In watchmaking, a dial is considered the face of a watch since it is the first thing that catches our eye. More than the case material, a watch dial sets the tone for an individual’s purchase decision. Colours, textures, and use of numerals for the hour markers can make or break a dial. While watchmakers will find new ways of producing top-notch dials, there will always be an area heavily leveraging tradition or heritage.
Chopard has gone a step ahead and reinterpreted an old model. The result: the just-introduced Alpine Eagle XL Chrono (Ref. 298609-3006) watch with a brand new Maritime Blue dial. The new Alpine Eagle timepiece is indeed a modern reinterpretation of the St. Moritz watch, the first horological creation from Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-President, Chopard, in the late 1970s.
The new dial uses a brushed finish that is typically used on metal components, resulting in a pattern of lines that intersect at a central point — think of sun rays. The sunburst motif on the new watch also resembles the iris of an eagle’s eye. The motif is typically created with a bell grinding wheel. This is a signature technique in the watchmaking industry, liked by collectors and enthusiasts; it gives a watch a very contemporary look without damaging the core DNA of the manufacturer.
There are many brands that have perfected the art of creating such dials. The Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Maritime Blue Dial watch comes in an oversized 44 mm Lucent SteelTM case. The same material can also be found on the crown with a compass rose, the crown guards, the pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock, the caseback, and the bezel with eight screws, set at a tangent.
The Maritime Blue brass dial has a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, a 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock, and a rhodium-plated small seconds counter at 6 o’clock, all with snailed texture. The 30-minute and the 12-hour counters get orange accents while an aperture-type date indication is spotted at 4:30 with a blue background and black numeral. The outer periphery of the dial gets a tachymeter scale and a combination of bar-shaped and Arabic hour markers with Super-LumiNova®, baton-type hours and minutes hands, rhodium-plated and enhanced with Super-LumiNova®, and rhodium-plated, orange-tipped chronograph central second hands.
Inside the case is the in-house calibre 03.05-C, an integrated automatic flyback chronograph movement with a COSC chronometer certification. The chronograph function is driven by a column wheel and a vertical clutch. With a frequency of 28,800 vph and an openworked tungsten rotor, the movement can offer up to 60 hours of power reserve. What’s more, it has a unidirectional gear drive system that prevents energy loss while ensuring rapid automatic winding. Finishing the watch is a black rubber strap with a titanium insert and a pin buckle in Lucent SteelTM.