Watches and Wonders 2023: Chopard
A new Alpine Eagle and a limited edition Imperiale watch are just a few of the big releases for the brand.
Last year, Chopard pushed the boundaries of its watchmaking with the Full Strike Tourbillon and a flying tourbillon model for the Alpine Eagle. It was a bounty of riches from the jeweller and watchmaker. It continues to expand on its work in fusing watches and jewellery with a new limited edition watch in the Imperiale collection.
The Imperiale Day/Night
Inspired by an Egyptian legend that tells how the sun rises from a lotus corolla each day and returns to its petals at nightfall, Chopard’s Co-President Caroline Scheufele designed a 25-piece numbered limited edition that’s based on the beautiful lotus flower. Since the blooms open and close with the passing of the day, she applied that to the watch with a beautiful day/night display that is charming and almost magical.
In a beautifully gem-set case sits a lacquered mother-of-pearl dial, gradually changing hues from opaline white representing daytime to a cerulean blue for twilight and royal blue at night. The dial is further set with three rows of snow-set diamonds and sapphires in six different shades of blue to depict this transformation. Over it is a hand-engraved gold latticework that’s skeletonised on the upper half of the dial and engraved with lotus petals on the lower half. Partially skeletonised gold hands rest on this lotus lacework to indicate the time.
What’s impressive about this model is that the mother-of-pearl dial rotates throughout the day on a 24-hour cycle, thanks to a technical design based on the L.U.C 96.30-L calibre, which powers this timepiece. The in-house movement is the very first Chopard movement created in its Fleurier manufacture. With a 65-hour power reserve, the slim self-winding movement is visible through the caseback.
The rose gold watch is made from ethical gold and is sized at a comfortable 36mm. It’s paired with a blue alligator leather strap, but we can imagine it will look even more incredible if fitted with a lotus-inspired bracelet design. It will be exclusive to Chopard boutiques globally.
The Alpine Eagle 41 XPS
At last, Chopard has crafted the Alpine Eagle we’ve all been waiting for: an ultra-thin model that rivals the industry’s favourite integrated bracelet models. The Alpine Eagle 41 XPS comes in a Lucent steel case and is sized at 41mm with a 6.65mm thickness. Not too thin, not too thick, but just right. Lucent steel is a proprietary re-smelted steel alloy composed of 85% recycled materials and is harder and anti-allergenic, ideal for use in watches.
Like its Alpine Eagle siblings, this watch comes with a stamped dial with a radiating pattern that’s inspired by the iris of an eagle, with a small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. Large Arabic numeral hour and bar indexes are applied on the dial, which has a Monte Rosa Pink colour via galvanic treatment. The ‘salmon’ or gilt dial contrasts brilliantly against the bright, brushed/polished steel case. (We can’t wait until a two-tone, ultra-thin model with the same dial appears.)
The movement powering the watch is the L.U.C 96.40-L ultra-thin movement, which was developed from the 96.30-L. The slim design of the calibre is due to its 22K yellow gold micro-rotor, and it offers a 65-hour power reserve thanks to the twin barrels it houses. The movement is also chronometer-certified, making the Alpine Eagle 41 XPS a slim and highly precise three-hander you will wear all the time.
The Happy Sport
A final addition to this year’s launches is a Happy Sport model in a new size for the petite watch wearer. The Happy Sport marks its 30th anniversary this year, and it was the first watch to combine diamonds and a steel case. This is one of Chopard’s most iconic collections, with spinning diamonds sandwiched between sapphire crystals above the dial, giving it added depth and playfulness.
The new 25mm size comes with diamond-set or plain bezels and is available in steel or steel-and-ethical-gold models. They are also paired with a double-tour leather strap and are fitted with a quartz movement. Given its important anniversary this year, we’re sure there will be more from the Happy Sport collection to come.
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