Front view of Chopard's IMPERIALE Moonphase
For the world’s most exclusive, annual Geneva-based watch event, Watches and Wonders 2021, the Swiss maison of Chopard, continues its Impériale line with a brand new moonphase timepiece, a jumping-hour timepiece (Chopard’s very first), a trio of Haute Joaillerie watches in sorbet hues with dancing diamonds framed by an exquisite halo of marquise-cut coloured gemstones, and Happy Hearts Flowers that breeze into into its fine jewellery line.
Under the vision and leadership of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, and made in Swiss workshops in Geneva and Fleurier, Chopard timepieces are all about heritage (the maison was founded in 1860), and innovation.
Chopard's IMPERIALE Moonphase ©Re?gis Golay
The Sparkly Side of the Moon
The new 36 mm-diameter Impériale Moonphase timepiece, crafted from ethical 18 k white gold, is studded with precious stones, with a dial entirely made of aventurine. Naturally sprinkled with stars, this delicately spangled glass – a first in Chopard’s Impériale Moonphase line – is graced with the five main northern hemisphere constellations, the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Cassiopeia, Cepheus and Draco constellations. Together, they serve as a backdrop for the most feminine watchmaking complication of them all: an astronomical moon-phase display, orchestrated by the Chopard 96.25-C movement. Thus attired in deep blue and lit up by the fire of diamonds, Impériale Moonphase offers a delicately shimmering interpretation of the lunar cycles.
The Chopard IMPERIALE Moonphase
The dial of the 9.84 mm thick Impériale Moonphase timepiece is made of two blue plates made of aventurine glass, also known as goldstone and recognizable by its typical sparkling inclusions or spangles. (This long-lost know-how was first discovered in Murano, where legend has it that a glassmaking artisan accidentally dropped iron and copper filings into his molten glass. Once cooled, the molten glass revealed unique, shimmering reflections, reminiscent of the night sky.) Imperiale's characteristic bezel, lugs, and lug-covers are set with diamonds totalling three carats, as are the central decorative fillets rimming the moon phase and the small seconds disc, both adorned with the collection’s iconic quilted motif. The hour markers are in white gold, set with diamonds, while the openwork, sword-shaped hours and minutes hands are rhodium-plated. The small seconds at 6 o’clock has a rhodium-plated Impériale-motif small seconds hand, and the moon phases are at 12 o’clock.
Chopard 96.25-C movement for the Imperiale Moonphase
Its entirely in-house made 96.25-C movement with automatic winding is certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) and features a generous 65-hour power reserve. The frequency is 28,800 vph (4 Hz).
Its moon-phase display offers astronomical accuracy, reducing the precision error in the duration between two successive new moons (known as a lunation) to just 57.2 seconds, and hence taking 122 years to accumulate a mere one-day difference between the measured and actual lunar cycle. This timepiece is water resistant to 50 m. The strap is a glossy blue alligator leather strap, with an 18 k white gold Impériale pin buckle.
Chopard L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25
Jumping Hours and an Anniversary
The second important novelty from Chopard is the L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25, the Manufacture’s first jumping-hour timepiece, that celebrates 25 years of the Manufacture’s creation. Housed in a rounded 40 mm case (harking back to the pocket watches once designed by the maison’s founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard) that is 10.3 mm thick, featuring the L.U.C collection’s characteristically sleek lines and crafted from ethical 18 k rose gold, its L.U.C 98.06-L movement has four stacked and series-coupled barrels based on the exclusive Chopard Quattro technology that allows eight days of power reserve, despite the amount of energy required for the rotation of the hours disc. This makes it one of the rare jumping-hour watches that is truly prized by collectors. From the movement to the white Grand Feu enamel dial on which the hours aperture appears at 6 o'clock, this timepiece, issued in a 100-piece limited series, is produced in-house thanks to the artistic crafts mastered by the artisans of the Manufacture, and endowed with the prestigious Poinçon de Genève.
Sketch of L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 from the back
Visible through a transparent arena case-back via a glare-proof sapphire crystal, this highly complicated mechanical movement (it has 240 components) with manual winding guarantees reliability and precision within an overall thickness of just 4.85 millimetres. It beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph (4 Hz). The balance-spring is equipped with a Phillips terminal curve that precisely controls the oscillations of the regulating organ – a feat of which only a few manufacturers are capable. The movement is also fitted with a swan’s neck regulator enabling fine adjustment of this calibre. The movement bridges are adorned with the Côtes de Genève motif and finely bevelled components.
