WatchAdvisor.com is glad to introduce you a new series of articles aiming at improving your understanding and knowledge of the watch industry. Each week, we will have the pleasure to present in detail a brand and its collections, and in order for you to pick the watch of your dream, we will also provide a selection of our 10 favorite watches. This week, we cover a brand able to combine fine watchmaking and jewelry – Chopard.
Chopard in a Nutshell
Founded: 1860 – in Sonvilier, by Louis-Ulysse Chopard
Corporate: Chopard Holding SA
CEO: Karl-Friedrich Scheufele (since 2001)
Revenue: CHF 500`000`000
Price Range: CHF 4`000 – 1`100`000
Units: 75`000 per year
Employees: + 2000
Collection: Men's and ladies'
What does Chopard stand for?
When you ask people about what they associate with Chopard, jewelry is their very first answer. It is funny because the brand was actually founded by a watchmaker and started to create watches well before anything else. Chopard always has been successful and proved its abilities in front of two prestigious commissions as they became in 1900, one of the official watch providers for the Tir Fédéral and the Swiss railway company. In 1937, the brand moved to Geneva and started a new era of exceptional watchmaking creations.
Since its founding, the brand has launched iconic timepieces such as the Happy Sport, Mille Miglia, or the Happy Diamonds. Today, the name Chopard is associated with pure elegance, beauty, tradition, and fine watchmaking. No other brand is able to express emotions like Chopard, especially love, and when it hits you, you wish you could stop time forever and enjoy every moment. This is exactly what happens when you wear a Chopard watch.
About the Models
L.U.C stands for Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the founder, and creator of the brand. Launched in 1997 together with the brand’s first in-house automatic movement, the L.U.C line honors the founder’s visionary mindset. Equipped with an in-house movement, all L.U.C models depict pure perfection, craftsmanship at its highest level, and are actually totally manufactured in-house. This is the ultimate proof of the incredible knowledge that the brand achieved since its foundation.
The Classic collection enables you to remember the first steps of the watch industry, a period during which things were kept as simple as possible in order to concentrate on the most important feature: the time. Because of its simple design, the Classic does not take too much attention away from the wearer and actually complements its owner. With the Classic, Chopard created a collection of condensating essentials and timeless design.
As Chopard became the official timekeeper of the Mille Miglia race in 1988, its timepiece instantly became a legend. The collection represents racing values such as power, wildness, strength, and combines them with watchmaking ones like beauty, elegance, and the attention to details. The result is a stunning and unique timepiece, reliable, sporty and also elegant at the same time.
Grand Prix De Monaco
Chopard joined the Grand Prix De Monaco in 2002 as a sponsor and timekeeper. This peculiar race demands great efforts from the drivers due to the complex and tight streets of Monaco. This Grand Prix is a race that can be only mastered with a permanent development of driving skills, and this is exactly what Chopard expresses through the GPDM line – playing at the highest level after having developed watchmaking skills since 1860.
Launched for the first time in 2012, the Superfast collection honors Chopard’s love for sports cars and racing in general. Equipped with its in-house movement, this collection proves again the brand’s capability of being extraordinary. The Superfast is a testimony of leadership, of being the first one, because nobody remembers those who come after.
As he was walking in Germany’s black forest, the designer Ronald Kurowski was mesmerized by the light reflection of the droplets of a waterfall. He thought about how amazing it would be to re-create this event with diamonds. He manifested his idea, and as we know today, he created an iconic watch, combining sport and pure elegance together.
Chopard associated its knowledge of watchmaking and jewelry, resulting in a stunning collection: the Happy Diamonds. All the models can be seen as pieces of jewelry and represent the “outside of the box” thinking of the brand as well as its love for design and small details. The Happy Diamonds is a sharp, confident, and majestic watch – the perfect timepiece for an ambitious woman.
The Imperiale collection belongs to the empire of beauty, it stands out as it cannot be compared to any other women watch. The Imperial represents wealth, power, and the independence of the modern woman. Historically, they were the first persons to wear wristwatches and Chopard honors these precursors with a harmonious and elegant collection.
The La Strada line is inspired by women watches of the 50s. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele sought inspiration in Fellini’s work and in Rome’s San Pietrini, the historical paved street with cube-shaped stones of black basalt. You will definitely recognize this influence in the linear structure of both, the case of the watch and the bracelet. Chopard also added its highly respected experience of jewelry to the La Strada collection, decorating some of the models with gemstones.
L’heure De Diamant
Chopard’s gifted talents of the different artistic crafts are united to create a unique collection: “L’Heure du Diamant”. The line offers models with various case shapes such as oval, round and square, and each of them possesses their own DNA, their own way of expressing high-quality watchmaking and the jewelry tradition.
The Grand Complications is a demonstration of the skills, knowledge, and expertise of the brand. Awarded with the best luxury watch in 2017, Chopard proves here that they are a complete brand: jewelry, high-end watches, fine watchmaking, and unique design. For the Grand Complications collection, the brand kept the design as simple as possible because the case is never what comes first when talking about complications. With this collection, Chopard takes you on a journey to the art of watchmaking, and it is definitely worth joining it.
The various dials of the Métier d’art collection are created by some of the best artists and reflect a dedication to craftsmanship’s patience. The skills required for these tasks are rare and only a few brands are capable of mastering them. The different models of the collection tell us a story, the story of the meaning of culture, art, and of the expression of emotions.
WatchAdvisor’s 10 Favorites
L.U.C XPS 40mm (Ref. 168591-3001)
CHF 8`220 (recommended retail price)
Classic 40mm (Ref. 161278-1001)
CHF 9`310 (recommended retail price)
Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition 42mm (Ref. 168589-3006)
CHF 5`450 (recommended retail price)
Imperiale 36mm (Ref. 388532-6008)
CHF 14,400 (recommended retail price)
Happy Diamonds 32mm (Ref. 209429-5106)
CHF 9`340 (recommended retail price)
Happy Ocean 40mm (Ref. 278587-3001)
CHF 8`120 (recommended retail price)
Happy Sport Automatic 36mm (Ref. 274808-5012)
CHF 14`100 (recommended retail price)
L.U.C Perpetual T 43mm (Ref. 161940-9001)
Price available upon request
L'Heure du Diamant Round Pendant 35.75mm (Ref. 139419-1401)
CHF 69,300 (recommended retail price)
Grand Prix de Monaco Historique 2016 Race Edition 45mm (Ref. 168570-3002)
CHF 7`170 (recommended retail price)