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Japanese Movement Replica Photo Essay: Chopard LUC Chronometer

The subject of today’s photoessay is the seldom seen, but utterly sublime, Chopard LUC Chronometer. A modest 38mm in diameter, it’s powered by the Chopard LUC 1.96 movement. The movement has twin barrels providing a 70 hour power reserve, and a solid gold micro rotor for winding; not only do I think the finishing is amongst the best I’ve ever seen – even under heavy magnification – it seems that the folks awarding Geneva Seals thought so, too. Interestingly, it’s also a very flat movement for an automatic – just 3.3mm. No doubt the micro rotor architecture contributes meaningfully here; it uses an ingenious lobed cam to drive a rocking pawl that ratchets back and forth to wind the barrel in small increments. The escapement is also similarly full of meaningful detail: the hairspring has a Breguet overcool and is held in an adjustable stud carrier, the regulator has a micrometer screw and tension spring to eliminate backlash. This particular example also happens to be a special edition, and has a hinged half-hunter case back which hides the sapphire display back. Sadly though, we don’t seem to see as much of this caliber as its obvious beauty merits – hopefully rectified to some small degree by this photoessay. Enjoy! MT

Please note all images may be clicked on for larger versions. Yes, real ice was used. No watches were harmed in the making of this set.

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