This article was originally published in the November/December 2022 Issue of the WatchTime print magazine.
Chopard’s highly successful Alpine Eagle sports watch collection took off with a new dial color in the late months of 2022, available exclusively for the 41-mm size in stainless steel or gold. Like the “Aletsch Blue,” “Bernina Grey” and “Pitch Black” colorways before, the new “Pine Green” dial is inspired by the iris of an eagle, and also an expression of Chopard’s continued commitment to “preserve the Alpine environment and its biodiversity.”
Back in 1980, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, then a 22-year-old employee at the watchand-jewelry firm that his father had acquired, presented his idea for a watch called the St. Moritz, which would be not only Chopard’s first sports watch, but also the brand’s first watch in steel. The St. Moritz became one of Chopard’s best sellers of the era, but was eventually replaced by the Mille Miglia collection that Scheufele established in 1996 upon ascending to the co-presidency of Chopard. In a case of (family) history repeating itself, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s son, Karl-Fritz, suggested reviving the St. Moritz for a contemporary audience, a watch that, too, became an instant success when introduced in 2019 under the name “Alpine Eagle.”
The watches are almost completely made inhouse, except the crown, sapphire crystals and hands; even the dials are technically made inhouse, by a specialized dial-making company owned by Chopard. The case, available in both 41-mm, 36-mm and since 2022 also in 33-mm diameters (there is also an extra-large 44-mm flyback chronograph version since 2020), has protruding shoulders flanking the crown, an element that is repeated at 9 o’clock. The large screw-down crown is engraved with a compass rose motif as a symbol of adventure and exploration. The round bezel is distinguished by eight visible screws, grouped in pairs at the four cardinal points, their slots perfectly arranged to be tangent to the bezel’s circle. The bezel, and the case’s other flat surfaces, are satin brushed and accented by the alternating polished finishes of the chamfers. The dial’s hands and applied indexes are treated with Super-LumiNova Grade X1. Lastly, the integrated bracelet consists of satin-brushed, ingot-shaped links topped by raised, polished central caps, and fastens the watch to the wrist with triple-folding clasps. Needless to say, the case merges seamlessly with the stainlesssteel bracelet, thus perfectly embodying the currently popular integrated case-andbracelet construction.
Like its predecessors, the latest addition to the Alpine Eagle sports watch is available in Chopard’s Lucent Steel A223 (Ref. 298600-3014) or in 18-karat ethical rose gold (Ref. 295363-5007). In keeping with the ethical approach to which the manufacture is committed, A223 is exclusive to Chopard and made from 70 percent recycled material. It took four years of research to reach “a quality of metal that is just as precious as gold with the superior functionality of steel.” Perhaps more importantly, and thanks to its anti-allergenic composition, it has properties comparable to surgical steel, making it highly skin-friendly. Additionally, with its hardness of 223 Vickers, this alloy is 50 percent more resistant to abrasion than conventional steels (316L stainless steel has a hardness of 152 Vickers) and has a unique shimmering light effect, giving the metal both an “ethereal incandescence” and its name. The second version of the Alpine Eagle with green dial (obtained through a PVD treatment) is available in 18-karat rose gold.
The gold is 100 percent ethical, as is indeed the case for all the maison’s watch and jewelry creations since July 2018 (Chopard has been a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council since 2010).
Inside this modern luxury sports watch is Chopard’s 01.01-C automatic manufacture caliber, a COSC-certified chronometer consisting of 207 parts that offers a power reserve of 60 hours (frequency is 28,800 vph or 4 Hz). In this execution, the movement comes with a matching green date disk. The Alpine Eagle Pine Green retails for $14,800, the gold version for $51,000; both are available exclusively in Chopard boutiques.