It is with force and conviction that Chopard is launching its brand new collection. Alpine Eagle, which is now spreading its wings, is determined to live up to its namesake: noble, elegant and powerful.
In 1980, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele was a 22-year-old employee in the family manufacture who decided to present his first watch design, the St. Moritz, to his father. It was a sporty steel watch that represented a complete stylistic break for a house that had hitherto specialised in gold and diamond timepieces. It was a bold proposition for sure, but the watch immediately became a bestseller that left its mark on the 1980s and opened up new horizons for Chopard in high-level sports watches. Forty years later, history is repeating itself, but this time it is Karl-Fritz, Karl-Friedrich’s son, who decided to present an updated St. Moritz design. Like his father in his day, he had to use all his powers of persuasion to see his design through to production. Although deliberately inspired by the St. Moritz, from which it borrows certain characteristics, it also distances itself from its predecessor and anchors itself firmly in the 21st century. It bears the stirring name ‘Alpine Eagle’.
Launching a new collection always represents a significant challenge. And in order to live up to its name, the Alpine Eagle is duty-bound to possess superlative qualities. It must also demonstrate the full extent of Chopard’s watchmaking mastery. From its movement featuring a host of components to its external elements, decoration, finish and assembly, everything has been entirely designed and manufactured in-house.
An eagle is defined by the majesty of its form, the power of its talons and the acuity of its vision. The perfectly integrated bracelet and case are crafted from a very special type of steel known as Lucent Steel A223. Derived from a very complex process of casting and recasting, this exclusive alloy is hypoallergenic with properties comparable to those of surgical steel. Its proven hardness (223 Vickers) also makes it 50% more resistant to abrasion than traditional steel and, therefore, far more difficult to craft. Furthermore, its incredibly pure crystalline structure gives it a brightness and radiance akin to precious gold, while the interplay of shiny and matt reflections evoke the granite of the Alps, the eagle’s refuge.
1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard
Independent family company
Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President
Number of employees
Happy Hearts, Happy Sport, Ice Cube, Imperiale, L.U.C, Mille Miglia
Happy Sport and Mille Miglia collections
From CHF 1,000 (jewellery) and from CHF 5,000 (watches) to several million Swiss francs for unique models (on request)
Watches: 75,000 pieces
Jewellery: 75,000 pieces
Form, power, acuity
Crafted from this material, which is as strong as it is prestigious, the Alpine Eagle has a streamlined and perfectly contemporary shape. Its round case is marked by two protrusions that protect a crown engraved with a compass rose, and is surmounted by a round bezel sporting eight distinctive screws positioned in pairs, which ensure both aesthetic appeal and water-resistance to 100 metres. The case is joined to a gently tapered bracelet composed of single ingot-shaped links, topped by a raised central cap. The dial, textured with a galvanic grey or blue sunburst pattern, evokes the iris of an eagle’s eye, while the form of the hands – coated in Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 for perfect nocturnal legibility – are inspired by its feathers.
The vertically brushed flat surfaces and polished bevelling reflect glints of cold light between shine and matt, which evoke the mineral composition of the Alps. The particularly extensive Alpine Eagle collection includes 10 models in steel, gold, dual-material or gold and diamonds, in two differently sized unisex versions: 41 mm and 36 mm in diameter. Two distinct automatic movements, manufactured in Chopard’s workshops, have been specifically developed to fit each size. Certified COSC chronometers that are as efficient as they are impeccable, they offer a power reserve of 60 hours for the 42 mm model and 42 hours for the 36 mm model. The mechanisms are visible through the sapphire crystal case back.
Three generations of the Scheufele family: Karl-Fritz, Karl and Karl-Friedrich.
Family perseverance and determination
Three generations of the Scheufele family gathered around the Alpine Eagle’s nest. Grandfather Karl “secretly supported” his grandson Karl-Fritz in convincing Karl-Friedrich to design and create it. Perseverance, determination and long-term vision are essential to the survival of a family company. Since becoming Co-President of Chopard alongside his sister Caroline, Karl-Friedrich has vertically integrated all the watchmaking professions in the manufacture, gaining total independence and access to the elite circle of leading fine watchmaking maisons. Its unfailing sense of commitment, to ethically sourced gold or to the Alp Action programme since the early 2000s, continues with the Alpine Eagle, which is associated with the Eagle Wings Foundation, of which Chopard is a founding member. This association implements an “environmentally innovative and multidisciplinary project aiming to mobilise the general public and raise awareness about the importance, beauty and fragility of biotopes in the Alps.”