While it pains me to say this, it is nevertheless true: increasingly tough market situations have forced watch brands to ease back on releasing new super complicated watches. We have become used to seeing a handful of these so-called “halo watch” novelties every single year, but that no longer is the case as R&D budgets are cut and the financial sustainability is questionable for such eye-wateringly expensive projects. Worry not, though, as the all-new Chopard L.U.C Full Strike leather strap watches UK are here and, frankly, it has everything going for it to become any real watch lover’s wet dream. Let’s see how it looks, works, and sounds, hands-on.
First, some context – and I’ll try and keep this as brief as possible. In 2016, Chopard is proudly celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Chopard Manufacture, a highly capable manufacture in Fleurier, Switzerland, that has been producing both some great looking in-house (not-so-)base movements like in the Mille Miglia 2016 XL , as well as even more refined, top grade Chopard L.U.C watches and their wholly in-house calibers.
The Chopard L.U.C Full Strike is the first minute repeater ever made by Chopard, and they say it took them six years to develop it – a commendable effort, because, like so many others, they too totally could have sourced a base minute repeater from one of the numerous suppliers… but they didn’t.
I’ll go out on a limb and say this: over the last few years, Chopard’s high-end, in-house L.U.C division has grown to be one of the most impressive suppliers of beautifully finished, uniquely and thoughtfully engineered and, last but not least, useful-feature-laden timepieces. Yet, Chopard to this day remains sort of an underdog, and while there is no doubt to Chopard L.U.C slowly but surely earning the reputation it deserves, a serious halo-piece like, you know, a kick-ass minute repeater might expedite the process.
Part of Chopard L.U.C’s replica watches UK appeal, in my mind, comes not from them trying to first copy what others have done and being comparably good at the same game. No, instead they more often than not dare to think a bit out of the box, apparently with an approach of “if we are making something in-house and from scratch, we might as well make something new.” Look at the Quattro for one of the thinnest, most elegant and technically impressive long power reserve movements, the new Time Traveler for some (finally!) 21st-century-looking luxury world time watches, or the XPS 1860 for a high-end dress watch with an in-house micro-rotor movement for under $10k. This trend of engineered sensibility is now broken by one insane minute repeater.