It all started in 1860 when Louis Ulysse Chopard, a talented young craftsman, established his workshop to make watches. Over the years, his descendants strengthened the lineage and growing the brand’s footprint to include perfumes, eyewear and a lot more…
From adorning the styles of Hollywood celebrities to being a Royal favourite, Chopard’s fan following continues to grow with each passing day.Hollywood is simply smitten by the classic brand, with major actresses like Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard and Penelope Cruz showing off Chopard baubles at the most prestigious and glamorous A-list events. And why not, Chopard always was and still remains a name to reckon with amongst the luminaries of superb quality, high precision watch-making.
Geneva-based brand Chopard began its long and illustrious history way back in 1860. Braving stiff competition from eighty other watch-makers in the region of Sonvilier, renowned for watch-making in Switzerland, Louis-Ulysse Chopard set up his own watch-making shop armed with only his initials L.U.C, the name Chopard on the shop board and the motto – ‘Quality with the maximum possible work by hand’.
Within a decade or two, emperors and kings in Europe were marching to the ticking of Chopard’s exquisite time pieces. His watches quickly gained a solid reputation in Eastern Europe, Russia and Scandinavia. By 1912, the watches became famous for their precision and soon Chopard became the primary supplier to the Swiss Railway, a company known for its punctuality. As the company went from strength to strength, in 1920, Louis’ grandson Paul-Andre Chopard moved the headquarters to Geneva, the world capital of fine watch-making. With its art and fine quality, the brand was still unable to tide over the World War. The ravages of war left the great grandsons of the founder unwilling to carry on the Chopard mantle.
And the baton passes on
In 1963, Paul-Andre, aged eighty was forced to sell the brand to Karl Scheufele, but only on the condition that Karl maintained the Chopard brand, legacy and tradition of impeccable standards in quality and precision. Karl understood watch-making perfectly well. He was the owner of a world-renowned German watch manufacturing company, Eszeha and was no stranger to tough times, travelling around the world to countries as far-flung as Russia, China, Eastern Europe and the USA with a big trunk containing Eszeha’s entire collection.
Though Paul-Andre was hesitant to let the Chopard legacy to go out of the family, the decision to hand over to Karl proved extremely beneficial. Karl was determined to succeed and his determination helped turn the fortunes for Chopard. Under his leadership, Chopard soon became synonymous with artistic innovation.
Entirely independent, Chopard is pursuing a time-honoured family tradition. Karl Scheufele and his wife have orchestrated the company’s international expansion for more than 40 years and are still active in the firm. Their two children are its current co-presidents.
Running and developing a company such as Chopard could have not be done without precise and rigorous set of governing principles. Over the years, several corporate values have emerged; they form the “backbone of Chopard” and they are Independence, Quality & Excellence, Creativity, Heritage, Respect and Audacity. Today Chopard means exclusive composition of diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emerald of exceptional and unexpected cuts and sizes opening up a world of unparalleled glamour and craftsmanship, where originality, creativity and technical mastery are pushed to their ultimate limits.
In 1976, the creation of the first ‘Happy Diamonds’ collection began. In this watch, mobile diamonds slid and span freely between two sapphire crystals. In 1980, the first sport watch with a leather strap was developed and the iconic ‘Happy Diamonds’ concept found its way into Chopard jewellery, becoming a rage with fashionistas.
Many big partnerships followed. For instance in 1988, Chopard commenced its partnership with the Mille Miglia Classic Car Rally held annually in Italy. The 1000 Miglia collection was launched to commemorate the occasion. Since then, the company has made a special edition – Mille Miglia timepiece every year. Ten years later, in 1998, Chopard began its association with the glamour of movie-making, it became the official sponsor of the prestigious Cannes film Festival. The Golden Palm award or the Palme d’Or was re-created by Chopard. Chopard also instituted two awards to promote creativity in films – the Male and Female ‘Revelation of the Year’ since 2001.
Chopard marked the new millennium in style – by introducing the Chopard L.U.C Quattro watch in 2000. In 2001, the horology world was joined by the Chopard L.U.C Tonneau watch. The year 2003 was eventful – the Chopard Tourbillon watch and the ‘Happy Spirit’ collection were both launched. In 2004, the Company unveiled the L.U.C. Regulateur watch and the Butterfly jewellery pieces collection followed by the Copacabana and Golden Diamonds collections and the L.U.C Lunar 1 in 2005.Chopard also initiated the Grand Prix Chopard Decision 35 sailing regatta, thus associating prominently with the sailing world. Another unique partnership was formed by Chopard and the William Goldberg Diamond Corporation in 2006. Chopard launched a new line of luxury watch sets with Ashoka diamonds. The Chopard Ashoka Watch Collection, comprising six timepiece sets with rare diamonds supplied by William Goldberg.
