lunar One a face of its own, but you can still see the brands DNA in it. The pink gold case, white gold is also available, is quite a classical design and the perfect companion of the silver dial. Chopard positioned all the perpetual calendar functions right where you want them to be, with the big date at 12 o’ clock and the moon phase indicator at 6 o’clock the main attractions.
That moon phase has something special to it because it is actually a thin disc that turns around the axis of the running seconds. The indicated moon phases are also extremely precise, with a deviation of only a day……every 122 years!
Slightly oversized Roman numerals offer the dial that finishing touch that makes it a contemporary classic. It’s like one of those wines; perfect to enjoy now, but one that also ages well. And it takes a special “ vintage” to achieve such a qualification!