Chopard

Chopard

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What began deep in the poorest Swiss Jura in 1860 found a new home in the world capital of luxury watches in Geneva and eventually moved into the Olympus of luxury watch manufacturers. The company history of the world brand Chopard has its own drama, which also allows a pinch of pathos. The fact that Württemberg's business sense and inventiveness also play a role here is an irony of watch history. Chopard is one of the luxury watch brands with the highest reputation. A family business that also knew depths, but never died out. A global brand managed in the ethos of a family-run business, independent of any corporate group. With 1,700 employees, it generates annual sales of CHF 800 million and is represented in 130 countries with over 100 of its own boutiques and many contractual partners. Aesthetics, filigree precision work, masterly technique, noble execution characterize the Chopard style.

A momentous liaison between Switzerland and the Black Forest

In the 19th century, the Swiss Jura Mountains were a prospective breeding ground for talented and ambitious master watchmakers. The sparsely living mountain farmers earned a meagre extra income in the extra-long winter with the artisan production of watch components, but never from complete clockworks. Each family dedicated itself to different watch components, which were mostly purchased by watch manufacturers in Geneva and assembled into complete movements. Paul-André Chopard also founded a watch production company, and his grandson Louis-Ulysse provided the workshop facade with his widely visible initials L.U.C., which to this day are insignia of the authenticity of the Chopard movements. The self-confident young man knew he didn't want to be a sidekick. His own movements, precision pocket watches and chronometers were his passion. Early on he had the accuracy checked in the Neuachtel observatory.As the business grew, Chopard expanded its market to Tsarist Russia and other Eastern European countries until the Russian October Revolution and the Great Depression of 1929 stopped Chopard's bold high flights. But the company survived bravely while other watch brands fell into (temporary) oblivion. After 1943 Chopard-Grandfils opened up a new market in Scandinavia before a gradual decline reduced the business to 10 employees in 1960. As life and fate would have it, the right negotiating partners met at the right time. The long-established watchmaker Scheufele, producer of fine gold watches from Pforzheim in the northern Black Forest, rich in tradition, came across the weakening Swiss company as it expanded. Great-grandfather Scheufele had already used movements from Swiss quality companies such as Blancpain, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre for watchmaking - the floor was prepared. Trust and favor were gained, and in 1963 a trade agreement was reached.

Chopard - movements with soul and refinement

Karl Scheufele III did not take on an easy task. The exemplary development that the company has undergone to date is all the more to be commended. With the awakening brand awareness of the time, Chopard's ambitious desire to manufacture its own movements grew. Movements that were suitable for inclusion in Haute Horlogerie and met the highly demanding approval criteria of the Geneva hallmark. Doubted in the industry, however, the ambitious project was successful. Chopard entered a new era as a watch manufacturer in 1996 with the founding of its own production facility in Fleurier. All processes - from design to production - are carried out in-house with great mastery, excellent craftsmanship and filigree attention to detail. The young manufactory secured the support of the ingenious watch artist Michel Parmigiani, who has a special relationship with watches: "A watch is like a living being with an inner world".Chopard collections combine sporty qualities with exquisite elegance. Their technical perfection, impeccable performance and resilience make them suitable for the COSC chronometer certificate and the FQF test seal. The timeless Classic collection (e.g. Reference 161278-5005) could not appear simpler in appearance and style if it were not dominated by expressive dials. The Classic Racing series with the three series Grand Prix de Monaco Historique (e.g. reference 158568-3001), Superfast (e.g. reference 168535-3001) and Mille Miglia (e.g. reference 158511-3002) quotes the hot breath of motor racing with a multitude of complications. The L.U.C. collection - a tribute to the company founder - even surpasses it in terms of the number and quality of additional functions. The chronology of the Chopard movements reads like an eulogy of the still young manufacture and shows groundbreaking qualities: in 1997 the L.U.C. 1860, which was the first to feature the Chopard calibre L.U.C. 1.96, amazes. In 2000, the L.U.C. Quattro followed with the L.U.C. 1.98 calibre and an astonishing 9-day power reserve. After one year, the L.U.C. 3.97 tonneau calibre with automatic movement and eccentric microrotor was released. 2006 L.U.C. Chrono 2007 Chopard presents the L.U.C. 10 CF, the first automatic chronograph movement with three patents and the L.U.C. 63.01 L and others.

Watches and eyes sparkle at Chopard

Chopard's own performance is also stylish: just in time for the company's 150th anniversary in 2010, the 100th boutique opens in Madison Avenue Lage in New York with a sales area of almost 300 square meters. In the in-house L.U.C.EUM watch museum in Fleurier, fascinating exhibits from the watchmaking art of all important European epochs and regions demonstrate the unbroken self-confidence of the Chopard since Louis-Ulysse's departure. In the spell of Chopard luxury watches, it should not be forgotten that the company also excels as a manufacturer of exquisite jewellery and is also a step ahead in precious perfumes. The mostly handmade Chopard jewellery blends refined elegance with technical finesse. Gold, diamonds and noble stones not only enhance the Ladies Collection.In all jewelry collections, a refined sense of art and the irrepressible and eternally young desire to adorn themselves with the finest raw materials betray themselves. As Chopard Co-President, Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele is responsible for the success of the jewellery department. It all started with a simple pendant. Then the Happy Diamonds series with its lavish use of rose gold, fine stones and diamonds whetted the appetite for more. Feminine, capricious women who like to attract attention wear Chopard jewellery just as confidently as the Chopard watch icon Imperiale Tourbillon in 18 carat rose gold with amethysts, diamonds and a leather strap in daring purple. For the "exquisite moments of electrifying happiness," that's one of the company's slogans.

Vintage cars, engines and a passion for luxury watches

As a partner of glamorous film events, Chopard has long been one of the main sponsors of the Cannes Film Festival. The partnership with the vintage car race Mille Miglia prompted the development of a chronograph for stylish women who burn not only for extraordinary jewellery but also for horsepower. The tire pattern of the rubber strap, the feminine mother-of-pearl dial with azure blue-silver-plated hands and the optional diamond bezel should not hide the fact that in the Mille Miglia's masculine 44 mm stainless steel case a heart of steel-hard technology beats, an automatic movement works at 28,800 vibrations per hour. In 2015, Chopard dedicated a special collection to a milestone in motor racing, the historic Monaco Grand Prix. A treasure (not only) loved by collectors.

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