For the second time in five years, Chopard revolutionizes the minute repeater. Cut from a full block of sapphire, the L.U.C. Full Strike Sapphire provides a transparent view into the fully finished movement.
Marking the occasion of its 25th anniversary, Chopard debuted three new musical watches alongside a stunning new flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue.
“But Caroline, where does your gold come from?” asked Livia Firth, co-founder of sustainability consulting agency Eco-Age. Caroline Scheufele, artistic director and co-president of Chopard (chopard.com), replied, “The banks.”
The L.U.C. Strike One.
But after answering that question in 2011, Scheufele gave it some more thought and realized she didn’t have an answer.
“Obviously, [gold] comes from a mine,” Scheufele says. “But I didn’t know anything beyond that. So that was the catalyst of our awareness—the starting point. And from there, I immediately said, ‘Yes, we have to find out.’”
String musicians Renaud and Gautier Capuçon with Karl- Friedrich Scheufele
For the Swiss-based luxury watch and jewelry manufacturer Chopard, a complete understanding of how its products are made is critical. From A to Z, who is involved? Is the process sustainable?
For the family-run Chopard business, the journey toward responsible sourcing began with that conversation, and since that first chance encounter, Chopard has been a leader in sustainability for an entire industry.
The L.U.C. Full Strike Tourbillon, L.U.C. Full Strike Sapphire and L.U.C. Strike One form a trio of watches representing watchmaking traditions combined with modern technology.
For 2022, the 25th anniversary of the Chopard manufacture, the brand’s visionary thinking culminated in a trio of striking minute repeaters: the L.U.C. Full Strike Sapphire, the L.U.C. Strike One and the L.U.C. Full Strike Tourbillon. The anniversary also inspired change of a different sort. After 13 years on Madison Avenue, Chopard will officially reopen on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in the iconic Crown Building, which will also house the Aman New York hotel.
The exquisite artistry of all three L.U.C. Full Strike timepieces is on full display.
After winning the Aiguille d’Or at the 2017 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for its first L.U.C. Full Strike in ethical 18K rose gold, Chopard’s debut minute repeater led the company to break barriers into a new world of sound.
Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, brother of Caroline, reimagined what it might take to create a beautiful sound for Chopard’s unique musical technology. He invited violinist and cellist duo the Capuçon brothers to help develop the project along with the Applied Acoustics Laboratory of the Geneva engineering school, HEPIA.
The teams used technology to fine-tune the results beyond the typically measurable acoustics criteria perceived by the listener. Experimenting musically, they created analytical programs that trusted the musicians’ trained musical “ear” to perfect and define the purity of the sound. The sapphire used for the gongs will remain unchanged. They won’t age, won’t expand or contract. All three watches will play the same F and C sharp consistently.
The L.U.C. Full Strike Tourbillon.
All three Full Strike watches bear the L.U.C. initials, named for Louis-Ulysse Chopard, who founded Chopard in the late 1800s. Each of the three chiming timepieces represents different aspects of Chopard’s creativity, celebrating a quarter-century for the manufacture.
"You see now with vintage watches how much they achieve in auctions; it’s an emotional object. And now I’m amazed that many young people are discovering watches, whereas there was a particular time when the young men would say, ‘Pssht.’ But now they're all into watches, and the young girls are into jewelry and watches.”–Caroline Scheufele.
The L.U.C. Full Strike Sapphire
Like a watch movement suspended in thin air, the bezel, case, crown and case back of this Full Strike are made entirely of clear sapphire crystal. The watch even bears the Poinçon de Genève (the official seal of the City and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland), a quality hallmark and distinction for Chopard, the first nonmetallic minute repeater given the honor.
All three watches feature Chopard’s findings from the design of the former Full Strike watches, with sapphire gongs painstakingly craft ed from the same block of sapphire as the glass protecting the dial. The crystal gong is particularly captivating, creating a sound fine-tuned by Chopard’s esteemed group of designers and audio engineers. The Full Strike Sapphire will be produced in a limited edition of five pieces.
The L.U.C. Strike One
Made of 18K rose gold, the L.U.C. Strike One carries the concept of a chiming watch in an elegant new direction. This limited edition of 25 pieces exhibits the aesthetic DNA of a quintessential Chopard timepiece, with a unique cutout at 1 o’clock revealing a hammer that strikes the watch’s chime. A single pusher built into the crown discretely simplifies the design, allowing the wearer to easily switch between striking modes.
The L.U.C. Full Strike Tourbillon
The third watch in the anniversary series takes an even bolder approach to a chiming watch by adding a tourbillon complication at 6 o’clock. A sapphire bridge holds the tourbillon in place, revealing the enchanting mechanism entirely. Adding to the visual appeal of the dial, the movement’s striking hammers are visible at 10 o’clock. A g ray hand-guilloche patterned dial complements the rose gold case to create a watch steeped in history, but one that remains entirely modern. The Full Strike Tourbillon will be built in a limited run of 20 pieces.