Chopard

Chopard
Type Privately held company
Industry Watch manufacturing
Founded 1860 by Louis-Louis Chopard
Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland
Products Wristwatches, accessories
Revenue €108.9 million (2010)
Website Chopard.com

Chopard is a Swiss based luxury watch, jewelry, and accessories company founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard at the age of 24. Chopard initially concentrated on developing precise pocket watches and chronometers based upon innovative ideas. Chopard is regarded as a manufacture, in other words that they make many of their watches and movements in-house rather than using the base movements (ebauches) of other manufacturers. Chopard, which also has production facilities in Fleurier, is one of four participating brands in the Fleurier Quality Foundation (together with Bovet, Parmigiani and Vaucher), which certifies a very high level of quality to manufactured watches (www.fleurier-quality.com). The "Qualité Fleurier" standard is meant to compete with the Geneva standards such as the exclusive Geneva Seal manufacturing standard.

Contents

History

In 1920 Chopard relocated to Geneva and launched into the production of quality watches.[citation needed]

In 1963 the Chopard Company was taken over by the young goldsmith and watchmaker Karl Scheufele, after Paul-Andre Chopard, the last master watchmaker who maintained the horological roots of the family, was forced to give up the business since his sons, following other careers, refused to manage the business. Paul-Andre agreed to sell the business to Karl Scheufele, who as the new head of the company, gained significant experience with watchmaking and jewelry making. He contributed to modernization of the company and added the jewelry segment into the Chopard watch production.

In 1975 the Chopard factory moved from the center of Geneva to Meyrin-Geneva. It marked a new stage for the company as it started producing ladies' and jewelry timepieces. In 1976 Chopard introduced the Happy Diamonds collection. Watches from the collection featured mobile diamonds that floated freely between two transparent sapphire crystals.

In 1980 the Chopard Company debuted with sports watches on leather straps. The range of Happy Diamonds watches was enlarged by jewelry pieces. The first Chopard boutiques were opened in Hong Kong, Geneva and Vienna in the 1980-s.

In 1988 Chopard established the cooperation with the Mille Miglia, an annual Italian rally where vintage and classic cars take part. To mark the partnership, Chopard has maintained the tradition of developing a new special edition Mille Miglia timepiece every year.

The Chopard Happy Sport collection appeared in 1993.

In 1996, the Chopard Company opened its independent movement factory in Fleurier.

Also in 1996, after years of planning and development, the first Chopard in-house movement of the late 20th century was produced, the calibre 1.96, encased in the "1860" hunter-back case, named for the historical origins of the manufacture. This was to be the flagship watch of Chopard, their re-entree as it were to manufacture status, and Chopard spared no effort with it. Only 300 of the 1860 hunter-back units are known to have been produced. However, the calibre 1.96 was incorporated into later iterations of the 1860 watch without the hunter-back. Many of these 1860 watches, called "16/1860/2" and "16/1860/3" and all without hunter-backs, were produced. The calibre 1.96 achieved a level of design and finish that set it apart and qualified it as haute horlogerie in many ways. It was stamped with the Geneva Seal which is a designation reserved for the highest level of construction and finish, incorporated a 22k micro-rotor into a very thin (3.3 mm) movement and with a unique bi-directional winding mechanism, had twin mainspring barrels allowing for a 65 hour power reserve, a breguet overcoil hairspring and a swan-neck micro regulator. It had 32 jewels and ran at 28,800 beats per hour. It was found to be a highly accurate movement. The calibre 1.96 was in many ways a ground-breaking movement for Chopard. Walt Odets wrote a comprehensive technical review of the 1.96 movement (see link below). It has been referred to as perhaps the finest Swiss automatic movement now produced.

In 1998 the Company partnered with the annual Cannes International Film Festival. In 2000 the beginning of the new millennium was marked by the introduction of the Chopard L.U.C Quattro watch, powered by a technically advanced caliber with four barrels - an innovation that provided 9-day power reserve.

In 2001 the horology world was joined by the Chopard L.U.C Tonneau watch powered by the first-ever tonneau-shaped self-winding movement with off-centered micro-rotor. In 2002 Chopard new Golden Diamonds concept enlarged the jewelry range.

In 2003 the Chopard Tourbillon watch enlarged the Manufacture's L.U.C. range and the Happy Spirit collection was born. In 2004 the Company unveiled the L.U.C. Regulateur watch and the Butterfly jewelry pieces collection. In 2005 ,Chopard presented the Copacabana and Golden Diamonds collections and introduced the L.U.C. Lunar 1. The brand became a part of the sailing world, having initiated the Grand Prix Chopard Decision 35 sailing regatta.

In 2006 the company celebrated the 30th anniversary of Happy Diamonds watch collection and the 10th anniversary of the movement factory in Fleurier.

