This is not a new watch, it is a love letter. See, Chopard revived not just their long-astray name with one effort, but an entire style of watchmaking. If the CPCP Monopoussoir was a well-heeled investment in independent watchmakers as effective ghost-writers, then the incredible LUC 1860 watches of the late 90s were a faith-based investment in a singular skilled watchmaker’s vision. That immense trust in Mr. Parmigiani created a watch which gave the Chopard name, and by extension faith in masterful mechanical watchmaking, life again. Entrusting the magnitude of value that would find you a country home in most locales to a watch under the Chopard name is a hard ask. However, if any watch were capable of making that an attractive proposition, it might just be this.
LUC—so named for the initials of founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard—was an attempt to bring the brand back into the good graces of those who take watchmaking seriously. The brand hired in Mr. Parmigiani and gave him nearly a decade of funding to develop a high-end movement signature to their house. The result was one of the purest and finest movement designs of the decade, the cal 1.96 micro rotor with a 70-hour reserve from two mainspring barrels. That incredible movement was dressed in a similarly exceptional and restrained series of designs. The dial was produced by Metalem, who also produces dials for Dufour’s Simplicity.
When Chopard went to the consummate nerds (I mean that in the most flattering way) at Revolution to collaborate, inspiration for a new watch was obvious: lean on the high points. While the salmon guilloché dial is a near-verbatim echo of the past, its calibre is anything but. Revolution worked with Chopard to get this micro-rotor automatic, ultra-thin, flying tourbillon both a Geneva Seal and COSC certification, the first ever of its kind to do so. That impressive calibre was cased in 37mm white gold and limited to just five examples. In my eye, this is unquestionably one of the best haute offerings from a non-independent of the last few years.
I am normally given to featuring watches from the secondhand market. However, in an attempt to do right by my readership, I couldn’t really pass here. This is the genre of watch which will sell out in the coming few months and then appear at Phillips in a decade, only to hammer for multiples. I have featured new independent watchmaker’s efforts sold through Phillips Perpetual store and in my head this is no different. At least that’s how I’m justifying this exception to myself. Can you blame me? Therefore, what we have here is a new, full set sold from the trusted folks at Revolution and the Rake.
Find this LUC 1860 Flying T here from the Revolution shop for 121000 USD.