At the BaselWorld 2014 show, Chopard unveiled the new L.U.C 8HF Power Control, an exceptional timepiece housing the L.U.C Calibre 01.09-L equipped with a sophisticated escapement beating at an impressive frequency of 8Hz or 57,600 vibrations per hour (ordinary mechanical movements beat at half that frequency or 28,800 vph).
The L.U.C Calibre 01.09-L has successfully passed all the rigorous tests conducted by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), certifying excellent precision and reliability.
A high frequency calibre can offer a significant improvement in the precision timekeeping properties, particularly in terms of rate resumption and stability, but there are technological challenges due to possible reliability issues arising out of mechanical resistance and basic wear-and-tear problems. Chopard took the challenge working with silicon for certain escapement components (impulse-pin, lever, escape wheel) and developing a new means of fixing silicon on steel (patent pending).
But the movement is not the only element pushing the boundaries of technology in the L.U.C 8HF Power Control. The 42 mm-diameter case comes in high-grade black machined ceramic, a material forced the Chopard engineers to entirely revise the case assembly.
This model is water-resistant to 100 metres and presents a DLC-coated titanium case-band, allowing a broad bezel diameter, along with a ceramic crown at 4 o’clock bearing the L.U.C logo.
The case-back, forming a matt black mono bloc together with the lugs, is half closed and features a sapphire crystal positioned just above the high-frequency escapement, providing a chance to appreciate it.
On the black sunburst satin-brushed black dial the date is in a pointer-type display between 5 and 6 o’clock, while the red small seconds hand at 7 o’clock travels exceptionally smoothly thanks to the high-frequency escapement and its 57,600 vibrations per hour.
The approximately 60-hour power reserve, generated by a single barrel, appears between 9 and 11 o’clock.
The L.U.C 8HF Power Control is delivered with a highly durable technical fabric equipped with a titanium pin buckle and is issued in a 250-piece limited series.