Sometimes there are some attractive ‘quiet’ pieces that are released alongside the headliners. There were definitely the latter from Chopard this year, and we will cover them, but there was also a lovely classically styled new release that just gently made its presence known as well.
Meet the new L.U.C. XPS 1860 Officer with, as you can guess, a 40mm case in their ethical 18 carat yellow gold (thickness of 7.70mm) and with a crown in the same gold. The case features vertical satin-brushed flanks and inter-horn space, and a polished bezel and case-back.
The ‘Officer’ part of the name is also self-evident – it’s the classic ‘officer’ design of an open back protected by a hinged cover that you open by depressing a button in the crown. The inside of the back cover bears the historical Chopard Manufacture logo and the outside has a hand-guilloché honeycomb motif.
Although its hue is subdued, the new L.U.C. XPS 1860 Officer has a dark green dial (they have called it ‘Forest Green’) in the form of a hand-guilloché gold dial bearing a honeycomb motif in its central area. Its outer section is sunburst satin-brushed and its small seconds sub dial at 6 o’clock is snailed. The honeycomb motif also appears on the outside of the back cover.
This design refers to two specific parts of Chopard’s history.
Firstly, it marks the creation of the first watch made by Chopard Manufacture, the L.U.C 1860 (1997) which had a central hand-guilloché motif. The second reference relates to the brand’s founding by Louis-Ulysse Chopard, who wanted the bee symbol – watches of the time were all engraved, both on their movements and inside their covers, with a beehive surrounded by bees. When Chopard Manufacture was created in 1996, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele chose to reprise this image by associating it with certain models in the L.U.C collection, thus named in tribute to the Maison founder.
The inside of the back cover protecting the L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer picks up the hand-engraving of the beehive and bees, with the latter appearing in a random manner that ensures each model is truly unique.
Inside is the automatic in-house COSC-certified Calibre L.U.C 96.01-L which beats at 28,800 VPH and has a power reserve of 65 hours. It has twin barrels, an engraved 22 carat ethical gold micro-rotor, and Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges.
Coming on a brown alligator strap with a pin buckle in ethical 18-carat yellow gold, the L.U.C. XPS 1860 is in a limited edition of 50 pieces with a price of CHF 33,500.
Officer’s watches are few and far between nowadays, and certainly aren’t made with any clarion call for attention. This is an elegant contemporary take on this style of case and just an all round attractive piece.