Introducing the Chopard L.U.C 1860 Flying T, Special Revolution

Chopard collaborates with The Rake & Revolution to create the 36.5 mm in diameter and 8.2 mm in height L.U.C 1860 Flying T, Special Revolution, the ultimate expression of complicated elegance.

 

Small Is Beautiful

While the header to this paragraph could easily allude to my very public penchant for sausage dogs, it in fact references what I genuinely believe is one of the most important tourbillon wristwatches of all time. I speak, of course, of the new Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin that is made in just five examples, in collaboration with The Rake & Revolution, aka the L.U.C 1860 Flying T, Special Revolution.

If that statement seems biased or self-serving, let me explain myself. For the most part, the Swiss watch industry has found itself caught slightly out of step when it comes to the size of their wristwatches. Conjure up your horological Valhalla of the most iconic and desirable timepieces ever created. Who appears in those mythical halls?

A steel Patek ref. 1518? Sure! The dial measures 35mm in diameter. The Patek first-generation ref. 2499 with its square pushers and tachymeter? Absolutely. The dial measures 37.5mm. A Philippe Dufour Simplicity? Damn right. Did you know its original size was 34mm? He only created the 37mm size at the behest of four Singaporean clients of The Hour Glass. Ask him, and he will tell you that he far prefers the smaller size that he’d originally designed. I think you get my point.

So, why is it that almost all watch brands make complicated dress watches in sizes exceeding 40mm in diameter? The answer is simple. Maisons that invested in manufacturing these complications in-house, did so during the late ’90s and early 2000s — which was exactly the time the trend for oversized watches emerged. I chose the word “trend” carefully, but with respect, I genuinely feel that these behemoths are the result of a two-decade-long trend rather than what is genuinely the perfect classic size. So, why is it that none of these brands have scaled down their watches to be in alignment with the aesthetic dictates that prevailed over the near-120 years of history of the modern wristwatch? The answer to this is also simple. They can’t — or they won’t. Because that would involve a vast and costly complete re-engineering of their movements.

 

Proof Positive

This is, of course, with the one exception of Chopard L.U.C. Proof positive is the watch you see here, which is one of the world’s smallest automatic flying tourbillon. With a case diameter of 36.5 mm, to me, this represents the precise cynosure of size and proportion for the perfect complicated classic dress watch. But hang on. Because it’s not that this timepiece is just magnificent and unique in its size; it is also the world’s only Geneva Seal flying tourbillon that is also COSC-certified as a chronometer.

Personally, I feel any tourbillon that does not come with some credible form of a certification for its accuracy, is simply a visually amusing spinning device on your dial. Perhaps most importantly, it is a symbol of a quarter-century of relentless groundbreaking technical innovation and dedication to both chronometry and excellence in finish that is Chopard L.U.C. Indeed, this watch is a celebration of the 25th anniversary of this remarkable brand, and a ticking testimony to the extraordinary commitment to authenticity and quality that form the central ethos of its founder, the amazing Karl-Friedrich Scheufele.

In every way, this amazing L.U.C Flying T Twin is a tribute to the very first watch launched by Scheufele, the L.U.C 1860 featuring the caliber 1.96. Incredibly enough, this automatic tourbillon fits in precisely the same case of the original watch, which measured just 36.5mm in diameter and 7.2mm in height. Accommodating the tourbillon does increase the case’s height by a millimeter, but regardless retains incredibly slim and elegant proportions for a watch, let alone a complication of this stature.

Published

May 2021

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