he L.U.C manufacture, which presented its first in-house movement in 1996, is now almost completely vertically integrated. From the development of the movement to the finished product
design, gold smelting, case stamping and machining, calibre components, traditional hand-crafted finishes, surface treatments, polishing, assembly, adjustments and quality controls, Chopard masters the full range of watchmaking operations internally and applies them to each and every L.U.C watch. Moreover, since July 2018, the company has used Fairmined 100% ethical gold for the production of all its watches and jewellery.
It’s rather like his vineyard at Monestier LaTour in south-western France, which K.-F. Scheufele has patiently converted to biodynamic farming, and which you could also now describe as wholly vertically integrated. Because biodynamic farming means producing, drying and storing an impressive list of plants to serve as “homeopathic” treatments for the vines, which are now totally chemical-free out of respect for biodiversity. It’s another way, as in watchmaking, of perpetuating ancestral know-how.
The very recent and highly elegant L.U.C Flying T Twin flying tourbillon is a fine example of the same exacting standard. Its ultra-thin, chic, 40mm round case, just 7.2mm thick, encloses the new Calibre 96.24-L equipped with a flying tourbillon, driven by two superimposed barrels (the Twin architecture patented by Chopard), wound by a 22-carat gold micro-rotor and offering an excellent power reserve of 65 hours. “To preserve the purity of the design and leave ample space for the tourbillon,” K.-F. Scheufele explains, “this chronometer-certified movement has no date but features a rare stop-seconds device that allows for perfectly accurate time-setting.”
Placed at 6 o’clock, the flying tourbillon looks as light as air, the large-diameter aperture in which it is suspended creating transparency and depth. It moves two rose gold hands, which pass over a finely designed, solid gold dial with a ruthenium finish showing a handguilloché honeycomb motif reminiscent of the hive that was the first logo used by Louis-Ulysse Chopard. This central medallion is encircled by a snailed chapter ring and a railroad minutes track. A small white triangular hand affixed to the flying tourbillon carriage serves as a small-seconds hand. This COSC-certified watch also bears the Geneva Seal, the hallmark of excellent craftsmanship. 50 pieces. CHF 152,000