Chopard

What began in 1860 deep within the poorest Swiss Jura found a new home in the world capital of luxury watches, Geneva, and eventually took a place in the Olympus of luxury watchmakers. The company history of the global brand Chopard has its own drama, which also allows a pinch of pathos. The fact that Württemberg business acumen and inventiveness also play a role here is the irony of watch history. Chopard is one of the luxury watch brands with the highest reputation. A family business that also experienced lows, but never went out of business. A global brand managed in the ethos of a family business, independent of any group, with 1700 employees, an annual turnover of 800 million Swiss francs and a presence in 130 countries with over 100 of its own boutiques and multiple contractual partners. Aesthetics, delicate finishing, masterful technique, noble execution characterize the Chopard style.

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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 poverty-stricken mountain farmers earned a meager extra income during the long winters by handcrafting watch components, but never complete movements. Each family devoted itself to different watch components, which were bought up by mostly Geneva watch manufacturers and assembled into complete movements. Paul-André Chopard also founded a watch manufacturing company, and his grandson Louis-Ulysse provided the workshop facade with his widely visible initials L.U.C, which are still insignia of the authenticity of Chopard movements today. It was clear to the self-confident young man that he did not want to remain a stooge. His own movements, precision pocket watches and chronometers were his passion. Early on, he had the rate accuracy tested at 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 halted Chopard's bold flights of fancy. But the company bravely stayed alive while other watch brands fell into (temporary) oblivion. After 1943, Chopard-Grandfils opened up a new market in Scandinavia before a creeping decline reduced the business to 10 employees in 1960. As life and fate would have it, exactly the right negotiating partners met at the right time. The long-established watchmaking company Scheufele, producer of fine gold watches, from Pforzheim in the northern Black Forest, which is no less rich in watchmaking tradition, came across the ailing Swiss company in its desire to expand. Great-grandfather Scheufele had already used movements from Swiss quality companies such as Blancpain, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre for watchmaking - and the foundation was laid. Trust and favor were established, and a commercial agreement was reached in 1963.

Chopard - Watch movements with soul and sophistication

Karl Scheufele III did not take on an easy task. All the more reason to appreciate the exemplary development that the company has undergone up to the present day. With the growing brand awareness of the time, Chopard also had an ambitious desire to manufacture its own movements. Movements that were suitable for inclusion in the Haute Horlogerie and met the highly demanding approval criteria of the Hallmark of Geneva. Doubted in the industry, the ambitious project nevertheless succeeded. In 1996, Chopard began a new era as a watch manufacturer with the establishment of its own production facility in Fleurier. All operations - from design to manufacture - are carried out in-house with great mastery, excellent craftsmanship and filigree attention to detail. The young manufacture secured the support of the brilliant 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 indestructibility make them suitable for the COSC chronometer certificate and the FQF seal of approval. The timeless Classic collection could not be simpler in appearance and style if it were not dominated by expressive dials. The Classic Racing series, with its three series Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, Superfast and Mille Miglia, quotes the hot breath of motor racing with a multitude of complications. In terms of the number and quality of additional functions, it is surpassed by the L.U.C. collection - a tribute to the company's founder. The chronology of Chopard movements reads like a eulogy to the still young manufacture and reveals groundbreaking qualities: In 1997, the L.U.C 1860 astounds, being the first to feature the Chopard caliber L.U.C. 1.96. In 2000, the L.U.C. Quattro follows with the L.U.C. 1.98 caliber and the astonishing power reserve of 9 days. A year later, the L.U.C. 3.97 Tonneau caliber with automatic movement and eccentric micro-rotor is released. Finally, in 2007, Chopard presents the L.U.C 10 CF, the first automatic chronograph movement, which generates three patents, as well as the L.U.C. 63.01 L and others.

Watches and eyes sparkle at Chopard

Chopard maintains style also and especially in its own performance: In 2010, just in time for the company's 150th anniversary, the 100th boutique opens in New York's finest Madison Avenue location with a sales area of almost 300 square meters. In the in-house watch museum L.U.C.EUM in Fleurier, fascinating exhibits from the watchmaking art of all major European eras and regions demonstrate the Chopard self-confidence that has remained unbroken since Louis-Ulysse's departure. Under the spell of Chopard's luxury watches, it should not be forgotten that the company also shines as a manufacturer of exquisite jewelry and also leads the way in precious perfumes. When it comes to Chopard jewelry, which is largely handmade, refined elegance merges with technical finesse. Gold, diamonds and precious stones are not only used to enhance the Ladies Collection. All jewelry collections reveal a refined sense of art and the irrepressible and eternally young desire to adorn oneself with the finest raw materials. As Chopard Co-President, Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele is responsible for the success of the jewelry department. It all began 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. Ladylike, capricious women who love to catch the eye wear Chopard jewelry as confidently as the iconic Chopard Imperiale Tourbillon watch in 18-karat rose gold with amethysts, diamonds and a leather strap in daring purple. Designed for "exquisite moments of electrifying happiness," according to a company motto.

Vintage cars, motors and passion for luxury watches

As a partner of glamorous film events, Chopard has long shone as one of the main sponsors at the Cannes Film Festival. The partnership with the Mille Miglia vintage car race was the occasion to develop a chronograph for stylish women who not only lust for exceptional jewelry, but also for horsepower. The tire pattern of the rubber strap, the feminine mother-of-pearl dial with azure-silver-plated hands and the optional diamond-set bezel are not intended to conceal the fact that a heart of steely technology beats inside the masculine-looking 44-mm stainless steel case of the Mille Miglia, an automatic movement operating 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 jewel (not only) beloved by collectors.