April 29th 2013

L.U.C Perpetual T – A mechanical and aesthetic accomplishment


Chopard presents this year at BASELWORLD one of the most prestigious combinations in watchmaking. A perpetual calendar and a tourbillon along with more than one-week of operating autonomy cement the L.U.C Perpetual T timepiece firmly among the horological aristocracy.

The nobility of its horological complications and the superlative refinement of its decorations, together with its discreet sophistication, sum up the highest standards integral to the legacy of founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard. Its tourbillon rubs shoulders with an extremely readable perpetual calendar in a watch characterised by its elaborate aesthetic appeal. Chronometer-certified for precision and bearing the Poinçon de Genève for the quality of its craftsmanship, the Perpetual T is more than a mere demonstration of watchmaking mastery. It is a distinguished and functional watch designed for daily living.

Making a perpetual calendar involves both technical and ergonomic issues. Displaying the complete date while taking account of the variable lengths of months, including in leap years, is a constant challenge ably met by L.U.C Calibre 02.15-L. Moreover, the multiple indications on the dial of such models can be detrimental to their readability and a strategic layout is crucial to legibility. The Perpetual T brings the date to the foreground in the shape of a large twin-aperture date display. At 9 o’clock, the day of the week takes precedence over a day/night indication; while the months share the 3 o’clock space with the leap-year cycle. Moreover, the quest for ergonomics and thus user-friendliness, goes beyond readability. With the four barrels of the Quattro system, the Perpetual T has a nine-day power reserve, meaning there is no need to worry about repeatedly adjusting the time or date. So as not to overload the dial, the power-reserve indicator appears on the reverse side of the watch and can be read through a transparent sapphire crystal case-back.

The tourbillon of the Perpetual T sits enthroned at 6 o’clock, topped by a steel bridge meticulously polished to a mirror finish. By its constant rotation around its axis, it enables the rate of the watch to elude the effects of gravity. Each Perpetual T successfully passes the trials conducted by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute. The COSC tests the rating precision and issues its timekeeping certificate only for watches that meet its established tolerances. Chopard, which regularly submits its watches at the International Chronometry Competition in Le Locle, thereby offers concrete proof that the tourbillon of its L.U.C Perpetual T does indeed accomplish its mission and the ‘Chronometer’ inscription on the dial is a discreet reminder of its high-precision timing capabilities.

The 43 mm-diameter rose gold case of the Perpetual T frames a solid gold dial adorned with a hand-cut guilloché motif radiating out from the large date and crossing through the applied Roman numerals marking off the hours. The slate grey counters of the perpetual calendar are also guilloché-worked in order to distinguish between the functions and accentuate the contrasts. When it comes to watches, inner beauty is an equally important virtue. The entire L.U.C Calibre 02.15-L has thus been hand-decorated in accordance with the finest watchmaking traditions. The plates are circular-grained, the screws are polished, the bridges are bevelled and adorned with a vertical Côtes de Genève motif and the jewels are set into gold chatons. These parts are all patiently polished and smoothed down by hand. The quality of these treatments combined with the specific technical and design choices involved in its development enable the L.U.C Perpetual T to earn the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark, the most prestigious Swiss watch industry certification.

The L.U.C approach consists in a quest for excellence encompassing all aspects of the watch. An elegant complication model featuring the precision and the kinematic appeal of the tourbillon, the Perpetual T is made to be admired and worn. Its COSC and Poinçon de Genève certification testify to the high standards governing Chopard’s production of its prestigious watches. While naturally rare due to the sheer complexity of crafting it, the Perpetual T is nonetheless not a limited edition. It is taking its place firmly and securely at the peak of the L.U.C ranges.