In­side Job

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

Hong Kong Tatler - - Style -

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

COOL AND CON­FI­DENT

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