Although there is no shortage of risks, especially the risk of failing to meet stringent top-level watchmaking standards, Chopard has achieved excellence since the establishment of the Fleurier watch factory in 1996: the first watches will be Withstand quality certification.
Karl-Friedrich Schaefer hopes that Chopard will be a win-win situation in the future: end customers can get impeccable independent quality assurance; and the Chopard brand will inspire itself to continuously improve the production quality until it obtains the highest level of certification.
The first certification by Karl-Frederick Schaferron was the Official Swiss Observatory Certification (COSC). Chopard was then the first independent watchmaker to dare to challenge exacting standards from the very beginning.
The COSC certification is only for the accuracy of the movement’s timing, after which Chopard chose the Poinçon de Genève quality certification. This certification guarantees the superior decorative quality of the movement. As a result, Chopard has adhered to the strictest decorative standards since 1996. Since then, all parts of the L.U.C movement have been carefully hand-decorated by the decoration experts of Chopard Watchmaking Workshop according to the highest standards of fine watchmaking. These craftsmen have even revitalized the nearly lost ancient techniques such as fleurisanne carving.
In 2004, Qualité Fleurier came out. Chopard is one of the founding watch factories of this independent certification. This certification is extremely rigorous, and the quality of the movement and the finished watch is tested both statically and through Fleuritest. Only watches that have been certified by COSC are eligible to apply for this certification and require the watch to successfully pass four other tests, including the Chronofiable test. The watch must also be 100% Swiss made.
The Chopard Watchmaking Workshop now has the largest number of timepieces that have passed the Fleurier Quality Foundation inspection, with a total of more than 1,000 pieces belonging to 8 models.
Development of L.U.C movement
In 1996, Chopard introduced the LUC 96.01-L movement. This movement is equipped with a 22K gold miniature oscillating weight with a two-way automatic winding mechanism, a small second hand at 6 o’clock, a 65-hour power reserve, and was awarded the Geneva Seal Certification, which established Chopard. Historical cornerstone of the watchmaking workshop. This movement is used to configure the first L.U.C watch: L.U.C 1860.
Following the L.U.C 96.01-L movement, Chopard Watchmaking Workshop has launched other movements. This fruitful and exemplary achievement is part of the plan, but its realization is extremely challenging. In just a few decades, the Geneva-based family business Chopard not only set a model for watch factories in Fleurier, but also produced a series of veritable mechanical movements. In 2016, at the 20th anniversary of the Chopard Watchmaking Workshop, Karl-Friedrich Schaefer proudly counted 11 extraordinary basic movements and 87 derivative movements.
Innovative watch factory awarded multiple patents
In 2000, Chopard launched the L.U.C 98-01-L movement, the ‘Quattro’ movement incorporated in the L.U.C Quattro watch. No less than four kinetic energy accumulators and a clockwork spring with a total length of 1.88 meters give this 205-element manually wound movement an amazing 9-day power reserve. The Geneva mark and COSC certification underline the quality of the movement and the extraordinary production quality of the Chopard Watchmaking Workshop. In 2003, Chopard launched the first tourbillon movement LUC 02.01-L. It has a diameter of 29 mm and a thickness of 6 mm. It contains 224 parts. It also uses innovative technology and features a new mechanism: the ‘Variner’ four-arm built-in adjustment block can Variable inertia balance with Philip terminal curve hairspring and four barrels made with ‘Quattro’ technology. The tourbillon rotates 360 degrees per minute to compensate for errors due to gravity. In addition, this extraordinary movement has also received the Geneva Seal and Precision Chronometer certification, which is extremely rare for tourbillon watches and completes the quality and performance of the movement.
The L.U.C 96.13-L movement launched in 2005 is not only equipped with a perpetual calendar that did not require any manual correction 2100 years ago, but also features a moon phase display. According to the leap year calendar system, this innovative display mechanism will have a 24-hour deviation every 45 or 46 days in 122 years compared to the actual moon phase operation.
In 2006, the first timekeeping movement of the L.U.C. series came out. Technicians and watchmakers collaborate to create sophisticated timekeeping mechanisms. Thanks to the exquisite mechanism, the L.U.C Strike One watch equipped with the 300-element L.U.C 96.14-L movement can automatically sound the hours with crisp and pleasant sound. Just press the button to turn off the timekeeping function.
