As one of the pioneers of haute horlogerie, Chopard stands out as an expert in exquisite Swiss timepieces. Since its establishment in 1860, Chopard has married traditional watchmaking and opulence with contemporary elements, resulting in watches of remarkable sophistication and style.
The History of Chopard
Chopard was established in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard, a craftsman and watchmaker hailing from Sonvilier, in the Swiss canton of Bern. During his lifetime, Louis-Ulysse used his expertise and knowledge to roll out a succession of finely crafted watches. Today, Chopard has earned an international reputation for its renowned watch collections sustained by 170 years of watchmaking savoir-faire.
Chopard watches are easily recognizable for their distinct style and design. Chopard timepieces often feature an 18-carat gold case, a transparent sapphire crystal case revealing either a mechanical or quartz movement, and an easy-to-read, hand-engraved dial. Chopard watches also possess a timeless appeal, with the brand’s design elements exemplifying a classic elegance that certainly never goes out of style.
Chopard Watch Models
Chopard collections boast a wide and varied variety of watches, featuring profiles ranging from classic to avant-garde, catering to both men and women.
The Happy Sport collection is one of Chopard’s flagship collections. Its sophisticated, lighthearted design features a generous case, an appealing contrast between polished and satin-finished elements, a diamond-set bezel, and mother-of-pearl dial with exposed diamond dots floating across its surface.
The LUC collection features some of Chopard’s most elaborate and coveted timepieces. It takes its name from Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the brand’s founder. These watches are crafted from the finest materials and feature mechanical and hand-winding movements, as well as a number of world premieres in the realm of watchmaking.
The Mille Miglia collection is a tribute to sporty driving and classic Italian aesthetics. These watches feature a stainless steel or rose-gold case, a “Bordeaux dial” shade, and the iconic “Mille Miglia” logotype at 12 o’clock. It also features a circular brushed-steel crown embossed with a black enamel look.
From its opulent dials to its intricate movements, it’s no surprise that Chopard has made a name for itself in the world of Swiss watchmaking. What started as a small workshop in 1860 has since established itself as a leader in watchmaking excellence, holding a vision that is just as dynamic today as it was 170 years ago. With the perfect blend of classic and contemporary design principles, Chopard proves that you can wear haute horlogerie and still be the life of the party.
Le Petit-Fils de L.-U. Chopard & Cie S.A., often known as Chopard, is|, ordinarily referred to as Chopard, is a Swiss manufacturer & retailer of luxury timepieces, jewellery and accessories. Founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in Sonvilier, Switzerland, Chopard has been controlled by the Scheufele family of Germany since 1963.
Chopard is best known for creating high-standard Swiss watches and jewellery, & its clients have included Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. The company is headquartered in Geneva and has a site in Fleurier, Canton of Neuchâtel, that manufactures watch movements.
The founder of the company, Louis-Ulysse Chopard, was a Swiss watchmaker who grew up in Sonvilier, a town in Swiss Jura. In 1860, he established his L.U.C. manufacturing company in Sonvilier, having observed that it was more profitable to market the completed watch than to just make the mechanical movement.
After Louis-Ulysse’s death in 1915, the company was acquired by his son Paul-Louis and grandson Paul-André. The company specialized in making pocket watches and ladies’ wristwatches. In 1921, Paul-Louis moved the company operations to a larger town, Chaux-de-Fonds, in the Canton of Neuchâtel. In 1937, then a company of 150 employees, the company relocated to Geneva. This enabled the movements made by the company to be certified with the Geneva Seal, a mark applied only to watch movements made in the Canton of Geneva. Paul-André took over the company in 1943.
In 1963, intending to continue in the business, Paul-André Chopard passed on to Karl Scheufele III, a German goldsmith and watchmaker from Pforzheim, who was searching a watch movement manufacturer solely for his own business.
In 1974, the Chopard factory relocated from the center of Geneva to Meyrin-Geneva and in 1976 the company began making watches that contained its signature free-floating diamond behind sapphire glass. In the 1980s, the company branched into making sports watches for men and diamond jewellery for women.
In 1996, the company established its own complete watch movement production facility in Fleurier, in the Swiss Canton of Neuchâtel. Prior to that time, all Chopard’s movements had been assembled from third-party components. The movements crafted in Fleurier were intended for the high-end watches in the Chopard range.
In 2010, the company celebrated its 150th anniversary, by which time the company’s calculated sales were €550 million in total (of which €250 million were from watches) with about 100 stores globally.
In 2014, Chopard noted sales of CHF800m (US$915m) and had approximately 2,000 employees internationally, of whom 900 were working in Switzerland. The European Patent Office lists more than 20 references to Chopard since 2002.
In 2015, French actress Marion Cotillard crafted a bracelet for Chopard’s Green Carpet Collection made of ethical Fairmined-certified gold.
In December 2018, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) published a report assigning environmental ratings to 15 major watch manufacturers and jewelers in Switzerland. Chopard was given a below-average environmental rating as “Lower Midfield”, implying that the manufacturer has only required a few actions addressing the impact of its manufacturing activities on the environment and climate change. Since 2013, Chopard has been endorsing its products as using ethical and sustainable gold; applying this practice with the company’s full product line remains a long-term objective.
In 2020, Cotillard designed her own sustainable jewelry collection for Chopard entitled “Ice Cube Capsule”. She formulated seven items curated from Fairmined-certified ethical gold and diamonds.
The company crafts around 75,000 timepieces and 75,000 jewelleries each year, and is an active member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH.
A Chopard “Happy Diamond” wristwatch was sold in auction by Christie’s for around US$1.67 million (CHF 1,685,000) in Geneva on November 10, 2015. The watch has quartz movement and possesses a pink marquise-cut diamond, weighing approximately 2.62 carats, and a blue marquise-cut diamond, weighing approximately 1.48 carat.
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