Astaple of the Chopard L.U.C collection, the Chopard L.U.C Lunar One perpetual calendar, has been an underdog hero for high-end watch collectors since the model’s debut over a decade ago. Today, I review a newer limited edition version of the L.U.C Lunar One (reference 161927-9001) in a 950 platinum case with a trendy blue dial. It’s a very Chopard product, showcasing a lot of what the brand does best, and at a price which, comparatively speaking, is very decent.

A few years ago, I visited Chopard’s manufacture facility in Fleurier where they produce L.U.C collection watches. While all Chopard watches are technically speaking luxury products, the L.U.C collection is where collectors really put their attention given the movements. Most L.U.C watches are more traditional in their style, but with a healthy dose of (tasteful) masculinity as evidenced by the proportions, sizes, and strong presence of the watches overall.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Each L.U.C movement is produced in-house by Chopard, and includes finishing (decoration to the metal parts) which in my opinion rivals those which are considered the very best in the industry. A close look at the in-house made caliber L.U.C 96.13-L automatic movement through the rear of the case reveals careful attention, beautiful classic lines, excellent surface treatments, and a focus on practical utility that we watch lovers seek in timepieces we actually wear.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The only legitimate complaint I feel merits the presentation of the movement is that it only seems to take up 60{2ad7386ae00e305f29f1275ac3a1c09cb2be462ced7fd30efa8c40e80bdbdbfa} or so of the caseback. It is typical for picky watch collectors to have cases sized around the movement (in this case the case is 43mm wide and the movement is 33mm wide), as opposed to movements put into cases which are larger than necessary. This is a tricky discussion point because at the end of the day, Chopard (along with pretty much any other watch company), doesn’t want to be limited in how they size cases based on the movement sizes. With that said, there is a special appeal in viewing a sapphire crystal display caseback on the rear of the watch that takes up almost the entire space – as opposed to situations where the case size and movement don’t necessarily seem to match. Again, this is a small point that allowed me to simply discuss the subject. I really don’t think anyone is going to avoid buying this otherwise good watch because of the movement to case size ratio.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

A discussion of the Chopard L.U.C 96.13-L mechanical movement should begin with the fact that it is both COSC Chronometer certified for accuracy, as well as certified with the Geneva Seal (Poinçon de Genève). The former is a more basic certification of movement performance and accuracy, whereas the Seal of Geneva is a bit more complicated in what it claims about a watch. In its most modern form, the Seal of Geneva at the same time attests to the fact that a movement was produced in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, abides by particular decoration standards, and also conforms to certain performance standards. In a lot of ways, having COSC certification in addition to the Geneva Seal is a bit redundant. Though with both, Chopard gets to add extra bragging rights to each piece, while printing “Chronometer” on the Lunar One’s dial.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I would have loved for the movement to have Chopard’s “Quattro” system of four stacked mainspring barrels – that offers up to eight days of power reserve. I’m not sure if Chopard plans to update its core perpetual calendar movement in the future with more power reserve, but the L.U.C 96.13-L isn’t lacking. It has two stacked mainspring barrels which offer 65 hours of power reserve. Of course, the movement is also an automatic with a solid 22k gold micro-rotor.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

 The Chopard LUC Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

Chopard recently released a similar looking watch in the L.U.C Perpetual Chrono (hands-on here in the same platinum/blue dial combination). The Perpetual Chrono adds a 12 hour chronograph to the perpetual calendar set of complications – though it is based on an entirely different movement, and unlike the L.U.C Lunar One, which is an automatic, the Perpetual Chrono is manually wound. If you are dying for a chronograph/calendar combo, then the choice for you will be obvious – though as a more practical daily wearer, I like the Lunar One a bit more.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Not only is the Lunar One free from the sub-dial “ears” (an aesthetic thing) which aren’t popular with all people on the Perpetual Chrono’s dial, it is also cheaper by about $40,000 (when comparing platinum models). The L.U.C Perpetual Chrono is also a larger watch coming in a 45mm wide case, versus the Lunar One’s still big (for a dress watch) 43mm wide size. Speaking of size, the Lunar One isn’t a small watch, and given the wide lugs, wears large for a 43mm wide watch. That’s not a bad thing, and I know of many people who like traditional watches in this particular size. With that said, given that watch lovers are very particular about the sizes they like, if you are interested in a more modestly-sized dress watch, then look for perpetual calendar watches elsewhere (there are arguably many).

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Returning to the discussion of the movement, the automatic L.U.C 96.13-L operates at 4Hz (28,800bph), has 65 hours of power reserve, and is produced from 355 parts. In addition to time, complications include a perpetual calendar as well as a 122 year accurate moon phase indicator. The calendar system indicates the date (via big date display window), month, day of the week, leap year, and 24 hour (day/night) indicator. The overall layout of the dial is logical, and about as busy as you can get without it feeling overly cluttered. My only issue with the dial is that while some of the sub-dial hands are easy to see, others are not. For example, two of the sub-dials have a stubbier, lume-filled hand which is easy to spot. At the same time, those same dials also have a thinner, polished hand that doesn’t benefit from having a contrasting color. These thinner hands easily disappear given the lack of effective contrast, and make it challenging to see the day of the week and the month if you want to read them at a glance.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Legibility isn’t an issue with the most important hands, which are those for the hours and minutes. Beautifully perfect in size, the hour and minute hands further benefit from having luminous material, which contrasts well with the glossier tones of other dial elements.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Over the rich, metallic blue face are applied 18k white gold Roman numeral hour markers. Chopard designed these elements cleverly, as they are rounded in only one direction. That means they play with the light, but not so much as to cause reflective blur. I will, however, request that moving forward Chopard opt to coat the sapphire crystal over the dial with AR-coating on both sides (not just the underside as is done here).

