The world of haute horlogerie is abuzz, as Watches and Wonders has begun in Geneva, Switzerland. This is the premier industry event during which watch enthusiasts from around the globe come together to witness the unveiling of the latest timepieces from some of the most prestigious watchmakers.
As part of the revered line-up, Swiss watchmaker Chopard stands out as a brand that embodies the spirit of sustainable luxury. As always, the launch of Chopard's latest collection has been highly anticipated. Among the highlights are a Lucent Steel model, a watch with double tour straps, and the pièce de résistance, a limited-edition day/night function watch, blending technical complexity with artistic expression.
Curious about Chopard's latest creations? Here are the hot-off-the-press updates from GMT India.
Alpine Eagle 41 XPS: A New Ultra-Thin Addition
The Alpine Eagle collection, reimagined by three generations of the Scheufele family, has continuously evolved. For Watches and Wonders 2023, a new addition joins the range of impressive timepieces, featuring an ultra-thin design and a small seconds indication, powered by the L.U.C 96.40-L movement.
The L.U.C 96.40-L Movement
The L.U.C 96.40-L movement, developed by Chopard, is highly commended for its extreme thinness, measuring only 3.30 mm. It features a stop-seconds function for precise time-setting and a swan’s neck for fine adjustment of the oscillating frequency. This also gives the calibre a more elaborate aesthetic. The movement powers a small seconds dial and is certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute.
It boasts a 65-hour power reserve and uses Chopard Twin technology with two stacked barrels. Its automatic winding system is operated by a 22-carat gold, off-centre microrotor, contributing to its slenderness. Each bridge has a Côtes de Genève motif. All other movement components are finished, in accordance with the Poinçon de Genève criteria, reflecting Chopard's attention to detail and commitment to quality.
Chopard's Alpine Eagle 41 XPS watch demonstrates the brand's commitment to using responsibly sourced raw materials, ensuring high performance. The timepiece is crafted from Lucent Steel A223, an innovative steel alloy, comprising 85% recycled materials and known for its anti-allergenic qualities and brilliant shine. The 8 mm thick case of the watch has been optimised due to its thin movement, resulting in a wider dial and consequently, a well-proportioned appearance. During an interview with GMT India, Chopard’s Co-President and Artistic Director Caroline Scheufele explained how the alloy had been developed. She said, “Lucent Steel A223, as it is called, began before the first pencil strokes for Alpine Eagle, but it naturally established itself in the process as the natural choice for this collection. As a rare and extraordinarily precious metal in a league of its own, Lucent Steel A223 is the product of a very complex manufacturing and re-smelting process, which required no less than four years of research and development to produce.”
The dial features a pattern, inspired by eagle's iris and adorned with gold hands, coated with Grade X1 Super-LumiNova®, while the natural beauty of the Alpine landscape is the inspiration for the new ‘Monte Rosa Pink’ colour. With a round case, stylised flanks, luminescent indications and a Lucent steel tapering bracelet, the Alpine Eagle 41 XPS watch showcases Chopard's creativity and visionary spirit, drawing inspiration from the power of Nature.
Happy Sport 25mm: A Whimsical Escape
Right from its inception, the Happy Sport collection has stood as a symbol of style, embracing the mix-and-match game with a range of shapes, variations and materials. The newly reimagined Happy Sport, unveiled at Watches and Wonders 2023, features a solid, engraved caseback and is available in a 25 mm diameter. This watch can serve as a companion piece for an individual, who wants to escape the frenzied pace at which the world moves.
The round watch face boasts a soft, pearly, silver-toned dial with a sunburst base that draws attention to its ultra-chic chromatic texture, highlighting the jewel-like quality of the collection. The five dancing diamonds, encased in a slim, gold, spinning top, create a mesmerising game of chance and kinetic energy, reflecting the wearer's invigorating spirit. The Roman numerals and the cone-shaped hour and minute hands, rhodium-plated or gilded, further enhance the watch's elegance.
The Striking Blues
Chopard offers four versions of this unprecedentedly sized case, including a fully polished steel variant with a diamond-set bezel and a steel, ethical 18-carat rose gold version with a diamond-set bezel. Alligator leather straps in iridescent blue accompany these two variations, reaffirming the collection's classic design codes, adjusted to the most contemporary chromatic palette.
The two non-gemset versions in steel and steel with ethical 18-carat rose gold feature midnight blue double tour calfskin straps, which lend an ultra-chic touch to the Happy Sport. The slim and elongated bands redefine the watches, prolonging the motion of the dancing diamonds through a light aesthetic touch. All in all, it is a daring fashion accessory.
IMPERIALE: From Darkness to Light
Only 25 of Chopard's IMPERIALE (Ref. 385388-5001) watches exist, each one a magnificent embodiment of the sacred lotus blooming and its association with the sun.
Crafted from ethical 18-carat rose gold, entirely encrusted with diamonds, this 36 mm timepiece is a perfect blend of voids and solids, with polished rose gold lacework petals delicately placed on engraved and satin-brushed gold curves. The magnificent lotus flower is embellished with sparkling diamonds, adding to its elegance. Scheufele said, “As the watch draws its inspiration from the majestic era of empires, India is a country that is a melting pot of imperial elegance and classic modernity and the lotus seems to be the perfect motif to highlight the same.”
The day/night indication disc, which rotates to depict the ever-changing sky, is a masterpiece of miniature craftsmanship. Chopard has employed various traditional techniques to create this stunning diurnal and nocturnal scene with infinite nuances. The mobile dial, made of mother-of-pearl, is lacquered in a gradient of cerulean, featuring gold-powder stars.
Craftsmanship, Beauty and Functionality
As time passes, the IMPERIALE model slowly transitions from darkness to light, beautifully expressed through the snow-set diamonds and sapphires in six different shades of blue.
“The IMPERIALE has a majestic, sensual, sophisticated and elegant design inspired by the age of empires. IMPERIALE Tourbillon crystallises the entire range of the Maison's expertise in the two areas that have made its reputation,” said Scheufele. “The breathtaking gem setting is a demonstration of virtuoso skills while the finely crafted hand-wound movement, entirely designed, developed and produced in-house, is equipped with a tourbillon. A tribute to modern achievers.”
The gilded, open-worked, sword-shaped hour and minute hands complement the dial, displaying the central hours, minutes and seconds. The L.U.C 96.30-L calibre, developed entirely at Chopard's Manufacture's workshops, powers the self-winding mechanism, providing a 65-hour power reserve and a day-night disc with a 24-hour rotation. The watch comes with a seamless blue pearlescent alligator leather strap and a pin buckle in ethical 18-carat rose gold, completing the overall exquisite look of the timepiece.
Apart from the watches, Chopard's Happy Hearts collection also boasts a new addition, a pink opal heart, symbolising gentleness and serenity. Launched in 2009, the collection combines dancing diamonds with a heart motif, thus becoming a jewellery icon. Ethical gold is used for the collection, including a pendant necklace, a bracelet, a ring and earrings.