The year 2007 saw the opening of the 100th Chopard boutique at 709, Madison in New York. The same year was also the 60th anniversary of the Cannes film festival and Chopard developed the commemorative Red Carpet collection in cooperation with Valentino – a collection that had 60 fabulous high jewellery pieces inspired by the celebrities at Cannes and 10 gowns designed to complement the jewels.
Chopard’s foray into eyewear
It was in 1978 that Chopard channelised its creativity to make eyewear frames as well. Dear Right vision is the manufacturer for Chopard eyewear. The De Rigo eyewear designers work closely with the Chopard jewellery designers to create beautiful collections in perfect synergy. The eyewear designs are inspired by Chopard’s iconic collections. For instance, Chopard’s Happy Diamonds collection, where a clean, sophisticated design is evident with each silver bracelet and diamond-embellished sunglass. Harmony and continuity are valued traits of Chopard and this is promoted beautifully throughout the collections.
Today, Chopard holds three production sites located in Geneva, Fleurier in Switzerland and Pforzheim in Germany. Its worldwide presence – in Hong Kong, Geneva, New York City, Beverly Hills, Costa Mesa, California, Bal Harbour, Palm Beach, Florida, Singapore, Australia, Egypt, China, Bahrain, Algeria, Brazil and Argentina – is more than adequate proof of its towering status in the world of haute couture.
Through nearly 150 years of existence, Chopard has created a stupendous ensemble of watches, fine jewellery and eyewear. Chopard eyewear are a true reflection of the opulence of its jewellery, with the embellishments paying homage to its iconic collections.
In addition to the geometric design is the ‘C’ of Chopard which can be seen in many of Chopard eyewear models. The curvaceous ‘C’, placed on the nose bridge or the temples, bring a sophistication that is signature Chopard.
The 2019 Sun Collection
This collection celebrates the luxury of Swiss high jewellery and Made-in-Italy design excellence. Meticulous attention in the hand-crafted details, combined with cutting-edge technologies, give life to wonderful glasses, made with refined, modern materials and featuring an elegant design and unparalleled quality. The styles draw inspiration from the Swiss Maison’s jewellery and timepiece collections, interpreting the most iconic elements in a new key. The High Jewellery, Imperiale and Precious Collections come back in jewel-like, luxury and glamorous glasses – perfect for the most important occasions, such as red carpet events.
Simply put, this collection encompasses timeless elegance for a contemporary, sporty gentleman. Classic inspiration and modern elements blend into refined styles that express the luxury of the Maison through hand-made constructions and combinations of different materials, such as carbon fibre combined with rubber or wood. A sportier touch characterises the wrap-around frames for men who love motors and expect maximum comfort in perfect style.
Optical Collection 2018
Luxury, skilled craftsmanship and creativity: these are the key features of the Chopard 2018 Optical Collection, whose design and decorations reproduce the refinement and uniqueness of jewellery and the details of watches, recalling the painstaking traditional workmanship of Swiss goldsmiths. The collection has options for both men and women. Research in materials continues to advance, creating refined combinations of materials embellished with special details and the hand-made quality of Italian workmanship. The key motif inspiring the optical collection is the Ice Cube, a cross-cutting concept expressed in a graphic, modern yet refined contemporary new interpretation by Chopard.
With all the innovation and change, the essence of Chopard remains what its founder intended it to be – “Quality with the maximum possible work by hand”
Timeline: 1860:Chopard comes into existence 1920: Chopard moves headquarters to Geneva 1963: Sold to Karl Scheufele 1976: Happy Diamonds collection of watches introduced 1978: Chopard forays into eyewear 1980: The first sport watch with a leather strap was developed 1988: Chopard commenced its partnership with the Mille Miglia Classic Car Rally 1998 : Chopard began its association with the glamour of movie-making,
it became the official sponsor of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2000: Chopard marked the new millennium in style - by introducing the
Chopard L.U.C Quattro watch 2007 : Opening of the 100th Chopard boutique at 709, Madison in New York