At Watches & Wonders – the world’s biggest watch fair – it takes a lot to stand out. When there are so many truly special releases, it’s hard for brands to capture peoples’ imaginations. But that’s exactly what Chopard has done with their latest super-high-end creation.
Compared to many of the watchmakers exhibiting at the world’s biggest watch fair this year, Chopard isn’t known for being particularly flashy or hype-driven. They do their thing, and they do it well… Which is why the L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire has been so unexpected.
Here’s a watch, almost completely crafted out of sapphire crystal, with an amazingly beautiful and innovative movement that pushes the boundaries of modern watchmaking in a truly unique fashion. Forget Hublot or Richard Mille: Chopard’s out here pushing the envelope with futuristic watches.
As the name alludes to, the L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire features an extremely clever minute repeater movement. Normally, the gongs of a minute repeater are made out of steel – but what Chopard’s come up with is gongs made out of sapphire. The advantage of this is that they produce a much louder and crisper chime.
The Full Strike Sapphire goes one further: the watch’s case and gongs are all part of one sapphire monobloc. This doesn’t just look amazing, but it also further assists with sound propagation, as the entire watch is resonating – hence ‘Full Strike’. It’s bloody mental.
The other thing that’s really impressive about the L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire is how light it is. Because it’s mostly sapphire, it’s like a feather on the wrist. I’ve had the chance to try the L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire on and something that’s particularly striking (pun intended) is that the leather strap is actually heavier than the watch itself. It’s kind of mind-boggling.
For my money, Chopard is perhaps the most versatile watchmaker in Switzerland. The breadth of their skill and expertise is so impressive: from their insane dial treatments (like the eagle iris dial of the Alpine Eagle) to their impressive in-house movements (like the movements found in the Full Strike Sapphire and Chopard’s other W&W ’22 releases) and of course, their skill as a jeweller (just think of the Happy Sport collection)…
Not to say that Chopard is underrated – because it isn’t – but I think the L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire will shift the needle on how Chopard is viewed by watch fans as well as the broader public. It’s a bold statement of intent; a true masterpiece. If you’ve been sleeping on Chopard, now’s the time to wake up.