Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer: Classically Cool In Yellow Gold
by Martin Green
I recently read somewhere that “being popular on Instagram is like being rich in Monopoly.” While I usually play a mean game of Monopoly, I am not exactly an influencer on Instagram – or so I thought.
At Watches and Wonders 2022, I enjoyed the Chopard presentation. The female-oriented watches were stunning, and the various L.U.C models with acoustic complications a true treat. I was also shown the L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer, a striking watch with a yellow gold case and a forest-green dial. I was quite taken by this watch and made a little video, showing off its officer’s case, manufacture movement, and stunning dial.
I posted this 11-second video on Instagram on April 5, 2022 and now, about a month later, it has been played well over 900,000 times, amassing close to 23,000 likes and 107 comments. I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought that Chopard hit a home run with this new L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer!
Back to the (yellow) gold standard
I can think of various reasons why this timepiece is so well received. The first is that it is crafted in yellow gold (3N). Chopard never abandoned this gold color, but the combination with the forest-green dial makes it more pronounced. In the late 1990s, the popularity of yellow gold was waning in favor of the warmer tones of pink (4N) and red gold (5N). I hear about more and more collectors rediscovering and reappreciating yellow gold in recent years.
The brown alligator strap perfectly complements the dial and case color as well. It is almost like eating a dish that was popular in the past – one you might not have eaten for years – and now all of a sudden you realize again why it was one of your favorites.
While it can get hardly more classic than L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer, Chopard worked on all the details to give it a contemporary edge – or perhaps “timeless” is a better word than “contemporary.”
With a diameter of 40 mm, it takes the middle road in terms of size, aided by a height of just 7.2 mm. In my opinion, the slimmer the watch, the more classic or timeless it always seems to become. Chopard cleverly plays with minimal height differences on the dial, giving the date, subdial for seconds, guilloche dial center, and the ring with hour and minute markers, each a level of its own.
This provides the dial with a surprising sense of depth despite being so slender. While I am normally not much of a fan of a date complication on what is essentially a dress watch, Chopard incorporated it in a very subtle way so that it doesn’t distract much or take away from the appeal of the overall design.
Shapes and patterns
The honeycomb-shaped guilloche at the center of the dial is another pleasant twist. It is made by hand using a rose engine, after which it is given a green PVD coating. Another thing that I am a fan of is the shape of the hands, which look to me like they have been designed by an architect: two futuristic skyscrapers that happened to end up becoming hands rather than buildings. They are slightly bold, but instead of breaking with tradition they more perpetuate it in a contemporary way.
During the late 1990s I was a close follower of Blancpain, and I still remember the moment in which that brand introduced its first models with display case backs. At the time, I was very much against that as I enjoyed the understatement of the gold case back.
My opinion has mellowed quite a bit over the years, also because I realized that from a commercial perspective it is good business to show a nice movement. And with this Chopard, there is a lot to show as Caliber L.U.C 96.01-L is about as good as it gets.
This Geneva Seal-certified movement features bridges adorned with Geneva waves, a circular grained main plate, and a 22-karat gold micro rotor. Thanks to Chopard’s Twin Technology with twin stacked mainspring barrels, it has a very generous power reserve of 65 hours.
The best part is that all this is hidden behind a back cover that can be opened whenever the wearer desires. This way, you get the best of both worlds, and even more as Chopard has engraved this cover with the same honeycomb motif found on the dial.
This all might explain why so many people got excited about the Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer on Instagram, as it was for sure not my skill as a videographer. With the L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer, Chopard has translated old-world values to today’s standards, showing us that we can still have what we once loved.
For more information, please visit www.chopard.com/us/l-u-c-xps-1860-officer.
Quick Facts Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer
Case: 40 x 7.2 mm, 18-karat ethical yellow gold, crown-activated hinged cover on the back, 30 m water resistance
Movement: automatic Caliber L.U.C 96.01-L with 22-karat gold micro rotor, 3.3 mm high, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, twin spring barrels, 65-hour power reserve, certified as an official C.O.S.C. chronometer, Geneva Seal
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Limitation: 50 pieces
* This article was first published 13 May 2022 at New Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer: Classically Cool In Yellow Gold