Review: Chopard L.U.C. Time Traveler One Worldtime Replica hands-on

Review: Chopard L.U.C. Time Traveler One Worldtime Replica hands-on

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The Chopard L.U.C. Time Traveler in rose gold looks very sober and understated, much like a classical world time

Chopard, one of the under-rated manufactures in the world of haute horlogerie and nestled in the Fleurier, they began in earnest with in-house manufactured movements some 20 years ago through the diligent efforts of their c0-President Karl-Frederich Scheufele. The house was already immensely successful before the L.U.C. manufacture, making high jewelery and a very popular line of ladies timepieces exemplified by the Happy Diamonds collection. But for hard core horology enthusiasts, Chopard was permanently put on the map with the L.U.C. Manufactured 1.96 movement in 1996. After two decades, and many interesting calibers later, they introduce the Chopard L.U.C. Time Traveler One: a Worldtimer replica watch. We explore in detail here.

chopard time traveller1 plat

 

Chopard L.U.C. Time Traveler One

 

World timer replica watches seem to be the vogue for 2015 and 2016. With a rather large selection being recently released, the traditional world time replica watch can date its origins back to Louis Cottier who produced the blueprint in 1930s for Patek Philippe. The design is based on two crowns controlling the movement which is able to simultaneously tell the times on a number of cities, from 24 cities around the globe to sometimes up to 41 cities. The earlier Cottier designs showed 24 timezones simultaneously. Chopard has chosen to debut their world timer using the same blueprint as outlined by Cottier with 24 timezones on the L.U.C. Time Traveler One.

chopard timetraveller1 3metals

 

Case, Dial, Hands

The fake Time Traveler One is available in a platinum case with a very attractive blue grey dial, a rose gold version, and a very sporty looking version in stainless steel.

The case is a very handsome round case with shoulder lugs tapering to form a silhouette like a tonneau shape. We find the case to be elegant and understated, much like the entire aura of the collection.

The Chopard L.U.C. Time Traveler in rose gold looks very sober and understated, much like a classical world time

 

All the cases are 42mm in diameter and 12mm thick. On the right side there are two crowns. The upper crown is marked with the L.U.C. logon and is the regular winding and hand setting crown. Another crown marked with a stylised globe logo is found at 4 o’clock, and is used to set the world time.

The two crowns, indicative of the Cottier derived movement concept

 

The dials offer the variations between the models being offered, each tied to one of the case metals.

 

The platinum dial in blue grey showing the 24 timezones simultaneously.

 

The mode of operations is typical of the Cottier derived design. The dial design, however is quite fresh, and a Chopard design based on concentric layers on the dial. From the center, a discreet central hand indicates the date, while a surrounding railway track circle serves to read off the hours and minutes of the local time zone. The regular hour and minute hands are Dauphine-type hands typical of the watches in the L.U.C collection and adjusted via a crown positioned at 2 o’clock.

In steel, the sunburst black dial with contrasting orange accents make the fake Time Traveler look very sporty.In steel, the sunburst black dial with contrasting orange accents make the Time Traveler look very sporty.

Moving a further step outwards, a large 24-hour graduated ring operates in coordination with the disc bearing the reference cities symbolising the 24 main time zones, and colour coded in dark and light to indicate day and night. Once they are synchronised with the local time zone via the 4 o’clock crown, no more adjustment is required. And the times of the cities on the dials can be read simultaneously.

The case diameter helps with this layout as the resulting dial remains looking uncluttered, even though there is a lot of information that it is showing.

In platinum the Chopard L.U.C. Time Traveler One gets our pick for the best looking of the lot, but the SS version gets our overall nod as it is very well priced, and great value for money.

 

Movement

 

The movement is a Chopard L.U.C. maufacture automatic movement with a 60 hour power reserve. The movement is nicely finished, much in line with other L.U.C. movements. All the traditional haute horlogerie elements are properly addressed. The anglage applied to the edges of the bridges are very evenly finished. The Côtes de Genève are not only applied to the movement bridges and cocks as is typical, but also to the rotor.

The movement is COSC certified, so timekeeping duties will meet good standards. The design looks very robust and in our experience with earlier Chopard L.U.C. movements should prove robust and will function well.

 

Competitive Landscape

 

There are several competitors in this space, and range from the independents to the traditional maisons. The replica Chopard L.U.C. Time Traveler One is available in platinum for S$ 50.480 with GST (approx CHF 33,000 tax free) , in rose gold for S$ 32,270 with GST (approx CHF 21,500 tax free) and in stainless steel for S$ 18,360 with GST (approx CHF 12,400 tax free).