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Last on the dial is the moon phase indicator. Chopard gets high marks for an attractive moon phase indication display, which eschews the typical style of the “M-shaped” window for one that appears a bit more natural with a round window. A disc underneath moves in order to replicate the look of the current moon in the sky, which is surrounded by the motif of small stars (which Chopard claims are visually representative of actual starts in the Northern Hemisphere). More so, the moon phase indicator window itself revolves around its own axis in the sub-dial. It’s not a functional element in my understanding but does indeed help the dial remain fresh and interesting. The moon phase design element is intentionally noticeable and emphasized on these timepieces, whose name once again is “Lunar One.”

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Even though some of the dial complications can be adjusted via the crown, the L.U.C Lunar One case has four inset pushers on it which can help to quickly adjust the calendar and moon phase information should you leave the watch unworn for a while. I do also realize that the watch is an automatic, but given the volume of complications here that can be a pain to adjust, it would have been nice to either have a power reserve indicator on the dial, or a pusher (like A. Lange & Söhne has on some models) that allows you to advance all the date information by one day at a time.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I’m traditionally not a very big fan of platinum as a watch case material, but the precious metal has been growing on me. Seeing this watch from afar, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was 18k white gold or steel and not platinum. While it is true that the color and finishing of platinum, steel, and 18k white gold are a bit different, most people don’t actually know the difference. More so, platinum is a heavy metal in weight, and also prone to scratching easily. So why then is this precious metal even more precious than gold? My understanding is that it comes down to rarity given that platinum (compared to gold) is harder to come by.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Platinum has grown on me because of its emotional value. For one thing, you never really forget you are wearing a platinum watch. Its weight makes it much more “old school” as a luxury product when weight helped one measure the value of something. Thus, compared to a steel watch, you really know that something different is on your wrist when wearing platinum (and there is value in being reminded of that). Ironically, these days watchmakers are just as interested in making watches lighter in weight (perhaps more interested) than making heavy gold or platinum watches.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Platinum is also more discreet than yellow gold, or most other alloys of gold. The same argument can be made for white gold. This means that while you as the wearer know you have something precious, that fact is much less obvious for the people seeing the watch on you. Therefore, people who are more interested in having a “personal” relationship with their luxury toys, and wearing them for personal versus public enjoyment, will appreciate platinum. Wearing it means you need to be able to afford it, but it also means you aren’t yelling that fact to the world. This form of “luxury discretion” isn’t something to take lightly, and is a wearing consideration common among watch lovers across the globe.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

At 43mm wide, the L.U.C Lunar One is 11.47mm thick, with a relatively long lug-to-lug distance of about 52mm (water resistant to 50m). Note that while the case is platinum, the crown is produced from 18k white gold. That is likely because platinum is a harder-to-machine material, and the details in the crown likely make it easier to produce in gold.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Allow me to compliment Chopard on yet another element of the watch, which is the strap. L.U.C watches typically use among the highest quality straps I know of, and in addition to being attractive, they are very practical. For example, many leather straps (calf, alligator, or otherwise) tend to be stiff and uncomfortable to wear. Factory-fresh, the hand-sewn alligator strap is durable, but also soft and pliable. Bending easily over your wrist, you can get a comfortable fit right away, which is not something I can say for so many high-end watches out there. Attached to the alligator strap is a matching platinum folding deployant buckle.

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

“Platinum perpetual calendar watch” is about all you need to say in front of most watch lovers in order to get them excited. Budget willing, I’d say most people would be interested in owning a product like this, which is both practical to wear and full of prestigious bragging rights. For me, complicated dress watches evoke the image of someone who is at the same time classic and intellectual. This is the thinking man’s formal watch (or the man who routinely forgets what day and month it is – and who also doesn’t have a digital calendar device).

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One Perpetual Calendar Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

So long as you are open to the fact that a perpetual calendar’s utility and value are mostly emotional, then you are in the right mental state to begin enjoying a perpetual calendar watch. I say all this given that most people are going to use their wristwatch as a quick reference to the date, and not as their sole, reliable calendar device. So with that said, when interested in a perpetual calendar, I recommend seeking one that is otherwise comfortable, a good monetary value, and comfortable to wear. In a sense, the perpetual calendar complication needs to be a welcome add-on (as opposed to a detractor) from an otherwise suitable daily wristwatch. Is the Chopard L.U.C Lunar One just such a watch? I would argue, most certainly. The Chopard L.U.C Lunar One reference 161927-9001 in platinum is a limited edition of just 100 pieces with a retail price of $69,260 USDchopard.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: Chopard
>Model: L.U.C Lunar One 161927-9001
>Price: $69,260 USD
>Size: 43mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Perpetual calendar-curious lovers wanting to enjoy the prestigious complication in a sizeable (albeit dressy) platinum case.
>Best characteristic of watch: Well-priced for what you get, certainly less than a lot of the competition without sacrifice in quality. Great movement paired with a timeless design, and easy to read (mostly) dial.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Some dial elements are hard to see, which affects legibility. Case size might be too large for some wrists, especially for a timepiece of this formal style. Dial design is aging a bit, and could benefit from an update.