Timekeepers Club / July 11, 2023

Only Watch 2023: Chopard L.U.C 1860 Only Watch Edition in Lucent Steel™

The spirit of a watchmaking icon revisited in a one-of-a-kind Lucent Steel™ creation bearing the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark, in support of the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy.

Chopard once again commits to supporting Only Watch by gifting this charity auction a one-of-a-kind model inspired by an icon of watchmaking history – the first timepiece in the L.U.C collection presented in 1997. This unique interpretation of an emblematic model combines the sophistication of an Ice Green-toned solid white gold guilloché dial with a 36.5 mm case made of Chopard’s exclusive Lucent Steel, as well as a finely crafted chronometer-certified movement. This L.U.C Calibre 96.40-L is wound by a gold micro-rotor and equipped with the two barrels inherent to Chopard Twin technology.

The L.U.C collection once again demonstrates its sophisticated character by offering a bold reissue of its very first timepiece: the L.U.C 1860, named "Watch of the Year" by Swiss magazine Montres Passion (Uhrenwelt) right from its launch in 1997. Today, a new Lucent Steel™ version with a solid white gold guilloché dial in an appealing Ice Green shade continues the Manufacture's approach of combining respect for watchmaking tradition with innovation.

Lucent Steel™: the alchemist’s quest

The L.U.C collection draws on the luminous brilliance, resistance and purity that are key assets of Lucent Steel™, an exclusive alloy through which Chopard has chosen to treat steel as a precious metal. Resulting from four years of research and development, this metal endowed with properties comparable to those of surgical steel, entered the watchmaking world with the 2019 launch of the Alpine Eagle collection. As of 2023, Chopard has pledged to roll out 80% recycled steel for all its steel watches, a further demonstration of its ongoing commitment to responsible luxury. As a family-owned Maison keenly aware of the social and environmental challenges facing the watch and jewellery industry, in 2013, Chopard embarked on a Journey to Sustainable Luxury, an ambitious long-term undertaking driven by a sense of profound humility and intended to make a positive difference in the watch industry.

The aesthetic harmony of elegant contrasts

At the heart of the 36.50 mm Lucent Steel™ case nestles an elegant Ice Green-toned dial, chosen to evoke the beauty of green icebergs, which are found exclusively in the Antarctic. Icebergs are the real celebrities of polar regions and are mostly white or blue in colour. However, like an artist, Nature is capable of producing splendid green icebergs that scientists sometimes call "jade bergs". This colour simultaneously symbolises the melting of glaciers, thus illustrating major environmental challenges and endowing this creation with distinctive symbolic value.

Made of solid white gold, this Ice Green-varnished dial strikes a contrast with the white gold touches of the hour-markers – whose herringbone shape echoes that of the slender, facetted Dauphine-type hands. The dial centre is meticulously hand-guilloched in a radiating pattern surrounding the historical Chopard logo – housed in a cartouche at 12 o'clock – while the chapter ring is satin-brushed. The snailed small seconds counter is positioned at 6 o'clock in a beautiful balance of symmetry and proportions, further accentuated by the absence of a date aperture which also contributes to the pared-down design. The anthracite grey grained calfskin leather strap, with its tone-on-tone stitching, complements the refined colours and textures skilfully orchestrated by the workshops.

Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark: a guarantee of fine craftsmanship

Combining their vertically integrated approach with the validation of independent authorities, the workshops have submitted this timepiece to the scrutiny of the prestigious Poinçon de Genève. The latter guarantees the quality and smooth functioning of watches assembled in the Canton. The L.U.C 1860 Only Watch Edition takes this label of excellence to new heights, as it is rarely applied to a steel watch. However, the rendering of Lucent Steel™, the delicacy of the dial colour and the finesse of its motifs, along with the precision rating of the movement, transcend conventions, placing this model firmly in the upper echelons of contemporary watchmaking.

