finally. Finally overturned. The new Chopard Alpine Eagle collection makes me happy not only for Chopard, but also for those outcast souls stuck on the bottomless waiting list reserved for one of the few luxury steel sports watches. Plus, given the state of the luxury watch industry, it’s also a temporary relief to me. that’s why.
I have long respected Chopard and its watchmaking department – although they rarely let me explain why easily. Their Mille Miglia collection is a car-inspired collection that’s a bit niche, although once you get into that niche, it’s very popular. Their LUC collection is limited by the elegance of its leather straps, and while Chopard’s ultra-premium is the best, its production is so limited that it has yet to find its place in the premium ivory tower timepieces.
Four years in the making, the Alpine Eagle is finally the one with no ifs or buts — well, maybe except for the name, which might be a little too bland for some. It’s a watch presented in a humble manner, which is the norm for Karl-Friedrich Scheufele and Chopard – but if the product itself is capable, I think it’d rather fly a pirate flag and shout “eat yours” Cheer up, Patek Philippe! Ah!”
From the obligatory three-link bracelet, to its unrivaled quality of execution, to its versatile design, the Chopard Alpine Eagle has everything it takes to put Chopard on the map, not just for any particular niche, But a wider audience — one derided by the self-styled royalty of luxury “sport” watches made of steel. How the Alpine Eagle stacks up against the octagonal alternative, we’ll find out soon – but first, understand the context of how it came to be.
Alpine Eagle and St. Moritz
For the first time I remember, three generations of the Scheufele family that owns Chopard attended a product launch. First, the oldest generation, represented by Karl Schaefer III, acquired Chopard as early as 1963 and turned it into a global brand. In recent decades, his son Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has been running the company’s watch division and has transformed Chopard into an independent and capable watch manufacturer that today produces its own movements, cases and bracelets – he also Repositioning the LUC range to the high end – introducing Ferdinand Berthoud to the ultra high end range. Representing the youngest generation is Karl-Fritz Scheufele, 22, who, as they share, had to stay away from his grandfather’s plans to prevent him from being too young Time to enter Chopard. The reason they are there is that Alpine Eagle, from inspiration to realization, is the result of three generations of collaboration.
Forget the teary-eyed memories: this presentation was surprisingly candid about each generation’s individual flaws and strengths, and the role they each played in creating a collection of old and new watches. First, Karl-Friedrich is open about the inspiration behind the Chopard St. Moritz watch, one of the first projects he designed and launched when he joined Chopard as the second generation. In the 1970s, he made frequent trips to St. Moritz for the admittedly flamboyant parties, which are now a decidedly restricted ski paradise, a town that is very sleepy even by Swiss standards.
Time flies on St. Moritz as it once did with the thin, quartz-powered, steel-clad collection of watches for which it was named. That hasn’t stopped the youngest generation – inexperienced and fearless in design – from proposing a return to the series, however. Karl-Fritz’s idea of relaunching the collection was “under house arrest” by his father, a generally conservative and thoughtful watch company CEO. This “soft no” took two years to convince — look at this — a secretly developed prototype to disband, all to convince Karl-Friedrich of the Alpine Eagle’s rightful place in Chopard’s carefully curated collections.
Once the actual development of the replica Chopard Alpine Eagle began, every process was dominated by the perseverance and trained eye of the older generation – a fact that is clearly reflected in every element of these watches. Grandfather Karl III drove the process with his famous perseverance. Karl-Friedrich’s insight into nuances required the creation of 40mm, 41mm, 42mm and 43mm wide prototypes to determine the ideal size for larger models; and with the help of female family members, a similar number of substitutions were made Scheme to determine the perfect size for the smaller version. They opted for sizes 41 and 36mm – although I think the latter is the perfect men’s watch size for the likes of a Rolex Day-Date, the Alpine Eagle 36 looks very feminine in its proportions.
Why Alpine Eagle? The collection was launched near Gstaad in July. Gstaad is a less upscale ski paradise – I guess because I don’t ski, and ostensibly, in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record, there’s no one else in the place. Although I haven’t become a fan of any residential areas in Switzerland, their scenery is truly magical. As the Alps’ massive greyscale peaks don their gorgeous green summer attire, event attendees are greeted by members of the Eagle Wings Foundation, which aims to help a certain type of eagle return after its last time around 200 years ago Alps. One was hunted. In their company were three magical eagles, two young men only about four years old and a teenage eagle. (I hear they can live to be 50.)
The foundation will receive support from Chopard – not from every sale, but an annual payment – in line with Chopard’s drive to use sustainably sourced materials and the way it operates as a global, eco-conscious organisation consistent. I love a quote from Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s introduction to this new watch: “The eagle is the ambassador of consciousness.” Apparently, the eagle is the only creature that can look directly at the sun while scanning the sky, and is the only creature that can look at the sun at 10 kilometers (or 6 miles away) hunters who found their prey. I think this angle of awareness goes well with a product that has been redesigned from the right materials used to how it will look when worn on the wrist. Therefore, the dial of the Alpine Eagle watch is inspired by the retina of the eagle. luxury watches for sale
As far as the exterior is concerned, everything is new, including the materials used. Chopard has been one of the few watch brands at the forefront of traceable gold – 100% of the gold Chopard uses for its watches comes from ethically sourced, some with a Fairmined Gold certificate (with the limitation that very few Fairmined Gold-certified mines exist , the new authorization process is slow). Now, with the Alpine Eagle collection, steel is in pursuit of traceability with Chopard’s own Lucent Steel A223. Chopard’s Lucent Steel A223 is produced by a European supplier with a reduced carbon footprint and is alloyed from 70% recycled stainless steel and 30% steel mined through 100% traceable origin. Note that Chopard also recycles 100% of scrap steel.