We covered the competitive landscape when we reviewed the Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time (S$ 56,900 with GST, approx CHF 40,500  in SS case with SS bracelet, crocodile strap and rubber strap) recently. The landscape has not changed since, so we offer the same coverage as we did in the review’s Competitive Landscape. The VC Overseas World Time shows 37 timezones simultaneously, and is not based on the Cottier double crown system. The case is also more ruggedly constructed and is rated to a water resistance of 150m.

We should also consider the Patek Philippe World Time Ref. 5230. Patek does not  which was released this Baselworld 2016. The 5230 has a dial which is classical Patek World Time, with a guilloché central medallion, and 24 timezones indication made in the style first introduced in the 1930s by Louis Cottier. In style, it is very similar to the other Cottier inspired piece: the Andersen Genève Tempus Terrae , also with a city disc showing only 24 cities. The Patek finishing is slightly better than the L.U.C. replica Time Traveler, and much better than the Andersen, and will definitely do better than either in the resale market. Neither Patek nor Andersen are built on a water resistant case as their cases are decidedly more dressy. They are both only rated for the nominal 25m while the Chopard  is rated to a nomilally higher 50m, and useful for swimming and snorkeling.

Another World Time watch which is similarly featured is De Bethune World Traveller DB25 (CHF 150,000 before taxes  in white gold). The dial is somewhat less cluttered, and the system for indicating the second time zone in 24 hour format while showing day/night is ingenious. The movement is also unique, and truly a spectacle. And like most De Bethunes, the price tag will exclude the DB25 from many short lists.

The Jaeger LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time (S$ 21,900 with GST in SS) is another candidate. Priced similarly to the replica Time Traveler One, we would rate the finishing perhaps comparable, with the Chopard tending towards a more decorative style than the JLC. It too shows only 24 cities on its dial, and is not water resistant. However, the Geophysic Universal Time is antimagnetic and carries a seconds morte mechanism.

Another modestly priced comparison might be to the Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum (CHF 5,930 inclusive of Swiss VAT in stainless steel). It also shows only 24 cities on the dial, and has a water resistant rating of 50m. The movement is decidedly more engineered than haute horlogerie, and finished in accordance to its price.

The Corum Admiral’s Cup Legend 47 Worldtimer (titanium with pink gold bezel CHF 15,000 and in titanium, with matt black dial for CHF 10,500) is roughly similarly priced to the Chopard. The Corum also shows 24 timezones simultaneously, but the system to display the cities is ingenious and de-clutters the dial significantly. Apertures are used to show the cities.

 

Concluding thoughts

We think like most Chopard watches, the L.U.C. fake Time Traveler One is good value for the money. The visual aesthetics are immaculately designed and very sober. All the versions of the watch look very understated, but at the same time exudes class. In particular the platinum version is very sober, while the rose gold is quite romantic and classical. The steel version adorned with the orange accented dial is decidedly very sporty, perhaps for a gentleman sport like racing vintage cars. All much in character to the man who inspired the collection, none other than Karl-Frederich Scheufele himself. A classical gentleman. Traditional and very understated, but one who can be easily be identified as a member of the old money-ed.

The movement is pure L.U.C., which in our books is a good thing. Well designed, robust, and nicely finished, it offers an alternative to the collector. Functionally, it is excellent, with the ability to display 24 timezones simultaneously on the dial without complexity in its operations and without an overly cluttered dial.

 

Fake Chopard L.U.C. Time Traveler One Technical specifications

Case:
– Stainless steel Ref. 168574-3001
– Total diameter: 42 mm
– Thickness: 12.09 mm
– Water resistance: 50 metres
– 2 partly satin-brushed stainless steel crowns with L.U.C logo and globe 6.50 mm
– Vertical satin-brushed case middle
– Polished bezel and case-back
– Exhibition back with glareproofed sapphire crystal

Movement:
– Mechanical self-winding L.U.C 01.05-L
– Number of components 262
– Total diameter: 35.30 mm
– Thickness: 6.52 mm
– Number of jewels: 39
– Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
– Power reserve: approx. 60 hours
– Bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève
– Chronometer-certified (COSC)

