The unique crystalline sound developed by Chopard resounds in a new ‘chiming in passing’ watchmaking masterpiece.
Chopard is deploying its expertise in chiming watches by unveiling its new L.U.C Strike One model. The latter chimes the passing of each hour on a Chopard-patented monobloc sapphire in a manner combining incomparably rich acoustics and emotional depth. Equipped with the L.U.C 96.32-L movement, this refined 40 mm-diameter timepiece in ethical 18-carat white gold is chronometer-certified and bears the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark. Its solid gold grey-green dial is hand-guilloché with a honeycomb motif. With its crown-integrated pusher, its slender 9.86 mm size and its crystal-clear sound, the L.U.C Strike One model endows the passing of time with an elegantly resonant dimension.
To mark the L.U.C collection’s 25th anniversary in 2022, Chopard Manufacture presented an original series of horological masterpieces showcasing its mastery of chiming watches. It admirably confirmed the knowledge and experience acquired with its L.U.C Full Strike model, its minute repeater watch launched in 2016 and winner of the “Aiguille d’Or” best-in-show award at the 2017 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Today, with its L.U.C Strike One model, Chopard offers the only chiming watch with a sapphire gong directly attached to the crystal.
A Virtuoso Accomplishment
The L.U.C Strike One timepiece picks up the aesthetic codes inaugurated with the L.U.C XPS 1860 model, starting with its solid gold grey-green dial bearing a snailed rim and a hand-guilloché centre adorned with a honeycomb pattern. The beehive is one of the emblems that Louis-Ulysse Chopard chose to represent his workshops.
At 1 o’clock, the dial features a cut-out revealing the mirror-polished steel hammer that generates the chime through a likewise hammer-shaped opening. The periphery of the dial bears a railway-type minutes track, engraved on the sapphire crystal. Just below this is the element that makes the L.U.C Strike One so exclusive: a monobloc sapphire gong.
The chime-in-passing mechanism rings out only when the minutes hand reaches 12 o’clock. Twenty-four times a day, on the hour, its hammer is automatically armed and strikes the gong, just once. The sound thus produced resonates alone and must therefore feature exceptional intensity, clarity and length. In this solo performance, the chime represents a distillation of the expertise acquired by Chopard Manufacture in the field of striking mechanisms.
Unequalled Mastery Of Chiming Watches
The new L.U.C Calibre 96.32-L features the typical architecture of L.U.C calibres, with its automatic winding via a micro-rotor in engraved ethical 22-carat gold. In addition, the Chopard Twin technology, with its double barrel, ensures a 65-hour power reserve even when the chiming mode is activated. This stability demonstrates the quality of Chopard‘s developments and its management of energy issues.
While Chopard Manufacture had already made a name for itself in 2006 with its first ‘chiming in passing’ movement, the L.U.C 96.32-L – presented for the first time in 2022 – is packed with innovations. The first is that the pusher controlling the chime, previously located at 10 o’clock, is now integrated into the crown. It is this pusher that enables the wearer to switch between silence and striking mode, indicated by a gold-ringed aperture at 12 o’clock. More discreet and also more comfortable on the wrist, this layout remains a Chopard-specific feature to date. In addition, the thinness of the movement measuring a mere 5.60 mm enables the case of the new L.U.C Strike One model to be less than ten mm thick, placing it firmly within the tradition of understated elegance characterising the L.U.C collection, as reflected in its grey alligator leather strap with tone-on-tone alligator lining, secured by a pin buckle in ethical 18-carat white gold.
A Crystal-Clear Sound Unique In The World
So as to optimise and perpetuate the acoustic richness of the monobloc sapphire crystal/gong system derived from the L.U.C Full Strike, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has envisaged each of the chiming watches like a musical instrument that goes beyond simply telling the time to generate emotions.
The glass protecting the dial and the gong providing an audible indication of time are one and the same. Machined all of a piece from a block of sapphire, without soldering, screws or glue, it endows the watch with unique sound intensity. This construction with its unalterable sound that remains unequalled, was the subject of one of the many patents registered by Chopard. In 2017, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève recognised this feat by awarding the “Aiguille d’Or” best-in-show award to the L.U.C Full Strike minute repeater model in rose gold.