THE CHOPARD L.U.C XP – STAINLESS STEEL LOOKS DECIDEDLY DIFFERENT FROM ITS SIBLINGS. IT IS CONTEMPORARY AND ESCHEWS COMPLICATIONS, DELIVERING A CLEAN APPEARANCE AND SURPRISINGLY KEEN PRICING. THIS REVIEW PROVIDES AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF THIS MODERN, FRESH-FACED LUXURY WATCH.
This detailed review of the Chopard L.U.C XP – stainless steel includes images, specification details and pricing.
There is an old saying, often attributed to U.S financier J.P. Morgan, ‘If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it.’. However, my professional role necessitates frequently enquiring about the price of a fine watch. This pecuniary inquisitiveness has led to my developing a sense of which timepieces are fairly priced and those which are not.
‘Price’ is a dirty word in the field of luxury. The notion of ‘exclusivity’ precludes such vulgar discussions. However, in this article I intend to break the rules and reveal a keenly priced luxury watch which brims with exclusivity and proffers incredible value for money.
The Chopard L.U.C XP – stainless steel is offered for sale at £7,110. This is not an inconsequential sum, however, considering its impressive specification, it could easily be described as a bargain.
Chopard’s L.U.C brand is adored by ‘those in the know’, myself included. It does not pander to the whims those wishing to flaunt their wealth. In my opinion, a watch bearing those three important letters, ‘L.U.C’, quietly enters a room, self-assured yet unassuming. The Chopard L.U.C XP – stainless steel perpetuates my perception of the Swiss luxury marque. It’s elegant, refined, tasteful and yet unobtrusive. Moreover, beyond its handsome exterior there is a glorious inner beauty which distinguishes this timepiece as remarkable.
It is very easy to lavish praise on any watch, however, as I will go on to explain in a thousand or so words, there is much to commend the Chopard L.U.C XP – stainless steel and little to criticise. This is a timepiece which could easily slip beneath the radar and, to this end, I feel compelled to expose its many virtues.
The majority of Chopard L.U.C timepieces sport Roman numerals and exhibit a classical mien but the Chopard L.U.C XP – stainless steel is quite different. Its dial is decidedly modern. Prominent blued Arabic numerals are located at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock, with tapered batons positioned in between. The numerals gently curve, imbuing them with an organic shape.
Chopard has not totally abandoned its proven design language. The hours and minutes are proclaimed with blue Dauphine fusée-type hands, a style employed on most L.U.C timepieces. Both the hands and hour markers enjoy dalliances with light and shade. This was particularly apparent when photographing the Chopard L.U.C XP – stainless steel. The hands appeared almost black under normal light, but when introduced to brightness they evinced a vibrant shade of blue.
The surface of the dial features a refined vertical satin-brush. It is discreet and does not detract from the time indications. Indeed, a notable aspect of the dial is that it does not overwhelm the wearer with fussy details, instead it focusses solely on the essentials.
Chopard has distilled the dial, delivering a pure aesthetic free of impurities. The resultant appearance is clean, contemporary and stylish.
The Chopard L.U.C XP – stainless steel is endowed with a 40mm understated case. Courtesy of its ultra-thin automatic movement, the case measures a mere 7.2mm in height. This svelteness translates into superb wearer comfort. The underside of the lugs softly arc, conferring a happy marriage between the watch head and the wearer’s wrist.
Consistent with most L.U.C models, the XP – stainless steel features vertical satin-brush along the caseband, infusing the case with a tasteful quotient of restraint. Conversely, Chopard has also chosen to enrich the bezel and upper surfaces of the lugs with highly polished treatment. The Genevan brand has carefully negotiated a path between the stark and the showy, and in so doing, delivered a seemly aesthetic.
The XP – stainless steel is supplied on a cashmere woven strap lined with brown alligator leather. This represents a significant departure from the ubiquitous leather strap. It evinces a warm, attractive appearance and would complement jeans or formal attire. However, Chopard also offers an attractive blue alligator leather strap. I suspect this latter option will wear better in the long-term.
The Calibre 96.53-L is a self-winding movement equipped with a tungsten micro-rotor. Unlike a conventional automatic watch, equipped with a large oscillating weight, the Calibre 96.53-L allows the wearer to see a significant portion of the bridges, gear train, balance etc.
Note – protective film still applied to caseback
It shares a passing resemblance to the Calibre 96.01L (formerly L.U.C 1.96). This latter calibre was the first Manufacture movement crafted within the confines of Chopard Manufacture. It features a 22-carat micro-rotor, swan-neck regulator, gold engraved text, 65 hour power-reserve, Philips terminal curve and COSC certification.
Although the Calibre 96.53-L does not incorporate all the attributes of its costlier sibling, it remains a beautiful movement with some impressive features. The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif and feature bright bevelled edges. Black engraved text also features on the bridges and the micro-rotor.
In common with the aforementioned Calibre 96.01L, the Calibre 96.53-L is equipped with the brand’s patented Twin® technology. This is where two barrels are stacked, with one upon the other, simultaneously serving power to the gear train. This unusual double-act delivers an impressive power reserve of 58 hours.
In my opinion, Chopard L.U.C watches are exquisite. They are classically styled and, in some cases, incorporate numerous complications. The Chopard L.U.C XP – stainless steel is different. It exudes modernity from every sinuous contour of its being.
The sparing use of Arabic numerals on the dial, the slender torso of the case and the retiring black engravings on the movement all collaborate together to impart a sense of restraint. The dial is fresh and practical. The case is beautifully refined and, being stainless steel, it proves ideal for daily use. Chopard has equipped the L.U.C XP – stainless steel with a beautiful movement. It offers the convenience of automatic winding while granting uninhibited views typically associated with a hand-wound calibre.
By releasing the Chopard L.U.C XP – stainless steel, the Swiss brand has created a handsome watch, suitable for all occasions. It is modern and youthful, making it relevant to a new audience who may not have considered Chopard’s high-end L.U.C collection. However, unlike most luxury watches, you do not have to fear asking the price, it costs a lot less than you might expect.
- Model: Chopard L.U.C XP – stainless steel
- Reference: 168592-3001
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 40mm; height 7.20mm; sapphire crystal to front and caseback; water resistant to 3 ATM (30 metres)
- Functions: Hours; minutes.
- Movement: Calibre 96.53-L; self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 27 jewels; power reserve = 58 hours
- Strap: Blue cashmere strap with hand-sewn brown alligator leather lining or blue alligator leather strap with hand-sewn brown alligator leather lining. Both options are paired with a steel pin buckle
- Price: £7,110 (RRP as at 6.1.2019)