Chopard celebrates the success of its LUC collection with new models this month. Co-president Karl-friedrich Scheufele talks to Emilie Yabut-razon about the benefits of developing movements in-house
ne of the first things a watch enthusiast learns to ask is whether the model being examined has an inhouse movement. While an affirmative answer doesn’t automatically guarantee better performance and precision than a timepiece without such a movement, the knowledge that the watchmaker has put time, research and capital into the development of its product certainly implies a high degree of commitment to the craft. These companies are also able to play around with design and function, having freed themselves from the limitations of using ébauches, movements sourced from outside suppliers.
This was high in the mind of Chopard copresident Karl-friedrich Scheufele when he reestablished the company’s own watchmaking factory in Fleurier, Switzerland, two decades ago. Its first in-house movement, the automatic winding Calibre 1.96, was created under the LUC collection, which would become the house’s flagship haute horlogerie range. The 1.96 was groundbreaking for a company then primarily thought of as a jewellery house. “The creation of the 1.96 movement was a big event for us, because of the efforts we put in and what it signified for our watchmaking arm,” says Scheufele.
The name LUC pays tribute to Louis-ulysse Chopard, the Swiss watchmaker who founded the company in 1860. As the brand’s premier range, it incorporates exceptional design and functionality. The LUC Quattro, for instance, is an ultra-thin model with a nine-day power reserve. One of the most intricate models is the LUC Perpetual T, which Scheufele says is among his favourite watches. “And I also
Karl-friedrich Scheufele like the first LUC, called 1860, which was the beginning of the whole adventure for me.”
The collection is a trailblazer in that it is the first in the industry to offer timepieces made from ethically sourced Fairmined gold and which boast up to three quality certifications. The LUC Triple Certification Tourbillon, which was released in 2011, carries COSC, Geneva Seal and Fondation Qualité Fleurier stamps of approval.
Scheufele says a goal of the company is to see more watches certified. “Outside certification is an acknowledgement of the quality we produce,” he says. “When we develop movements, we use the equipment that Qualité Fleurier also use in their testing, but for everyone in the team it’s a great The movement of Chopard’s LUC Perpetual Chrono is fully developed in-house
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