Dial and hands:
– Sunburst satin-brushed dial in a black colour achieved by galvanic treatment
– Finely snailed chapter ring
– Hour-markers and Arabic numerals painted with orange Super-LumiNova
– Black circular satin-brushed city disc with white and red transfers
– GMT function disc featuring a white varnished section for the hours between 6.30 am and 6.30 pm featuring black transferred markings; and a grey varnished section for the hours between 6.30 pm and 6.30 am featuring white transferred markings
– Dauphine-type hands: rhodiumed for the hours, enhanced with orange Super-LumiNova for the minutes
– Rhodiumed baton-type arrow-tipped date hand
– Orange baton-type central seconds hand
– Railway track chapter ring

Functions and displays:
– Central display of the hours, minutes, seconds and date
– City display on the outer dial disc
– Disc-type display of the GMT function
– 2 o’clock crown serving to adjust the date and the time in the main time zone
– 4 o’clock time serving to adjust the city disc

Strap and buckle:
– Alligator leather strap with alligator leather lining
– Stainless steel pin buckle

 

Case:
– 18-carat rose goldRef. 161942-5001
– Total diameter: 42 mm
– Thickness: 12.09 mm
– Water resistance: 50 metres
– 2 partly satin-brushed
18-carat rose gold crowns with
L.U.C logo and globe 6.50 mm
– Vertical satin-brushed case middle
– Polished bezel and case-back
– Exhibition back with glareproofed sapphire crystal

Movement:
– Mechanical self-winding L.U.C 01.05-L
– Number of components 262
– Total diameter: 35.30 mm
– Thickness: 6.52 mm
– Number of jewels: 39
– Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
– Power reserve: approx. 60 hours
– Bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève
– Chronometer-certified (COSC)

Dial and hands:
– Sunburst satin-brushed dial in a silver-toned colour achieved by galvanic treatment
– Finely snailed chapter ring
– Hour-markers painted with Super-LumiNova, black numerals and transfers
– Circular satin-brushed city disc in a silver tone achieved by galvanic treatment with black and red transfers
– Circular satin-brushed GMT function disc with a silver-toned section for the hours between 6.30 am and 6.30 pm featuring black transferred markings; and a midnight blue section for the hours between 6.30 pm and 6.30 am featuring white transferred markings
– Dauphine-type hands: metallic black for the hours, enhanced with Super-LumiNova for the minutes
– Metallic black baton-type arrow-tipped date hand
– Gilt baton-type central seconds hand
– Railway track chapter ring

Functions and displays:
– Central display of the hours, minutes, seconds and date
– City display on the outer dial disc
– Disc-type display of the GMT function
– 2 o’clock crown serving to adjust the date and the time in the main time zone
– 4 o’clock time serving to adjust the city disc

Strap and buckle:
– Alligator leather strap with alligator leather lining
– 18-carat rose gold pin buckle

 

Case:
– Platinum Ref. 161942-9001
– Total diameter: 42 mm
– Thickness: 12.09 mm
– Water resistance: 50 metres
– 2 partly satin-brushed
platinum crowns with
L.U.C logo and globe 6.50 mm
– Vertical satin-brushed case middle
– Polished bezel and case-back
– Exhibition back with glareproofed sapphire crystal

Movement:
– Mechanical self-winding L.U.C 01.05-L
– Number of components 262
– Total diameter: 35.30
– Thickness: 6.52 mm
– Number of jewels: 39
– Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
– Power reserve: approx. 60 hours
– Bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève
– Chronometer-certified (COSC)

Dial and hands:
– Sunburst satin-brushed dial in a grey-blue colour achieved by galvanic treatment
– Finely snailed chapter ring
– Hour-markers and numerals painted with Super-LumiNova
– Circular satin-brushed city disc in a grey-blue tone achieved by galvanic treatment with white and red transfers
– Circular satin-brushed GMT function disc with a silver-toned section for the hours between 6.30 am and 6.30 pm featuring black transferred markings; and a grey-blue section for the hours between 6.30 pm and 6.30 am featuring white transferred markings
– Dauphine-type hands: rhodiumed for the hours, enhanced with Super-LumiNova for the minutes
– Rhodiumed baton-type arrow-tipped date hand
– Rhodiumed baton-type central seconds hand
– Railway track chapter ring

Functions and displays:
– Central display of the hours, minutes, seconds and date
– City display on the outer dial disc
– Disc-type display of the GMT function
– 2 o’clock crown serving to adjust the date and the time in the main time zone
– 4 o’clock time serving to adjust the city disc

Strap and buckle:
– Alligator leather strap with alligator leather lining
– 18-carat white gold pin buckle

 

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