Mr. Scheufele is still the president of the Chopard Company. He has kept the Company as a family business. In the 1990s his children joined the business. Caroline Scheufele is the head of the jewelry division, while Karl-Friedrich manages the watchmaking department.

Chopard holds three production sites located in Geneva, Fleurier in Switzerland and Pforzheim in Germany. The Company has organized its products distribution through 13 subsidiaries placed all over the world. In addition, the brand has opened over 90 brand boutiques.

By 2007, the United States has Chopard boutiques in New York City, Beverly Hills and Costa Mesa, California, Bal Harbour and Palm Beach, Florida,and Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. A ninth boutique will open in Boston in 2008 and in San Francisco in 2008 as well. There are hundreds of Chopard Authorized retailers in the United States, and thousands worldwide in every major world city like in Kuala Lumpur.

Watch collections

The Chopard Company has developed a variety of watch collections, including quartz and mechanical timepieces, gem-set and technically complicated models, classic and sporty ones. The list of the leading Chopard collections is the following: Mille Miglia, L.U.C., Happy Diamonds, Happy Sport, Happy Spirit, Classiques, Your Houre, La Strada and Haute Horlogerie.

Chopard Mille Miglia watch collection comprises mechanical timepieces of sporty style. These timepieces appeared as a result of the brand's partnership with Italian car rally, the Mille Miglia. The Chopard Happy Sport ladies' collection features timepieces that unite sporty style with precious stones and bright colors. The L.U.C collection features massive sporty-styled chronometers and elegant classy men's watches.

Charity

Chopard has contributed to the development of medical research, taken part in different charitable events and helped a number of foundations, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Chopard has continuously cooperated in fight against AIDS with Sir Elton John who established the foundation in 1993 and still holds the post of its Chairman. The brand launches limited-edition Elton John watches to benefit the foundation. Chopard co-sponsors the charity events annually held by the foundation - Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party, White Tie & Tiara Ball and An Enduring Vision.

Caroline Scheufele, presently the co-president of Chopard worldwide, is responsible for supporting other charity organizations such as the International José Carreras Foundation involved in the fight against leukemia and the Sabrina foundation for sick children. The Sheufele family is also involved with The Prince Charles of Wales foundation donating timeless Chopard pieces as a symbol of their dedication to the Prince's cause .

Partnership

  • The Chopard Company and New York William Goldberg Diamond Corporation have established a close partnership. William Goldberg is found among the major suppliers of precious stones worldwide.

William Goldberg Diamond Corporation is responsible for recreating a classic diamond cut named the Ashoka. The cut is based on the distinguished original Ashoka diamond that represented a 41.37 carats (8.27 g) D flawless diamond. The gem inherited its name after Ashoka Maurya, the Hindu warrior-emperor. It was mined in southern India. The diamond is special for its unique cut and superior aesthetic characteristics received legendary status over the years. The William Goldberg Ashoka trademarked was patented by William Goldberg Corp. in 2000. In 2006 Chopard initiated the production of a new line of luxury watches set with Ashoka diamonds to be supplied by William Goldberg Diamond Corp. The new Chopard Ashoka Watch Collection will comprise six timepieces set with the rare diamonds,crimeajewel.

  • Member of the American Watch Guild

Chopard at Cannes Festival

The partnership between the Chopard Company and the Cannes Film Festival started in 1997. It was initiated by the meeting between Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, Chopard Co-President, and Pierre Viot, President of the festival. By Viot's request, Mrs. Gruosi-Scheufele with the team of Chopard master craftsmen redesigned the Golden palm award. The Palme d'Or redesigned by Chopard was unveiled on May 24, 1998.

The partnership between Chopard and the Cannes Film Festival continued with Chopard's introduction of a new award to promote creativity in films. Since 2001, the Chopard Trophy has been awarded to two young actors as Male and Female Revelation of the Year.

During the festivals, for every red carpet, the Chopard Company dresses celebrities in its jewelry pieces and watches. The company employs a staff of over 100 people who work with the stars at a suite of offices at the Carlton Hotel. Chopard is credited in all the magazines covering the event.[citation needed]

To mark the 60th Anniversary of the festival, for the Cannes Film Festival 2007 opening ceremony the Chopard Company developed the Red Carpet Collection in cooperation with Valentino. Caroline Scheufele created 60 high jewellery pieces inspired by the celebrities at Cannes, while Valentino designed ten gowns to complement ten of the company's jewels.[1]

See also

  • List of watch manufactures

References

  1. ^ Chopard and Festival de Cannes - Ten Years of Fruitful Cooperation

Walt Odets, From the House of Happy Diamonds: The Chopard L.U.C. Caliber 1.96 http://www.timezone.com/library/horologium/horologium631672821689171141

External links



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