Swiss watchmaker and jewelry house Chopard taps into its love of mountain adventure with a new sport watch line inspired by the Alps... as well as family ties.
While many know Maison Chopard for its fine jewelry, it has always produced iconic timepieces. Chopard has communicated a sense of modernity and luxurious ruggedness that complements the brand’s expert craftsmanship and design detail—in the automotive-inspired Mille Miglia and the superbly complicated L.U.C timepieces in particular. Now, a new watch line, the Alpine Eagle, adds to that impressive story in a rebirth saga as based in family tradition as it is an homage to the spirit of the Swiss Alps.
In 1980, at the age of 22 and as an employee in the family manufacture, now co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele submitted a design to his father, Karl Scheufele, for his first watchmaking project: a bold timepiece inspired by the Alps that would become the fabled St. Moritz timepiece. It was Chopard’s first true sport watch, as well as its first steel watch, and a bestseller.
At the urging of his son, Karl-Fritz, and with the secret support of his father, now Karl-Friedrich and Chopard release an update to the St. Moritz. He was at first reluctant to revisit such an iconic model, but his son’s passion reminded him of his own 40 years prior. “It’s hard to invent something, but it’s even more difficult to reinterpret a great design. The underlying principle for the design of the Alpine Eagle—and already for the St. Moritz—was that we applied the principle of form-follows-function. Every detail counts,” says Karl-Friedrich.
A New Icon
The recently released Alpine Eagle is a rened yet contemporary and sporty timepiece with an integrated case and bracelet. A gemlike sunburst dial evokes the iris of an eagle’s eye, while counterweight of the broad hands and second-hand hint at a raptor’s feathers—all presented with cold glinting satin-brushed Lucent Steel A223 reminiscent of glaciers. Details like top and bottom protection of a compass rose crown, bold Super-LumiNovacoated hands and indices, and 100 meters of water-resistance mean this timepiece will be as at home on a technical mountain expedition as on your wrist at a charity gala.
Purpose-developed by Chopard over four years specifically for the Alpine Eagle, Lucent Steel A223 has the hypoallergenic properties of surgical steel; the hardened alloy is 50% more resistant to scratches, and its purity level ensures a brilliance and reflective nature more akin to white gold than conventional steel. Available in 41 mm and unisex 36 mm models, both Alpine Eagle versions’ movements are in-house-developed automatics and carry chronometer-precision certification. e 41 mm’s Chopard 01.01-C calibre sports a 60-hour power reserve, while the 36 mm’s Chopard 09.01- C features a 42-hour power reserve and is one of the smallest movements to receive COSC chronometer certification.
Dedication to Nature
A keen hiking and skiing enthusiast, Karl-Friedrich has always supported ecological preservation; he is also a founding member of the Eagle Wings foundation (eaglewingsproject.org). is new multidisciplinary project raises awareness and puts focus onto the Alpine ecosystem. Its first project, the Alpine Eagle race this September, saw the transmission of images from ve camera-equipped eagles launched from ve mythical Alpine peaks. In a nod to the timepiece’s origin, the race will end in St. Moritz, of course.
GovbA Convocation of Eagles
Chopard’s new Alpine Eagle 41 mm timepieces are available in bicolor metal (steel and rose gold), and its 36 mm timepieces come in rose gold, steel and bicolor, with some iterations featuring mother-of-pearl dials and diamond bezels. But it is perhaps the 41 mm steel with Aletsch Blue dial version that best captures the zeitgeist and passion of the watch concept: the galvanic blue-stamped brass sunburst dial inspired by an eagle’s iris; the Lucent Steel A223 integrated case and bracelet, all vertically satin-finished; the eight rugged tangent-fastened screws on the bezel in pairs at the cardinal points of the case; the Super-LumiNova-coated hands and Roman indices; the large legible date aperture at 5 o’clock; the ornate rose compass set in the crown; and other exacting details all point to a modern classic. 36 mm unisex version, from $10,100, 41 mm steel with Aletsch Blue dial version, shown at top right, from $12,900, Govberg Jewelers, Rittenhouse Square, govbergwatches.com; chopard.com/us
Photography by: Photos courtesy of Chopard