Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono

Fly back like an eagle.

Over the past few years, many new products have joined the crowded cheap watch scene, and while they have new designs, they have adopted aesthetic codes that originated in the 1970s. Collectively, the three brands that happen to overlap with what some call the holy trinity of Swiss watchmaking are at the center of this vintage-style bracelet watch cult.

Last year, a major independent, family-owned Swiss watchmaker joined the ranks of brands making such watches, offering high-quality in-house movements, impressive ergonomics, and seemingly aiming to solve the problems that everyone knew existed. itchy design. It manages to stand out, thanks in large part to some striking dials. I’m talking about the Chopard Alpine Eagle. (To be fair, Chopard is much better off rejoining these ranks. The watch it launched in 2019 is actually part of a lineage that started in St. Moritz, a sporty and stylish watch from the company in the early 1980s. )

Today, Chopard is writing the next chapter of the Alpine Eagle, in the form of a complication that is not only Chopard, but has long been the go-to for a watch of this type: a chronograph. At launch, the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono is available in three versions. Two Lucent Steel A223 numerals with a striking blue or black dial, as well as ethical rose gold and Lucent Steel A223 variants, bring a slightly more luxurious two-tone dimension to the collection. As you might have gathered from the “XL” in the name, these are pretty big chronographs. They are 44mm in diameter and 13.15mm thick.

Chopard is not only a watchmaker with a large number of in-house movements (all three of the Alpine Eagle chronographs you see here feature the 03.05-C flyback column-wheel chronograph); it is also world-class Well-known jeweler. To this end, Chopard brings impressive technical prowess to the metallurgical sector. It develops its own alloys and even operates a gold foundry in-house. Lucent Steel A223 is an alloy steel developed by Chopard and its partner Voestalpine Böhler. It is a very special steel alloy known for its anti-allergic properties (compared to surgical steel), strong reflective properties and impressive hardness. It is partly made of recycled steel, which is 50% more wear resistant than regular stainless steel. The hardness point is especially important when you consider sports luxury watches made in this type – it tends to have sharp angles, a combination of brushed and polished finishes, and flat surfaces – also tends to be a magnet for scratches, and not Especially receptive to kisses from buffs. Moral gold, for its part, is a term that Chopard has used for quite some time. As the name suggests, it can either be mined from small mines participating in the Swiss Fine Gold Association (SBGA) or sourced through the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) chain of custody. If you want to know more about how Chopard sources gold, a more in-depth explanation is available on the Chopard website.

When the Alpine Eagle launched last year, it was available in two sizes, offering only the three-hand format, with the larger of the two sizes offering the date. I wrote a post about this line and I remember really liking them when I saw the metal watch. They feel like quality, and I find the Alpine Eagle dates back roughly to the time when this watch was born. St Moritz is an OG in this field. Another watchmaking group has now struck a deal with the city of St. Moritz, and Chopard’s leadership has chosen to rename its revitalized sports luxury watch collection. I love the one they went with; it channeled the harsh, almost hypnotic qualities of the original St. Moritz mountains and the dial of the new watch. I encourage you to go back to my original post from a year ago as it has live photos and check out those dials.

But back to the watch at hand. For this introductory article, we don’t have live photos, but as you can see in the photos provided, the pattern is still there. This sunburst pattern, achieved by electroplating, has been one of Alpine Eagle’s main business cards to date. With a unique dial design, as well as a unique case and bracelet, are integral parts of this type of watch. Here, though, the mode does appear to be competing for attention with sub-dials, a tachymeter, and various dial furniture. Seen in person, the rotating sunburst dial may be in stark contrast to the snailed sub-dial. I look forward to seeing these watches in person.

Last year, I had the opportunity to try on the 41mm and 36mm versions of the non-chrono Alpine Eagles, and I found them both comfortable on my 7″ wrist. While I can see people with medium wrists (like myself) or smaller wrists wearing the 36, I opted for the 41mm version. It feels like a solid, well-designed sports watch with a balanced bracelet that exudes quality and comfort. I was impressed by the amount of thought and work that went into their design and manufacture. Chopard fake

The general Alpine Eagle case construction seems to be receptive to the modifications needed for a chronograph. See how the putters take up the space between the lugs and the crown guard (perhaps most evident in the straight shot above or in the many three-quarter shots in this article), they are still visible and can be pressed quickly but not drawn attention. My feeling is that a lot of thought was put into this case shape versus what the putter would look like before the original Alpine Eagle dropped. The image below provides another view of the crown and pushers, as well as the relative significance of watch thickness versus diameter, and in relation to the bracelet.

I don’t want to speculate on how the 44mm Alpine Eagle XL Chrono will fit since I haven’t worn one yet, but it’s a bigger watch than I’d like right now. (I do own some big watches, though, and I’ve been thinking about putting them back in a more prominent place in my rotation lately.) The Alpine Eagle XL Chrono on a bracelet probably means it’s going to be a pretty big watch.

The O3.05-C calibre first appeared in the Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition from Chopard’s Fleurier Ebauches factory, its manufacturing center in the town of Fleurier. As I mentioned, it’s a column-wheel flyback chronograph that runs at a standard 4 Hz frequency while offering a respectable 60-hour power reserve.

I like the look of all three versions, but ultimately, for me, it comes down to a two-tone dial and a blue dial with a slightly edged edge to the blue. Interestingly, this blue is actually called Aletsch Blue, referring to the Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the Alps. I think the blue dial is very classic for a watch of this style, and the iconic sunburst eagle iris pattern is impressive.

Brand: Chopard
Model: Alpine Eagle XL Chrono
Ref. 298609-3001 Lucent Steel A223 with Aletsch blue dial; ref. 298609-3002 Lucent Steel A223, black dial

Diameter: 44mm
Thickness: 13.15mm
Case Material: Lucent Steel A223; Ethical Rose Gold and Lucent Steel A223
Dial Color: Blue or Black with Alpine Eagle Signature Texture
Index: Applications
Lumens: X1 Grade Super-LumiNova
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Lucent Steel A223 or Lucent Steel A223 and Moral Gold

Movement: Chopard 03.05-C
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, flyback column-wheel chronograph with 30-minute and 12-hour counters.
Diameter: 28.8mm
Thickness: 7.6 mm
Power reserve: 60 hours winding
: Automatic winding
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Gems: 45
Observatory Certification: Yes, COSC