Some watches make an instant impression. They dazzle and overwhelm you, leaving you dazed and confused. The Chopard L.U.C Qualité Fleurier isn’t like that. This is a watch that, after you’ve first seen it, gets under your skin. It seeps unnoticed into the watch-occupied caverns of your brain, only to make an appearance months later. At Watches and Wonders this year, I had the pleasure of seeing all the Chopard novelties. These included the elegant and understated L.U.C Qualité Fleurier in Lucent Steel, a sublime watch that underwent very demanding tests to achieve a seal of approval from the Fondation Qualité Fleurier. Recently, I have been thinking about that watch more and more. My thoughts resulted in this story.

One thing I remembered well from the presentation of the Chopard L.U.C Qualité Fleurier in Lucent Steel was the price of the watch. You’ve seen the L.U.C XPS Forest Green crafted in the same material with its deep green dial on Fratello before, right? That’s a great watch in every respect, I believe. The price of CHF 11,200 is something you can grasp once you’re familiar with pricing strategies in Haute Horlogerie. The price of the L.U.C Qualité Fleurier was, even for a trained professional with many years of experience in the world of luxury watches, a bit harder to digest. This steel traditionalist, which presents itself with a discrete silver dial and on a rather introverted brown leather strap, has a list price of CHF 19,300. Even when you know the watch is outfitted with a chronometer-certified, extra-thin, in-house movement, that is quite a heavy price tag.

Chopard L.U.C Qualité Fleurier

Understanding the Chopard L.U.C Qualité Fleurier

It’s the Qualité Fleurier aspect of this L.U.C creation in Lucent Steel. That type of steel was first introduced in the Alpine Eagle collection, and it’s an ultra-resistant, hard-to-machine alloy made from 85% recycled materials. The alloy also has a hue and luster close to white gold. So, why does Chopard want almost CHF 20K for a steel watch? That’s because of the certification this watch received from the Fondation Qualité Fleurier (Fleurier Quality Foundation). This certification was brought to life in the early 2000s by three brands from the same region — Bovet, Parmigiani Fleurier, and Chopard.

Since 2022, Chopard has been the only remaining initiator to use the strict rules. And when I say “strict,” I mean extremely strict. For instance, to be granted the Qualité Fleurier seal, the watch must pass the COSC tests, the watch head needs to be 100% Swiss made, and the finishing, durability, and reliability must meet incredibly high standards.

Chopard L.U.C Qualité Fleurier

The introverted styling of the Chopard L.U.C Qualité Fleurier makes it a watch that’s hard to “get.” The lush L.U.C XPS Forest Green immediately tells you how special it is. And do you remember last year’s L.U.C 1860? That watch is in Lucent Steel too but has a salmon-colored gold dial decorated with a plethora of hand-engraved guilloché finishes. It also bears the famous Poinçon de Genève on the automatic caliber L.U.C 96.40-L. This watch has a price of CHF 22,700. Maybe because of the intricate gold dial and the presence of the Geneva Seal, a more well-known and widespread quality certification, the price didn’t hit as hard as the L.U.C Qualité Fleurier’s did. So, based on that alone, this watch deserves a second look.

L.U.C Qualité Fleurier

Revisiting the Chopard L.U.C Qualité Fleurier

The new L.U.C Qualité Fleurier (ref. 168631-3001) measures 39mm in diameter, 46.5mm from lug to lug, and 8.92mm thick. Its silver dial uses contrasting finishes to create a kind of alternative, more luxurious, and understated sector dial. The presence of lume on the indexes and the hands ensures good readability in darker circumstances.

Every detail of this watch is subtle. Just look at the welded lugs of the case; they’re very 1950s, don’t you think? The case itself is thin and elegant, showing a mix of polished and brushed finishes and an ever-so-slightly inset crown. This is a watch that unveils itself slowly. This watch is like a good wine that needs to breathe before it allows you to enjoy all of its goodness. It’s like wearing a grand cru; that’s how I would describe the wrist feel of the L.U.C Qualité Fleurier.


The subtleties continue on the back. That is where a sapphire crystal allows a perfect view of the chronometer-certified L.U.C 96.09-L micro-rotor automatic movement. This in-house caliber offers 65 hours of power reserve from twin barrels. Plus, the Qualité Fleurier certification covers aesthetics and mechanical testing, including shock resistance and timing precision. The Chronofiable testing regime lasts three weeks for fully cased watches that will experience various temperatures and moisture conditions. The watches also undergo the rigors of the Fleuritest simulator that mimics a wearer’s activities over 24 hours. Precision is of great importance too. Every L.U.C Qualité Fleurier must be accurate to between zero and +5 seconds per day.

Chopard L.U.C Qualité Fleurier

Final thoughts on the Chopard L.U.C Qualité Fleurier: understated and underwhelming are definitely not the same

The L.U.C XPS Forest Green instantly hypnotizes you with its radiant color, while the L.U.C 1860 romances you without hesitation through its classic salmon-colored dial and mesmerizing guilloché patterns. The L.U.C Qualité Fleurier plays a different game. This is a watch you glance at and then seem to forget about. But that’s a miscalculation because the watch’s class and elegance will slowly but surely form thoughts in the horological lobe of your brain. The silver dial with its delicate, contrasting finishes, the shape of the case, and the finishing of the movement will get you over time. They got me.

Yes, CHF 19,300 is a lot of money for a steel watch on a leather strap. You also pay for the rigorous Qualité Fleurier certification tests and the great effort it takes Chopard to get the certification. If you think CHF 22,700 is a fair price for a Poinçon de Genève-certified L.U.C 1860 with a gold guilloché dial, CHF 19,300 for this L.U.C Qualité Fleurier is too.

L.U.C Qualité Fleurier

Do you think Chopard creating watches with Poinçon de Genève and Qualité Fleurier certification is the way to go for the brand? Will these timepieces attract scrutinizing collectors and, as a result, uplift Chopard as a watch manufacturer? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Watch specifications

L.U.C Qualité Fleurier
Silver, sector style with sunray-brushed center, circular-brushed ring with applied and faceted spearhead indexes and luminous dots, radially brushed minute track, azurage-finished sub-seconds register, and syringe-style hour and minute hands with Super-LumiNova
Case Material
Lucent Steel A223
Case Dimensions
39mm (diameter) × 46.5mm (lug-to-lug) × 8.92mm (thickness)
Sapphire with AR treatment
Case Back
Lucent Steel A223 and sapphire crystal with AR treatment
L.U.C 96.09-L: in-house, ultra-thin automatic with 22k gold micro-rotor / 27.40 × 3.3mm / 28,800vph / Twin Barrel technology for 65h power reserve / COSC-chronometer certified / Qualité Fleurier certification
Water Resistance
30 meters
Brown calf leather (19/16mm) with beige stitching and Lucent Steel pin buckle
Time only (hours, minutes, small seconds)
CHF 19,300