Chopard L.U.C Full Strike

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the L.U.C collection, Chopard unveiled a new version of its innovative minute repeater at Watches and Wonders 2022 that once again demonstrates the technical prowess of the manufacture. Part of an upcoming trio called The Sound of Eternity, an extraordinary collection of chiming watches, the Chopard L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire pushes the boundaries of the sophisticated grand complication genre and marks some firsts in the realm of haute horlogerie. This collection of extraordinary chiming watches is the brainchild of Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, a great music lover and friend of famed tenor José Carreras. In order to improve the acoustics of the sapphire gongs introduced in the first Chopard L.U.C Full Strike model six years ago, Scheufele pulled out all the stops by working with two accomplished contemporary musicians and an acoustic expert. Limited to five pieces only, the crown-operated minute repeater is presented in a case entirely made of sapphire crystal. Not only the case itself has been crafted in the material, but also the crown, lugs, case back, and dial are made of this difficult-to-machine but very hard, scratch-resistant, and durable material. It was certainly worth the effort because the sapphire crystal fully reveals the beauty and sophistication of this complex timepiece from all sides and angles – a feast for the eyes and the ears!

Chopard L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire
At the heart of this minute repeater is hand-wound Caliber L.U.C 08.01-L, which comprises no fewer than 533 components and offers a power reserve of 60 hours. It is also notable that the L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire is the first watch in a non-metal case that can pride itself on bearing the prestigious Geneva Seal and having earned an official C.O.S.C. chronometer certificate at the same time. This is a very rare combination, as the Seal of Geneva, which requires the highest finishing standard in the industry, is restricted to manufactures that are based in the canton of Geneva. However, this is not the first Chopard watch that carries both distinctions – in fact, this is true for a number of the brand’s haute horlogerie models.

Following the example of the magnificent L.U.C Full Strike, presented in 2016 and awarded with the Aiguille d’Or of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève one year later in 2017, the minute repeater mechanism of this watch employs solid sapphire crystal gongs and resonator, a combination that makes for a literally crystal-clear sound that is as strong and bold as it is beautiful. To further improve the acoustic richness of the sapphire crystal gong system, Chopard took an extraordinary approach initiated by co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele: the brand partnered with French violinist Renaud Capuçon, his brother, cellist Gautier Capuçon, and Professor Romain Boulandet, head of the Applied Acoustics Laboratory at Geneva’s HEPIA engineering school. This expert team conducted tests in an anechoic chamber entirely isolated from outside noise in order to optimize the exceptional intensity, clarity, and length of sound.

Showdown at 12:59
The magnificent chiming melody is especially exciting at 12:59, the longest time sequence, when the watch chimes 12 hours, three quarters, and 14 minutes. It is amazing that the Chopard L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire performs this feat up to 12 times with just one barrel’s worth of energy. Like the previous editions, the energy for this performance is provided by a separate barrel and, thanks to this autonomous source, the strike work automatically respects the defined rhythm, whatever the time and however many times. If the barrel runs out of energy to power the minute repeater, a safety mechanism blocks its release.

In addition, Chopard has filed a patent for a new strike work activation device. As soon as this is activated the pusher is disengaged, thereby making it impossible to disturb or damage the mechanism. Even though the inner workings of the L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire take center stage, the dial also deserves attention. Also crafted in sapphire crystal, it highlights the top-notch finishing of the skeletonized movement. The peripheral railroad minute track in black is complemented by a chapter ring with rhodium-plated herringbone-shaped applied hour markers.

At 3 o’clock, Chopard integrated a concentric power reserve indicator in which two hands indicate the remaining energy of the movement and the strike work respectively.

Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono

The Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono is available in three options, two steel versions and a third model featuring a bi-metallic case and bracelet ensemble. Building on the success of the inaugural Alpine Eagle models of 2019, these latest creations feature a fully integrated chronograph movement with column wheel and vertical coupling. In addition, they also provide the added convenience of a flyback function. Angus Davies explores the specification of the bi-metallic model in close detail.
In 2019, Chopard unveiled the Alpine Eagle, a collection of watches featuring integrated bracelets. Shortly after the models were launched, I travelled to the Swiss firm’s workshops in Fleurier and Geneva.

Over the years, I have toured numerous watch factories in my professional capacity and have grown accustomed to seeing the same processes and techniques. Nevertheless, during my time with Chopard, I was repeatedly wowed by its in-house capability, stringent process controls and the firm’s close attention to specification details.

The Alpine Eagle, a three hand model with date, was launched in two variants, large and small. The latter model was also offered with a gem-set bezel, exuding a sense of glamour and femininity.
While the Alpine Eagle looks fresh and contemporary, it shares some of its DNA with a former model in the brand’s back catalogue, the St. Moritz. This particular watch was conceived by Chopard’s Co-President, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, back in 1980. Interestingly, it was Mr Scheufele and his son, Karl-Fritz, who were instrumental in the creation of the Alpine Eagle, the spiritual successor of the St. Moritz.

The name of the Alpine Eagle pays due reverence to the eagles riding the thermals above Switzerland’s hillsides and mountains. The dial of each model replicates an eagle’s iris, while the small seconds hand is inspired by an eagle’s feather. Since launching the initial versions of the Alpine Eagle in 2019, the model has proved incredibly popular, so much so that the brand has released new variants of the Alpine Eagle Large and Alpine Eagle Small. In addition, Chopard has introduced a new chronograph version of the Alpine Eagle, the first time this complication has been paired with the raptor-themed model.
The Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono does not sacrifice practicality on the alter of style. In fact, throughout this composition this watch exhibits both functionality and beauty in equal measure.

Often a dial rich in detail proves interesting to behold but at the same time can appear cluttered and confusing. No such afflictions affect this chronograph. The Pitch Black, iris-inspired dial possesses a fascinating texture while the various snailed counters exhibit a sumptuous mien. The central chronograph seconds hand encompasses colour and a fletching-style counterweight, yet nothing inhibits understanding.

The additional episodes of 18-carat ethical rose gold enliven the overall appearance but without overburdening the composition with too much richness. The balance between the steel and golden hues proves attractive, yet elegantly understated. Moreover, the notable gleam of the Lucent Steel A223 makes the case and bracelet appear as if they are hewn solely from noble materials.

Beyond the pulchritudinous appearance of the watch, the Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono is endowed with a sublime movement. Where some chronographs feature a base with a module affixed on top, the Chopard 03.05-C is fully-integrated and from the outset was always intended to be a chronograph. While some chronograph movements are cam actuated, the Chopard 03.05-C features the optimal pairing of a column-wheel and vertical coupling.

This latter combination means there is no hesitation when the chronograph is started and the pushers feel buttery smooth when pressed. With many chronographs, when the stopwatch is actuated the amplitude of the balance drops, adversely affecting the precision of the timekeeping functions. This situation is termed ‘drag’, but thankfully with the Chopard 03.05-C this does not present such a problem. Furthermore, by combining a column-wheel with a vertical coupling, the movement is less prone to wear and tear.

Chopard has created a watch that successfully combines functionality and beauty to a glorious conclusion. The model is infused with technical merit and the high quality of its construction is discernible. However, ultimately, I return to the interesting marriage of Lucent Steel A223 with 18-carat ethical rose gold, two metals with their own characters that harmoniously co-exist and share a propensity to gleam tastefully. The Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono has now ascended to new heights. Where will it go next?

Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF

The manufacture celebrates 25 years of watchmaking in Fleurier with a limited edition, high frequency, lightweight version of its modern sports watch, the Alpine Eagle.
When Chopard introduced the Alpine Eagle in 2019, the brand was in the right place at the right time. Old edicts about when and where to wear a stainless steel sports watch went out the window. The Alpine Eagle’s design codes were inspired by Chopard’s St. Moritz from the 1980s. Yes, it sometimes hurts to think that watches from that era are considered vintage, but time marches on, and a whole new generation of enthusiasts are getting into the design of that decade.

The Chopard Alpine Eagle was an immediate success, and today, Chopard welcomes the Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF In titanium. Moving the Alpine Eagle’s story forward by embracing new materials and a souped-up movement. And the reason the brand can make moves like this is because of its independent manufacture in Fleurier. Which coincidentally is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2021.
The Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF In titanium continues the tradition of being at the intersection of cutting-edge and classic design. It combines the comfort of titanium with the power of an elegant but sturdy mechanism. Plus, the 41 mm diameter timepiece houses one of the most advanced chronometer movements to emerge from Chopard’s workshops — the Chopard Calibre 01.12 C. This high-frequency escapement beats at 57,600 vibrations per hour (8 Hz) which is twice as fast as a normal automatic movement.
A high-frequency movement is necessary to achieve maximum precision in a lightweight watch. It’s also an aerodynamic caliber, measuring in at just 9.75 mm thick. Finding the balance between comfort and performance is not an easy feat to pull off. But more on that later.
The Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF shares many of the attributes of its predecessors. At first glance, you might mistake it for the Alpine Eagle Large in Lucent Steel A223. Plus, there are other 41 mm models in the collection. But when you examine the piece in the metal, you can detect the differences, with the titanium being distinguished by its darker color. It also feels less cool but more comfortable to the touch.
Fans of the Alpine Eagle design codes will be comforted by the satin-brushed bezel, case middle, and wide bracelet link. The central caps of the links are polished, as are the case bevels, while the eight screws featuring slots are set at a tangent to the bezel circle. Thanks to the robustness of the titanium, the wearer won’t have to worry as much about scuffs and scratches.
Many other luxe touches make the Alpine Eagle soar above most sports watches. The watch’s sunburst dial, which Chopard calls the “eagle iris” pattern, is a tribute to the stately raptor’s steely gaze. In the Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF, the Vals Grey color was inspired by a Swiss village of the same name in the canton of Graubünden, which is known for its houses with quartzite-tiled roofs. The shade of this limited edition is hand-patinated, making each dial unique and, again, distinctive from the rest of the Alpine Eagle collection.
The rest of the display is also appealing. The minutes track is minimalist with baton-type hour-markers and 12 o’clock in Roman numerals. The dial bears two inscriptions: “8 HZ Chronometer” appearing beneath the brand name and a unique arrow-shaped signature reserved for Chopard’s high-frequency watches.
There is something emotionally satisfying about the layout of the movement as well. Luckily, the transparent sapphire crystal case-back reveals the H8F heartbeat of the Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence. This watch represents another intersection – between the L.U.C Haute Horlogerie collections and the sporty Superfast lines.
One of the benefits of this internal evolution is that Chopard can use the properties of monocrystalline silicon to optimize the capabilities of the 8 Hertz frequency movement. This light, self-lubricating material is used for the pallet-lever, the escape-wheel, and the impulse-pin – basically, any component subject to lots of friction. In turn, this eliminates the need for traditional lubricants to lengthen the movement’s longevity.

The lightness and tribological properties of silicon offered the watchmakers the freedom to develop an escapement dedicated to high frequencies without taxing energy. This is how the automatic Calibre 01.12-C can deliver a 60-hour power reserve.

Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch

Chopard has once again committed itself to the Only Watch sale by offering a one-of-a-kind timepiece inspired by nature: the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch chronograph, specially created in support of the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy. Since 2005, this charity project has brought together nearly 50 watch manufacturers in a formidable creative drive.
Bearing ultimate testimony to the expertise and inventiveness of Chopard’s watchmakers, the Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch is distinguished by its dial in Swiss granite from the Graubünden region, speckled with blue and green inclusions recalling the colours of the Alpine massif seen from the sky. It brings two novel touches to the Alpine Eagle collection: for the first time, a case made of beadblasted Lucent Steel A223 and a calf leather strap. Three patents have been filed for the chronometer-certified Chopard 03.05-C flyback chronograph movement that powers it.
Above and beyond its technical prowess, the Alpine Eagle collection has been a guarantee of aesthetic finesse ever since its launch, entirely aligned with Louis Sullivan’s “form follows function” doctrine. The new Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch fully reflects this principle. On the right-hand side, the chronograph pushers are subtly and discreetly integrated on either side of the protective crown guards so as to preserve the Alpine Eagle’s characteristic harmony of form and symmetry.

With the Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch, harmony also reigns supreme on the dial, which is adorned with a carefully selected natural Swiss stone: an exceptional granite quarried in the canton of Graubünden. Its blue and green inclusions have been chosen to evoke the beauty of the Alpine forests and lakes as seen from the sky by an eagle.
One of these breathtaking landscapes is the Lauenensee. This lake in the canton of Bern is a place dear to Only Watch founder and organiser Luc Pettavino, who liked to go there with his son Paul, whose illness gave rise to this charity project. It is also an iconic landmark for Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, who presented the Alpine Eagle collection there for the first time in 2018, along with his father and son. Their shared admiration for this place of refuge justifies the rich decorative work gracing the dial, and exuding a sophistication that contributes to the aesthetic originality and symbolic value of the watch.

The addition of the black counters for the 30-minute, small seconds and 12-hour indications – respectively placed at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock – is carefully designed to highlight the natural hue of the granite. To enhance the legibility of measurements, the dial transfers and the three hands linked to the chronograph function match these precious inclusions, as well as the tachymeter scale, also discreetly punctuated by blue-green transfers at the 100, 160 and 240 graduations. Divided into four steps, the scale features intervals varying from 5, 10, 20 or 40km/h per line. This arrangement facilitates the reading of average speed measurements.
The Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch is the first timepiece in the collection to be fitted with a black calf leather strap.
The extra-wide 44 mm-diameter case of the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch is sculpted in Lucent Steel A223, an innovative steel alloy made from 70 percent recycled material and developed by Chopard for its anti-allergenic properties and its robustness, as well as its incomparable brilliance achieved through a meticulous resmelting process. In another first, this material has been beadblasted, thereby creating an even nobler texture and accentuating the avant-garde spirit of Lucent Steel A223.

At the heart of the case beats a sophisticated chronograph movement manufactured by Chopard’s Artisan Watchmakers and endowed with a precision chronometer, certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). Chopard Calibre 03.05-C has a 60-hour power reserve and also features an elaborate design guaranteeing accurate adjustments and optimal use of the timekeeping functions. Equipped with a column wheel, it represents the culmination of several technical innovations for which Chopard has filed three patents resulting from the daring approach of its research and development teams.
Firstly, it is equipped with a unidirectional gearing system that avoids energy losses while ensuring fast winding, a function particularly appreciated for chronographs which are known to be consistently energy-hungry. In addition, its vertical clutch mode guarantees an accurate start for time measurements. This chronograph calibre is also of the flyback variety, enabling smooth and seamless short-time measurements thanks to three elastic-armed pivoting hammers that facilitate zero-resetting the counters. Lastly, the Variner balance equipping the Chopard 03.05-C movement ensures stability by compensating for its inertia variations throughout the period when the watch is in use.
The ninth edition of Only Watch – considered the world’s most important charity watch auction – will be held on 6 November in Geneva. More than 50 watch manufacturers have each donated a unique timepiece, specially created for the occasion. The profits from this sale will be entirely donated to the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy to help fund research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic neuromuscular disease affecting 250,000 children, adolescents and young adults worldwide. Since its creation in 2005, Only Watch has already raised over 70 million Swiss francs.

“We are delighted to support the cause of major scientific research into a disease that affects so many children and adults”, says Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. “Ever since our first participation in 2005, this longstanding commitment has enabled us to develop unique and daring models stemming from lengthy aesthetic and technical research, endowed with powerful distinctive features that our collectors have not necessarily expected.”
Devised by three generations of gentlemen in the Scheufele family, the Alpine Eagle collection is a modern reinterpretation of the St. Moritz, the first horological creation by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele in the late 1970s. With its pure and assertive design, Alpine Eagle enriches this heritage with powerful inspiration drawn from Nature. Featuring a round case with stylised flanks; a material exclusive to Chopard (Lucent Steel A223); a crown engraved with a compass rose; a bezel with eight functional indexed screws; a textured dial with deep colours and luminescent indications; and a seconds hand shaped like an eagle’s feather, Alpine Eagle radiates a resolutely contemporary look of refined elegance.

Chopard’s independence and integrated skills enables the Maison to perform the entire range of the collection’s production and assembly stages in its own workshops, from movement to bracelet as well as components and case.