Certified mechanical performance

The L.U.C 1860 Only Watch Edition timepiece is equipped with the L.U.C 96.40-L movement, whose refinement is all the more remarkable given its mere 3.30 mm thickness. This movement is a variation on the very first L.U.C calibre, which marked the creation of the Chopard Manufacture watchmaking workshops in 1996. It is equipped with an off-centre micro-rotor in 22-carat gold, whose high inertia enables the efficient winding of two barrels. Stacked in accordance with Chopard Twin technology, these barrels store the energy required for a total 65-hour power reserve.

The L.U.C 96.40-L movement drives a small seconds indication, a prerequisite for chronometer certification by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. Reflecting the L.U.C collection’s innate sophistication, it is also equipped with a stop-second function and a swan’s-neck index assembly. The latter serves to carefully calibrate the active length of the balance-spring, thus enabling finer adjustment of the oscillating frequency and hence of the movement’s rate. Finally, all the bridges are carefully chamfered and adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif.

Chopard and Only Watch, a heart-felt partnership

Regarded as the world's largest charity watch auction, Only Watch will be holding its 10th edition on 5 November in Geneva. More than 50 watch Manufactures have each donated a unique timepiece, specially created for the occasion. The profits from this sale will be entirely donated to the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy to help fund research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disease that affects approximately one in 3,500 boys. Since its creation in 2005, Only Watch has already raised over 100 million Swiss francs.

"We are very happy to support this focus of major scientific investigation that affects so many children and adults", explains Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. "Since our first participation in 2005, this ongoing commitment has enabled us to develop bold one-off pieces stemming from lengthy aesthetic and technical research, endowed with powerful distinctive features that our collectors did not necessarily expect."

L.U.C collection: horological fine craftsmanship

The L.U.C 1860 timepiece is part of a continuing story that began more than a quarter of a century ago when, under Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s leadership, Chopard established the L.U.C collection, devoted to Haute Horlogerie art and traditions. Since the first L.U.C 1860 timepiece was introduced in 1997, the collection has been enriched over the years with exquisite, often highly original complications in watches designed, developed, assembled, decorated and certified according to the finest traditions of Swiss watchmaking in Chopard’s Fleurier and Geneva workshops. The re-edition of a L.U.C 1860 timepiece testifies to the timeless nature and versatility of a watch that has become a veritable watchmaking icon.

Technical specifications

Lot 18. Chopard L.U.C 1860 Only Watch Edition in Lucent Steel™

Reference: 168860-300

One-of-a-kind model for Only Watch 2023 auction


  • Material: Lucent Steel™
  • Diameter: 36.50 mm
  • Thickness: 8.20 mm
  • Notched crown in steel with engraved L.U.C logo: 5 mm
  • Vertical satin-brushed flanks and inter-horn space
  • Polished bezel and case-back surround
  • Sapphire crystal glare-proofed on both sides
  • Exhibition sapphire crystal pane fitted on the case-back
  • Water-resistant to 30 metres

Dial and hands

  • Ice Green-toned white gold dial with hand-guilloché central medallion and satin-brushed chapter ring
  • Snailed small seconds counter
  • White gold chevron-type hour-markers
  • White gold Dauphine-type hours and minutes hands
  • White gold baton-type small seconds hand


  • Mechanical self-winding L.U.C 96.40-L
  • Number of components: 176
  • Total diameter: 27.40 mm
  • Thickness: 3.30 mm
  • Number of jewels: 29
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve of 65 hours
  • Two barrels – Chopard Twin technology
  • Winding via a micro-rotor in engraved ethical 22-carat gold
  • Bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif
  • Annular balance
  • Swan’s-neck index-assembly
  • Balance-spring with Phillips terminal curve
  • Chronometer-certified by the COSC
  • Poinçon de Genève quality label


  • Central display of the hours and minutes
  • Small seconds at 6 o’clock
  • Stop-seconds function

Strap and buckle

  • Anthracite grey calfskin leather strap with tone-on-tone stitching
  • Lucent Steel™ pin buckle with L.U.C engraving


  • CHF 25'000 – 35'000
  • USD 27'500 – 38'500
  • EUR 25'800 – 36'000

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