The rebirth of a watch icon
February 26 2020 01:55 AM
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Caroline Scheufele showcasing some of Chopard’s collections at DJWE 2020. PICTURE: Jayan Orma
Caroline Scheufele showcasing some of Chopard’s collections at DJWE 2020. PICTURE: Jayan Orma

Chopard, along with partner Alfardan, has unveiled the Alpine Eagle collection at an exclusive event yesterday in the Chopard booth at the 17th edition of Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition (DJWE). “As always, we bring novelties to the Doha exhibition, most of all the new Alpine Eagle sports chic timepiece collection, which is his and hers, it comes in different sizes and models,” Chopard artistic director and co-president Caroline Scheufele told Gulf Times. 
Contemporary, refined and assertive, the new Alpine Eagle sports chic timepiece collection is a state-of-the-art reinterpretation of the St. Moritz, the first watch created in 1980 by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, now co-president of Chopard. 
Alpine Eagle, imagined and designed by Karl-Friedrich, is driven by his passion for the Alps and by the lofty power of the eagle that reigns supreme there. Crafted from an exclusive, ultra-resistant and light-reflecting metal named Lucent Steel A223, it beats to the rhythm of a Chopard chronometer-certified movement. 
Bearing testament to Chopard’s ethical approach, Alpine Eagle gives the Maison an opportunity to reveal its new commitment to protecting the Alpine environment through the launch of the Eagle Wings Foundation, of which Karl-Friedrich is founding member. Alpine Eagle is dedicated to contemporary eagles, the aspiring men who outperform in their daily lives and whose vision inspires and elevates. With foresight and determination, they act on the challenges of tomorrow and are innately aware of the importance of environmental issues. 
“For the first time, we are showcasing the chronograph, we haven’t shown it anywhere else, and also the three Haute joaillerie that we made in collaboration with a James Bond movie, the Happy Hearts collection,” Caroline said. “The movie will be released in London on March 31; so this is also a premiere.”
She noted that Qatar remains a very important market for Chopard, which has been in the country for many years. “One of the first brands to be in Qatar, we have been working over two generations with the Alfardan family in partnership. It is really like a family, so I think Qatari ladies have a lot of taste and they appreciate Chopard,” Caroline said.
While vision is essential to running a family Maison, it is perseverance and determination that lead to success. Such was the path taken by Karl-Friedrich in 1980, when he presented his very first watchmaking project. 
As a youthful 22-year-old employee in the family Manufacture at the time, he submitted an idea to his father for a watch to be named St. Moritz. 
A project with a resolutely coming of age dimension, within which a young man asserts himself, spreads his wings and takes flight.
The first sports watch from the Maison as well as the first timepiece made of steel in its workshops, the St. Moritz was profoundly innovative for Chopard, then a specialist in gold and diamond-set gold watches. It represented a real and carefully calculated risk. Karl-Friedrich made it a success that was to become one of the Maison’s bestsellers for the next decade. 
Since then, he has become co-president of Chopard and taken on many other challenges. He was one of the first to sense the strength of the bonds between passionate enthusiasts of the automobile world and of watchmaking mechanics. It was he who set Chopard on the path of its now legendary partnership with the Mille Miglia race. In 1996, he decided to restore Haute Horlogerie to the place it deserved by founding Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier. In the same pioneering mode, it was on the same site in Fleurier that Chopard’s co-president had premises built, complete with the Minergie label certification criteria, thereby paving the way for sustainable luxury.
With Alpine Eagle, history is repeating itself, since it was at the insistence of his son Karl-Fritz, secretly supported by his grandfather Karl, that Karl-Friedrich looked into the updating of the St. Moritz. At first reluctant, he was won over by his son’s strength of conviction, just as he himself had been able to win his father’s support 40 years ago. Drawing on his creative strength and his passion for the Alps, but also on Louis Sullivan’s principles of harmony which dictate that “form follows function”, Karl-Friedrich created a new collection: Alpine Eagle. 
Belonging to the select circle of watches with an integrated case and bracelet, this timepiece presents a design that is both refined and contemporary, featuring a wealth of references to the Alpine eagle and its biotope. Its rock-like textured dial evoke an eagle’s iris, its hands call to mind the raptor’s feathers and the cold glinting steel is reminiscent of glaciers. 
The gently tapered Alpine Eagle bracelet comprises a single ingot-shaped link, topped by a raised central cap. The case is distinguished by a protrusion protecting the crown engraved with a compass rose, an instrument that has helped adventurers find their way since ancient times. Today, it becomes the emblem of contemporary eagles capable of choosing the right direction in the pursuit of their destiny. 
Alpine Eagle’s round bezel is punctuated by eight screws, grouped in pairs at the four cardinal points. Their slots are set at a tangent to the circle of the bezel, a sign of high-quality finishing and sophisticated aesthetic purpose. 
These screws also serve a technical function by guaranteeing the water resistance of the watch to 100m. On the one hand, thanks to its hypoallergenic composition, Lucent Steel A223 has properties comparable to surgical steel, making it highly dermo-compatible. 
On the other hand, this alloy with its 223 Vickers’ strength is 50% more resistant to abrasion than conventional steels and has a unique hardness. 
Finally, with its superior homogeneous crystal structure, its purity enables it to reflect light in a unique way. Like diamond, whose brilliance depends on the lowest degree of impurities, this innovative steel has far less impurities than conventional steel, guaranteeing it brilliance and brightness comparable to that of gold.
True to Karl-Friedrich’s deep commitment to fine watchmaking, the two movements with automatic winding embedded in the heart of Alpine Eagle watches have been developed in Chopard’s watchmaking workshops and chronometer-certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Control – a rare event for watches in this category.
Alpine Eagle 41mm thus welcomes the 01.01-C calibre with a 60-hour power reserve, while the 36mm models host the 09.01-C calibre with a 42-hour power reserve – with the latter 8-ligne movement being one of the smallest to receive COSC certification. Both are visible through a transparent sapphire crystal back. 
Thanks to its vertically integrated production process, Chopard has produced and assembled all Alpine Eagle components in-house, from all the components of its movements to the making of its case and bracelet, whether in steel and/or gold. 
Karl-Friedrich’s is a hiking and skiing enthusiast who finds inspiration and serenity in the high altitudes of Switzerland, which open his eyes, clear his mind and initiate action. Sensitive to Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan’s initiative, Karl-Friedrich joined the Alp Action programme in the 2000s. 
Today, in unveiling his new Alpine Eagle collection, whose design bears the imprint of nature’s influence, he sought to associate this collection with a new sustainable approach.



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