Overcoming the Challenges of a Chronograph
The simple appearance sometimes obscures the essence of complexity … In fact, chronographs are extremely challenging for watchmakers, and the production of mechanical mechanisms is extremely difficult. The L.U.C 03.02-L automatic movement, launched with the L.U.C Chrono One in 2007, is equipped with a column wheel and flyback function. It requires a team of 25 employees for up to 16,000 hours of research and development to complete the production. The outstanding and innovative design of the movement includes a zeroing lever equipped with a smart hammer, an automatic winding mechanism with a patented gear train, and a subtle second-hand zeroing mechanism.
In 2010, Chopard launched the L.U.C 05.01-L movement to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the brand. Karl-Frederick Schaefer decided to launch an amazing work, and the L.U.C 150 All-in-One was born. The case incorporates existing technical elements and new complex functions. In addition to 4 barrels, 216-hour power reserve, tourbillon, perpetual calendar, moon phase display and constellation chart of the northern hemisphere, this masterpiece condensed by this high-precision technology shows true solar time and flat sun at the bottom Time difference (time equation), and sunrise and sunset times. The watchmaker used a total of 558 parts to create this movement, which has been awarded the Geneva Seal and Precision Chronometer Certification.
The unquestionable world first
In 2011, Chopard launched the L.U.C Triple Certification Tourbillon watch, demonstrating its full control over the accuracy of chronographs that meet certification standards. Prior to housing, L.U.C 02.01-L manual winding mechanical movements must first be certified by the Swiss Official Observatory (COSC). The decoration of its movement parts meets the highest quality standards, and the timepiece is engraved with the Geneva Seal. Finally, the watch is subjected to the most stringent certification tests in the horological market, the Fleurier Quality Certification. During the test, the watch is placed on a special machine that can simulate the real wearing conditions of the watch and test the accuracy of the finished watch within 24 hours.
Excellent control over high frequencies
In 2012, Chopard proved in fact that high frequency does not necessarily affect the power reserve of the timepiece. The L.U.C 01.06-L movement in Chopard’s first high-frequency watch L.U.C 8HF, its balance wheel and hairspring can swing no less than 57,600 times per hour, and this single barrel automatic movement has a power reserve of about 60 hours. Each movement is accompanied by the Swiss Official Observatory (COSC) certification.
A tribute to the tradition of manual winding movements
The Chopard Watchmaking Workshop also pays great attention to the hand-wound mechanical movement with outstanding craftsmanship. The L.U.C 06.01-L movement in the L.U.C Louis-Ulysse The Tribute watch is remarkable with its 43.2 mm diameter and 5.5 mm thickness. This mechanical masterpiece is certified by the Official Swiss Observatory (COSC) and engraved with the Geneva Seal, and is the result of the sincere cooperation between Chopard and the Ecole d’ Horlogerie de Genève (EHG). Within 30 years, students from this long-established institution can use L.U.C 06.01-L movement parts to complete their graduation work.
The L.U.C 1963 watch designed in 2013 is equipped with the L.U.C 63.01-L movement, which is a special work to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Schafer family taking over the Chopard brand. The watch’s main board and bridge are made of white copper and hand-decorated. It can be described as a masterpiece of high-end timepieces with rich emotional connotations, paying tribute to the long tradition of watchmaking and the precision chronology of Chopard.
Pioneer using ethical ‘fair mining’ certified gold materials
Chopard adhering to its pioneering spirit since the brand was founded, in 2014, the world’s first horological watch made from ethical gold materials was launched: L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined. Gold is mined responsibly, and miners receive fair pay and premiums for training, social well-being, and environmental protection. This pioneering work belongs to the specific action of the long-term project ‘The Journey to Sustainable Luxury’ initiated by Chopard, through which Chopard promises to promote the sustainable luxury industry.
Karl-Friedrich Schaefer hopes that in terms of long-term planning, the entire L.U.C series is made of ethical gold materials.
In 2016, the Chopard Watchmaking Workshop celebrates its twentieth anniversary and will launch new movements and timepieces one after another. In less than 20 years, Chopard has successfully become one of the real watchmaking workshops, following the process of combining tradition and innovation, developing and producing L.U.C timepieces in the watch factory.
For more details, please pay attention to the live feature of the Basel Watch Fair: