World of Watches (Singapore) - - Features -


Hand-wound move­ment beat­ing at 4Hz, with four bar­rels and nine-day power re­serve Di­men­sions: 28mm x 3.7mm Num­ber of parts: 223

ome com­pa­nies just have the knack for jug­gling di­verse com­pe­ten­cies. Among these, Chopard could have been con­tent with the knowl­edge that its haute joail­lerie col­lec­tions are no strangers to red car­pet galas, while its Happy Di­a­monds watches are ex­tremely pop­u­lar as every­day lux­ury. But the lat­ter can no more lay claim to “au­then­tic watch­mak­ing” than could the Swatch watch, though both are phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess sto­ries for their re­spec­tive com­pa­nies. To ad­dress this, Chopard co-pres­i­dent Karl-friedrich Scheufele es­tab­lished the Chopard Man­u­fac­ture in 1996 to cre­ate “se­ri­ous” watches fit­ted with move­ments de­signed and man­u­fac­tured in-house. Since then, Chopard Man­u­fac­ture has kept the steady pace of a long-dis­tance run­ner, creat­ing no less than 10 base move­ments with some 60 vari­a­tions, cased in beau­ti­fully fin­ished, clas­si­cally styled watches of vary­ing de­grees of com­pli­ca­tion un­der the L.U.C la­bel, the ini­tials of the orig­i­nal com­pany founder.

Of these, Chopard’s 8Hz is a daz­zler for sure; but for us, the L.U.C Cal­i­bre 98.01-L beat­ing in­side Chopard’s Quat­tro watch is more in char­ac­ter with the com­pany’s bold gam­bit and tire­less con­sis­tency. Quat­tro is Ital­ian for “four”. In the 98.01-L, which was in­tro­duced in 2005, that refers to the move­ment’s four main­spring bar­rels cou­pled in two stacks – a world’s first! Ac­cord­ing to Chopard, each main­spring is 47cm long, and it’s no small feat to squeeze four of them into a 28mm move­ment that is just 3.7mm thick. As such, the watch boasts a power re­serve of nine days when fully wound. What is note­wor­thy is that this is achieved de­spite hav­ing the move­ment beat at a rel­a­tively quick (and en­ergy-hun­gry) 4Hz. More­over, while ac­cu­racy can suf­fer in watches with long power re­serves as the en­ergy wanes, the 98.01-L man­ages to be a Cosc-cer­ti­fied chronome­ter. Add to that, qual­ity and prove­nance val­i­dated by the Geneva Seal, and no room is left to doubt Chopard’s in­tent and ca­pa­bil­ity in au­then­tic watch­mak­ing.

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