At the Baselworld 2011 international trade show, Chopard has officially reintroduced its gorgeous tonneau-shaped chronometer as a 2011 L.U.C. XP Tonneau (Ref. 162294-1001). Coming in a deliciously compact case crafted from white gold, the timekeeper features an impressive combination of good design with a state of the art mechanical caliber that is claimed to be crafted solely in-house.
Just like the original L.U.C. Tonneau that was brought to market around four years ago, the new L.U.C. XP Tonneau is powered by the same L.U.C. 3.97 COSC-certified chronometer automatic movement.
Thanks to its off-centered micro-rotor design, the barrel-shaped movement is only 3.30 mm thick, which makes it one of the leanest automatic movements in the whole world. As usual for this niche, the mechanism is nicely decorated featuring diagonal Geneva stripes, a set of polished screws and, of course, has the oscillating weight of the aforementioned micro-rotor winding module fashioned from heavy 22-karat gold alloy that ensures more efficient winding.
Naturally, the watch itself is also thin although it didn’t break any records here.
According to official specs, its body measures only 7.22 millimeters in height but is sculpted in a way to look even thinner than it actually is. Being 40 millimeters long and about 37 mm wide, the time measuring device looks even slenderer and will certainly allow you to feel comfortable even if worn with a long-sleeve shirt with relatively tight cuffs. Its relatively compact size also reduces the risk of the watch causing any sort of discomfort that is often the case when you buy yourself an ultra-thin, yet long and wide timekeeper only to find out that it doesn’t sit well on your relatively narrow (or too round) wrist.
There is still no word on how much it will cost, but, given the manufacture-made movement and a pretty heavy case crafted from 18-karat white gold (there will also be a version in rose gold, for that matters,) the timekeeper will probably be deliciously expensive.
Something between $20,000 and $25,000, I suppose*.
* UPDATE ON PRICE: The L.U.C. XP Tonneau indeed will be offered within the stated price range bearing an MSRP of CHF 20,400 (including local VAT). The price in your region may be different though depending on how greedy your country’s government is.
Chopard L.U.C. XP Tonneau in White Gold (Ref. 162294-1001) specification
Price: CHF 20,400 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, L.U.C. 3.97, 28.15 mm x 27.60 mm, 3.30 mm in height, 28,800 vph, 29 jewels, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Cotes de Geneve, circular-graining, polished screw-heads
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
Power reserve: at least 65 hours
Case: White gold
Shape: Tonneau (Barrel-shaped)
Dimensions: 37.00 mm x 40.00 mm
Case height: 7.72 mm
Dial: Silvered, sunburst
Numerals: Arabic, applied
Hands: Rhodium-plated, Dauphine fusee-type
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Hand-sewn black alligator leather strap with 18-karat white gold pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Sapphire, antireflective