REVIEW: Chopard L.U.C. XPS 18K White Gold
October 23, 2013
L.U.C. is the top of the line “haute horlogerie” collection within Chopard. L.U.C. watches are designed and manufactured in Geneva and Fleurier, separate from standard Chopard wristwatches, furthermore — all L.U.C. timepiece are made with in-house movements inside. L.U.C. is an acronym that represents the brand’s founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard (1836-1915).
We recently reviewed the L.U.C XPS in 18K white gold. The XPS is a classic, elegant and ultra-thin dress watch powered by a reliable and beautifully finished ultra-thin manufacture made a micro-rotor equipped automatic movement.
Each L.U.C. XPS is animated by the in-house made caliber L.U.C. 91.12-L. The self-winding movement powers hours, minutes and small seconds displays. It runs at a frequency of 4Hz, with 172 components, 29 of which are jewels. When you look through the caseback most of the movement is visible thanks to a minimal 22K monobloc micro-rotor. Even as thin as the movement is (only 3.30 mm thick), it still has an impressive power reserve of 65-hours, which is thanks to the L.U.C. twin technology (which consists of dual stacked barrels).
Finishing is done by hand and is reminiscent of what you would expect to come out the top Swiss watch factories: circular-grained mainplate, Geneva stripes on the bridges and a sunburst finish on the engraved micro-oscillating weight.
All L.U.C. timepieces are chronometer certified by the COSC (except movements with no seconds hand), and many even have the prestigious Poinçon de Genève hallmark, although in this case the Geneve Seal would likely add too much to the price.
A silver dial is very basic, yet it is the quality of the dial, particularly the beautiful sunburst finish, which is one of the many elements that sets this particular dial, and timepiece, apart from lesser dress watches. The baton indexes are flat and have a polished finish. The hour and minute hands are faceted and polished. A small subsidiary seconds runs continuously at 6 o’clock. There is no-date function, which in our opinion is a good design decision as it reduces clutter and lets the wearer focus on the most important element — the time.
“On the wrist, the feel is quite nice, thanks in part to the thinness and conservative diameter of the case.”
Polished to a mirror finish, the 18K white gold case measures 39 mm in diameter (about 41 mm with the crown), and just 7.13 mm thick. Lug to lug width is 18 mm, in case you want to replace the strap. The dial is protected by a glareproofed sapphire crystal that appears to be flat, although it may have a very slight curve. The caseback is clear with 8 screws securing it in place. The crown measures 3.65 mm, and while it is so small it will never dig into your wrist, it is also so small it is harder to adjust than the larger type of crown you would see on a sports watch. Then again, this is a dress watch, so a smaller unobtrusive crown is expected. On the wrist, the feel is quite nice, thanks in part to the thinness and conservative diameter of the case.
Comes on a dark blue alligator strap with a matching 18K white gold pin buckle, with an embossed Chopard logo. Retail price is $16,780. It can be purchased from any authorized Chopard L.U.C. dealer or online at us.Chopard.com. The are a variety of different case, dial and strap configurations to choose from.
While some will argue that a date is a crucial function for a timepiece, we argue that is is not — especially for a dress watch. If you want a minimalist type design, with flawless finishing, this is it. The L.U.Chopard XPS is the most affordable collection in the L.U.C. lineup, yet it still receives the same level of attention as you would expect from one of their six figure pieces — all in a package that is a mere 7.13 mm thick. (Ref. 161920-1004)