Alpine Eagle in Lucent Steel with Bernina grey dial.
Alpine Eagle in Lucent Steel with Bernina grey dial.
Image: Supplied

Change was coming for Chopard in 1980 when Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, a youthful and assertive 22-year-old employee of the family manufacturer, submitted his idea to his father and then owner of Chopard, Karl Scheufele, for the St Moritz with its unique scalloped bezel. This would be Chopard’s first sports watch and its first timepiece in steel — until then the maison had specialised in gold and diamond-set gold watches.

Today, as co-president of Chopard, Scheufele is witnessing history on repeat through the new Alpine Eagle collection: a project spearheaded by his son Karl-Fritz. In this inter-generational collaboration, the Alpine Eagle was created as a modern interpretation of the St Moritz, fitting very well into its time again, and well conceived to meet the demands of today’s active urbanites, ready for meaningful new adventures.

Underpinning the family’s connection to their Alpine playground, which is a continuous source of inspiration, is Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s strong conviction that it is important for companies to take on the responsibility of preserving nature. The name of the new collection pays homage not only to the very rare golden eagle, but also to Chopard’s commitment to a programme involved in reintroducing the eagle back into the wild and raising awareness around the fragility of the Alpine biotopes.

The name of the new collection pays homage not only to the very rare golden eagle, but also to Chopard’s commitment to a programme involved in reintroducing the eagle back into the wild

Meticulous attention has been paid to every detail of the Alpine Eagle. The crown has a function but it is also a beautiful object, engraved with a compass rose. Integrated crown guards complete its elegant, yet masculine and sporty aesthetic, and are mirrored on the left for symmetry but also suggesting that a left-handed model might follow. Bezel screws are functional, assuring its water resistance to 100m, but also a distinctive design feature. Grouped in pairs at the four cardinal points, they are also perfectly aligned to follow the outer circumference of the watch. The baton hands are inspired by the feathers of the eagle; the radiant dial its iris. Bold Roman numerals are applied at quarter-hour marks, and a date window is positioned “south-east”. Hands and markers are rhodium-plated and coated with Super-LumiNova Grade X1.

The collection is available in 41mm and 36mm case sizes, in the new proprietary Lucent Steel A223, rose gold, two-tone steel and rose gold, and with diamond pavé options on the smaller pieces. Dial options are Bernina grey, Aletsch blue and mother-of-pearl. The most successful expression of this new design is the all-steel model with grey dial. Treating steel “as if it were gold”, the new alloy is an exclusive, ultra-resistant, light-reflective steel, composed partially of recycled stainless steel. Referencing the St Moritz, the gently tapered bracelet of the Alpine Eagle is elegantly integrated into the case design and comprised of single ingot-shaped links, topped by polished, raised central caps.

All new pieces are time and date only, with the 41mm watches powered by the Chopard 01.01-C mechanical movement with automatic winding and the 09.01-C in 36mm watches. Both are in-house designed and manufactured calibres with Cosc chronometer certification, offering a 60- and 42-hour power reserve respectively. The 36mm stainless-steel small Alpine Eagle starts at R162,000 and the 41mm stainless steel large retails at R206,500.

• Boutique Haute Horlogerie 011-325-4119

From the November edition of Wanted 2019.

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