Tonneau cases are a classic in the category of “shape watches” and the L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru by Chopard is a fine example, though a little different from most tonneaus. It is almost as wide as it is high, with a case that is a very wearable size at 38.5 x 38.8 mm. Comfort is enhanced by the slight curve of the case, and its very slim profile – just 7.74 mm.
Tonneau or wine barrel?
Water resistance is the standard 3 atm, so you’re not going to want to drop it inadvertently into your tumbler, neither into your wineglass. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-president of Chopard, is a wine connoisseur and the watch’s shape seems to have been inspired at least in part by the shape of wine barrels. Which is what “tonneau” actually means, of course.
Rose gold case
The rose gold case, with polished bezel and caseback surround, and a satin-brushed caseband, creates a warm, mellow effect enhanced by the hand-sewn brown alligator leather strap with alligator leather lining and rose gold pin buckle, and the antique style of the dial. I’d definitely put this into my list of hygge watches.
The dial is not just about looking mellow. The minute hand reaches the black printed chapter ring all the way around. The black and white colour scheme of the dial is enhanced by touches of red, in the numerals on the seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. The date display is neatly integrated into the overall scheme.
The 97.01-L calibre descends from the L.U.C 1.96, the movement that re-established Chopard as a watchmaking company with a capability to make its own calibres. It shares the 1.96’s twin barrels providing 65 hours power reserve, and its slim profile, just 3.3. mm. It has the same shape as the case and so the view through the caseback is an intriguing sight, enhanced by the high level of finish, with bevelling, polishing, circular graining and Côtes de Genève. The movement is precision-certified by COSC, and the overall quality is guaranteed by the quality mark Poinçon de Genève.
Price and reference
The L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru by Chopard is reference 162296-5001, in rose gold, and it costs €21,970, 22,300 Swiss francs. Read more on the Chopard website.