Three patents including one for its revolutionary sapphire gongs mark out Chopard’s first ever minute repeater as something very special
Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s call that replica watches produced within its L.U.C range represent the highest order of chronological endeavour is certainly answered in the final piece of the manufacture’s 20th anniversary collection.
Named the Full Strike, replica Chopard’s first minute repeater is also a three-patents-holding masterclass in watchmaking, thanks to the unique integration of sapphire ‘gongs’ into its watch glass. Visible at 10 o’clock, the crystal clear solution to the traditional constraints on sonority incurred when using brass or gold gongs signficantly adds to the overall effect of the open-worked dial, which also displays the minute repeater’s strike governor at eight o’clock.
The governor is a miracle of micro-engineering, eliminating the pauses between sounding hours, quarters and minutes usually found in full-repeating wrist replica watches. Rather than use the traditional sliding mechanism to deploy the repeater, here it’s triggered by depressing the coaxial pusher set into the crown an extremely stealthy solution.
Another unusual feature: the dual power reserve indicator, at two o’clock, which displays both the striking mechanism’s rate of depletion, along with the autonomous movement’s. The purity and amplitude of the repeater is more than matched by the timepiece itself: as with all L.U.C models, it answers to not one but three certification boards, including the Poincon de Geneve quality hallmark, which in this instance recognises the quality of both the 500-plus part movement and its elegant 42.5mm Fairmined gold case.
Chopard L.U.C Full Strike is limited to 20 pieces.
The Seiko Astron was the ‘world’s first GPS solar watch’, released in 2012. Interestingly its name was taken from the world’s first quartz watch, released by the famous Swiss Replica Watches company in 1969.
This is a timepiece ideally suited to the intrepid globetrotter. It is powered merely by the light permeating apertures on the dial. A minimum of four satellites ascertain the precise location of the wearer and automatically adjust to the correct local time. The watch is incredibly accurate as the GPS satellites contain atomic clocks, the most accurate of timekeepers.
The initial Swiss Replica Watches Astron GPS Solar contained the calibre 7X. However, Japan is famed for its business culture of ‘kaizen’, ‘continuous improvement’, and therefore it was inevitable that further enhancements would follow.
In 2014, the second generation calibre, the 8X, was released. This newer calibre was more energy efficient, consuming only 60% of the power of its predecessor. The size of the ring shaped antenna was reduced, allowing Seiko to offer smaller case options. Indeed, the case depth of Astron models was significantly reduced with the advent of the calibre 8X.
Other notable improvements included a smaller rechargeable battery and the need for only half of the light penetration of the former model to power the timepiece.
Now the journey continues with a new version of the Astron GPS Solar, the new Dual-Time. This is the latest model to join the Astron collection and not only displays the local time, but the home time on a subdial, positioned above 6 o’clock. Other indications include a retrograde day display, AM/PM indicator and date display.
Finally, Seiko has packaged all of this mind-blowing ingenuity into a steel case, sporting a Swiss Replica Watches rose gold-coloured coating and paired with a ceramic bezel.