Earlier this year, at Baselworld 2010, Chopard introduced a very special L.U.C. collection timepiece, the Engine One. The L.U.C. collection consists of beautiful haute horology timepieces. Chopard has actually been creating their own “manufacture” movements since 1996. This movement runs at 28,800 vph, 29 jewels and is COSC chronometer certified. The watch motor is mounted on silent blocks and held by 3 lever-arms inserted into the case middle, much like the way an engine is mounted inside an automobile.
Chopard L.U.C. timepieces are unique within the market, featuring both classic and contemporary elements, along with top of the range quality – like the L.U.C. Tourbillon Tech Twist, which was introduced in 2008. The new Chopard L.U.C. Engine One was arguably one of Chopard’s nicest introductions for 2010, and I cannot wait to see Chopard’s new introductions at Baselworld 2011. Hopefully, they will have another variation of the Engine One. I bet it would look good in platinum or rose gold. Although, the titanium case is a better choice for a sports watch.
Much like timepieces from boutique brands Urwerk or MB& F, the Engine One is so unique it would be hard to mistake it for anything else. It is truly original. The design was conceived by Chopard designer Scheufele, a serious fan of automobiles. The shape of the titanium case and the look of the dial are inspired by an engine block (the long thin shape also makes this very comfortable on your wrist). The dial design is clean and simple with a very cool power reserve display at 12 o’clock that looks like a fuel gauge on a car (power reserve is 60 hours – manual wind).
The seconds are displayed by a hand directly above the 1-minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock. The tourbillon thankfully does not look like every other tourbillon you see these days, instead, it has blades that match the automobiles theme. The tourbillon is suspended by two sapphire crystals, which allow a perfect view of the unique mechanism as it constantly spins. The dial features steel screws that look great with the darker grey contrasting brushed metal dial, which further adds to the automobile theme. Even the black leather strap has been designed to look like old vinyl automobile seats.
Chopard’s L.U.C. watchmakers are known for creating luxury timepieces of the highest quality. With the Engine One, I think they have outdone themselves. As opposed to the more flashy designs you see from many of the watchmakers in this price range, Chopard instead chose to go with a very understated look.
Limited to 150 pieces. The retail price is $50,000+.