A sketch of the L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25
The L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 timepiece displays the time on a pure white dial, entirely produced in-house by Chopard Manufacture's enamelling Artisan. Crafted on an ethical 18 k rose gold base, this Grand Feu enamelled dial is fired several times at very high temperatures (820°C). It is then lightly polished to give it a gently domed appearance that creates unique light effects. Using black enamels, the Artisan then uses the same process to reproduce the "L.U.CHOPARD" logo along with the railway-track circle and Arabic numerals indicating the minutes.
The hours appear through an aperture positioned at 6 o’clock so as to ensure that the minutes hand does not obscure the sight of the hours change, which takes place instantaneously. The rose gold aperture frame accentuates the sobriety of the large black Arabic numerals showing the hours against a white background. The crown is in 18 k rose gold and bears the L.U.C logo. The strap is hand-sewn matt brown alligator leather with cognac-coloured alligator leather lining, with a polished and satin-brushed pin buckle in ethical 18 k rose gold.
The three Chopard Haute Joaillerie watches
A Trio of Sorbet Blooms
And the ultimate emblem of the Maison, the ‘Dancing Diamonds’, invented in Chopard’s workshops in 1976, have never ceased to enthrall, through multiple watch and jewellery creations. Through the talent of the artisans in Chopard’s Haute Joaillerie workshops, they now lend their signature touch to three unprecedented, colourful jewellery watches crafted in ethical 18 k white gold. Each features a dial set with five dancing diamonds and framed by a tiara of marquise-cut precious stones.
Chopard's Haute Joaillerie watch with a halo of pink sapphires and five dancing diamonds
Within Caroline Scheufele's creative repertoire, jewellery watches stir very special emotions: the grandfather of the current Co-President and Artistic Director of Chopard was already famous almost a century ago for the gemset timepieces in which he specialized. This gives an idea of the expertise cultivated by the artisans in the Maison’s Haute Joaillerie ateliers, which are now unveiling three new creations in ethical 18 k white gold, marquise-cut diamonds (9.92 carats, with a grey satin strap), marquise-cut pink sapphires (13.53 carats, with a pink satin strap), and marquise-cut sapphires (3.65 carats, with a blue satin strap).
These jewellery masterpieces also nurture the heritage of dancing diamonds, skilfully perpetuated since the Maison invented this revolutionary concept in 1976: five setting-free diamonds spin joyfully on their own axis as well as whirling around the watch dial. In passing, they offer infinite shimmering reflections of the light illuminating their facets, bringing to life a show that upends our vision of time. The artisans of the Maison’s Haute Joaillerie workshops have set an array of carefully calibrated marquise-cut precious stones forming a ‘laurel wreath’ around this hypnotically charming dial. The first all-diamond version is complemented by two others graced with blue or pink sapphires. They are respectively fitted with matching grey, blue, or pink satin straps, as shown above.
Chopard's fine jewellery collection - Happy Hearts Flowers ©Re?gis Golay
Heart-shaped petals and a dancing diamond
And the emblem of Chopard jewellery, the Happy Hearts collection blossoms in an all-new design as Happy Hearts Flowers plays on the symbol of the Maison by arranging a corolla of five diamond-set hearts around a dancing diamond. Fashioned in ethical 18 k white gold, a bangle bracelet, a ring, a pair of earrings and a pendant enrich the garden of this new line for Big-Hearted women.
Since its creation, the Happy Hearts collection has been constantly orchestrating encounters between two Chopard symbols: hearts and dancing diamonds are constant features, alternately placed face to face in a delicate pas-de-deux, arranged in a line or forming butterfly wings. With Happy Hearts Flowers, these two emblems provide a new chance for the collection to bloom by forming delicate and extremely feminine flowers.
Nestling at their heart, a dancing diamond diffuses its joyful aura much as the pistil of a flower exhales its fragrance. All around it, five ethical white gold hearts set with diamonds arranged in a corolla symbolize its petals. This floral motif, inspired by an age-old jewellery trend, is picked up in a must-have bangle bracelet from the Happy Hearts collection, a ring, a pair of earrings and a chain pendant, designed to be worn solo or stacked with other colours.
From casting ethical gold to setting precious stones, Happy Hearts Flowers jewellery is entirely crafted by the artisans in Chopard's jewellery workshops, veritable conveyors of emotions endowed with expertise passed down from generation to generation.
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