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CHOPARD is celebrating two birthdays this year: the 40th anniversary of its Happy Diamonds collection, and the 20th anniversary of the brand's LUC line.
You would be surprised to know that the first Happy Diamonds watch was a men's timepiece. It was 40 years ago, and since then, Happy Diamonds has transformed into Chopard's iconic collection for ladies. Besides, who would have linked a name like Happy Diamonds with the gentlemen?
Indeed, the reissue of the first Happy Diamonds watch with an updated and softer look to mark the collection's 40th birthday is designed for women. There's still the cushion-shaped white gold case, but the revived model is smaller -- and its dial is in white mother-of-pearl, instead of black.
The signature moving diamonds sparkle even brighter in the latest timepiece, because they are set with prongs. And there are more diamonds than ever on the dial - and in varying sizes, accentuating their whirring dance and the sense of diamond-studded profusion.
The limited-edition (150 pieces) watch, which is sold only at Chopard boutiques, also comes in a round-shaped case. LUC, the other collection that is celebrating its anniversary, is not simply a nod to Chopard's founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard, it's a signal to the world that Chopard wants to be taken seriously as a watchmaker. To be recognised as such, the watchmaker must produce at least one mechanical movement in-house. And Chopard has done this - and more - with its LUC collection.
Chopard's first own movement, the LUC 96.01-L fitted with a self-winding micro-rotor, was launched in 1996 with LUC 1860 - the very first LUC model, a chronometer-certified timepiece with a small seconds display.
The last 20 years of LUC's existence saw a base movement created in-house roughly every two years for LUC models. The 11 base calibres spin 87 variations - and the LUC timepieces span virtually the full range of watch complications: tourbillons, a minute repeater, flyback chronograph, perpetual calendar and a high frequency timepiece.
The LUC Perpetual Chrono and LUC Perpetual Twin are two standout creations marking LUC's milestone this year. The first combines a hand-wound chronograph and a finely crafted perpetual calendar housed in an ethically mined "Fairmined" 45mm gold case.
It's limited to 20 pieces in white gold and 20 in rose gold with a sticker price of S$121,890.
The Perpetual Twin is half the price (US$25,000) and a simplified version of an earlier gold model. The all-steel chronometer-certified perpetual calendar boasts a 43mm case framing a dial with a large twin-aperture date display, ensuring maximum readability. The February indication location reveals whether or not the year is a leap year.