The Chopard L.UC 1860 is for us and for many one of the best surprises from Watches and Wonders this year, first released in 1997 it quickly became one of the most elegant and distinctive watches.
The Swiss brand, which in the 1990s opted to produce the watch in precious materials such as gold and platinum, now ventures into steel, an absolute debut, which it calls “Lucent” steel.
For those who still remember the original L.U.C 1860 you will find few differences in the new one, the one that may be more evident is the omission of the date window display at 6 o’clock, but there is more, on the outside, the lugs are now a little wider and the previous case that came with a polished finish is replaced now alternating between polished and brushed. Inside there are also new features, the former Caliber 1.96 now gives way to the In-house Caliber 96.40-L.
So what can we find in the new L.U.C 1860, a “Lucent” steel case measuring 36.5mm in diameter and 8.2mm thick, smooth bezel, fluted crown at three o’clock, sapphire glass on the front and case back and anthracite leather strap.
The dial, which maintains the salmon colour although now in a more pronounced tone, continues to come with the guilloche motif in the centre that houses the small seconds at 6 o’clock and the plaque with the brand’s name at 12 o’clock. The new L.U.C 1860 which keeps the white gold ring around the centre in guilloche, now adds another two along the inner and outer perimeter of the minute track, everything else remains the same, namely the applied faceted white gold hour markers and dauphine hands.
The automatic micro-rotor movement now operates inside, which like the previous Caliber is COSC certified, and now offers 65 hours of power reserve thanks to its two mainspring barrels.
The watch is an exclusive boutique model that can be purchased for a price of $23,200 and is heavily conditioned to reduced production.
As we mentioned in the opening, it is one of the most interesting launches and that could well be part of our choices, since the watch is very beautiful, we would even risk saying that it is better than the original, since the brushed case makes it more versatile and less dressy, and the dial looks more balanced and less busy, however, there is a huge drawback, which is the price, five figures for a steel watch, no matter how good or beautiful it may be, seems exaggerated and out of the reality, we could present here countless alternatives but we don’t think it’s necessary, so, it’s a pity.