The world premiere of the Chopard Alpine Eagle watch series

At last. The car finally overturned. The new Chopard Alpine Eagle series makes me happy not only for Chopard, but also for those abandoned souls trapped on the bottomless waiting list reserved for one of the few luxury steel sports watches. In addition, considering the state of the luxury watch industry, this also gives me a sigh of relief. why is that.

For a long time, I have respected Chopard and his watchmaking department-although they rarely allow me to easily explain why. Their Mille Miglia series is a car-inspired series, a bit niche, although once you enter that niche market it will be very flattering. Their LUC series is limited by the elegance of leather straps. Although Chopard’s ultra-high-end products are the best, its output is so limited that it has no place in high-end ivory towers.

After four years of gestation, Alpine Eagle has finally become a product with no ifs or no conditions-well, maybe apart from the name, this may be a bit too docile for some people’s ears. This is a watch presented in a humble manner, which is the norm for Karl-Friedrich Scheufele and Chopard-but the product itself, if it is capable, I think it would rather fly the pirate flag and shout something similar, “eat Come on, Patek Philippe! Ah!”

From mandatory three-chain bracelets to unparalleled superior quality to multifunctional design, Chopard Alpine Eagle is everything needed to put Chopard on the map, not just for any specific niche, but for the audience. Much wider—these audiences are mocked by the self-styled royal family of luxury steel “sports” watches. Two case sizes are temporarily introduced, 36 mm version and 41 mm all-steel version. This series is very popular. In terms of pricing, it needs to be a substitute for the usual suspects. But it’s not just about price-it’s also about story, history, and quality. We will soon discover how Alpine Eagle can compete with octagonal alternatives-but first, let’s understand how it forms.

Alpine Eagle vs. St. Moritz
I remember the first time that all three generations of the Chopard Scheufele family attended the product launch event. The first is the oldest generation represented by Karl Schaefer III, who acquired Chopard in 1963 and transformed it into a global brand. In recent decades, his son Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has been managing the company’s watch department and transformed Chopard into an independent and powerful watch manufacturer, and now produces his own movements, cases and bracelets-he will also The LUC series was repositioned as a high-end-ultra-high-end series and Ferdinand Berthoud was launched. The 22-year-old Karl-Fritz Scheufele represented the youngest generation. As they shared, he must be protected by his grandfather’s plan to prevent him from being too young. Time to enter Chopin. The reason for their emergence is that Alpine Eagle is the result of three generations of cooperation from inspiration to realization.

Forget the tearful memories: the speech unexpectedly and frankly told about the personal shortcomings and strengths of each generation, and their respective roles in creating a new and old watch series. First of all, Karl-Friedrich is open to the inspiration behind the Chopard St. Moritz watch he designed and launched. This is one of his first projects to join Chopard as the second generation. . In the 1970s, he once went to St. Moritz to participate in a recognized gorgeous party. Now it has become an obviously restrained ski paradise, a small town that is easy to sleep even according to Swiss standards.

Time has passed on St. Moritz, just like the thin, quartz-powered, ladle, and once popular watch series named after it. However, this did not stop the youngest generation-inexperienced and fearless in design-from proposing to return to the series. Karl-Fritz’s idea of ​​relaunching this series was “soft” by his father, who was a conservative and thoughtful CEO of a watch company. This “soft” was persuaded for two years, and-pay attention to this-the secretly developed prototype was disbanded, all of which was to convince Karl Friedrich that the Alpine Eagle was in Chopard’s carefully planned series The status it deserves.

After the actual development of replica Chopard Alpine Eagle began, the perseverance and trained eye for details of the previous generation dominated every process-a fact that is clearly reflected in every element of these watches. Grandfather Karl III promoted this process through his famous persistence. Karl-Friedrich’s attention to nuance required the creation of prototypes of 40 mm, 41 mm, 42 mm, and 43 mm width to determine the ideal size of the larger model; and with the help of female family members, a similar number of substitutions were made Product to determine the perfect size for the smaller version. They chose 41 and 36 mm sizes-although I think the latter is the perfect men’s watch size like Rolex Day-Date, the proportions of Alpine Eagle 36 look very feminine.

Why is a mountain eagle? The series was launched near Gstaad in July. Gstaad is a non-upscale skiing paradise-I guess it’s because I don’t ski, and on the surface, this place is in one of the hottest summers ever, and no one else here skis. Although I have not yet become a fan of any inhabited area in Switzerland, their scenery is really amazing. When the huge gray peaks of the Alps were dressed in gorgeous green summer clothes, members of the Eagle Wing Foundation greeted the participants of the event. The goal of the foundation was to help certain types of eagles return to the Alps, about 200 years from the last one. One was hunted down. Accompanied by them are three magical eagles, two young people who are only about four years old, and one is a teenager. (I heard they can live to 50 years old.)

The foundation will enjoy Chopard’s support — not from every sale, but from an annual payment — which is consistent with the sustainable procurement materials that Chopard promotes its use and the way it operates as a global, ecological organization. I like what Karl-Friedrich Scheufele said when he introduced this new watch: “The eagle is the ambassador of consciousness.” Obviously, the eagle is the only creature that can look directly at the sun when scanning the sky, and it is a kind of A hunter who finds prey from a kilometer (or 6 miles) away. I think this perspective of consciousness goes well with products that are redesigned correctly from the materials used to the appearance on the wrist. Therefore, the dial of the Alpine Eagle watch is inspired by the eagle’s retina.

Lucent Steel-Or, what’s new in the Chopard Mountain Eagle?
In terms of appearance, everything is new, up to the materials used. cheap Chopard is one of the few watch brands that are at the forefront of traceable gold-100% of the gold used in Chopard watches comes from ethical sources, some of which carry a fairmined gold certificate (the limitation is that there are very few Fairmined Gold certified mines. The authorization process for new mines is slow). Now, with the Alpine Eagle series, Chopard’s own Lucent Steel A223 steel has joined the pursuit of traceability. Chopard-Lucent A223 steel is produced by a European supplier with a reduced carbon footprint and is alloyed with 70% recycled stainless steel and 30% steel mined from 100% traceable sources. Please note that Chopard also recycles 100% of steel scrap. It’s more important to us, maybe,

The double forging process has two additional benefits. First of all, Chopard’s Lucent steel A223, as the name suggests, is harder than ordinary steel, with a Vickers hardness rating of 223, while the Vickers hardness rating of standard 316L stainless steel is about 150. Secondly, the whiteness and brightness of the steel is truly incredible—so much that for the first time in seven years I struggled with the reflectivity of the steel case and bracelet in approximately 90,000 watch photographs. watch.

If you see that my image is darker than usual, it is because I have to make adjustments to compensate for the brightness and whiteness of Lucent Steel. I have never seen anything like this-Rolex 904L steel, AP or Patek Philippe, and nowhere else. Its flawless white and rich colors, as well as its tendency to glow, will remind people of “now, this is what a luxury steel watch should look like.” Even for untrained novices, the quality and excellence of this material The appearance is also obvious. It is important to note that both the bright light and the lack of its inherent color are cheap-on the contrary. Just look at the very uniform glow and orange reflections on these two external links, as shown in the image below. Things like this did not happen by accident or by mistake;

It is not necessary to be an engineering doctor to know that the harder the material, the more difficult it is to use. (Of course, making high-quality watch cases with marshmallows is also a daunting challenge, but I believe you understand what I mean.) However, in watchmaking, such attributes usually translate into more beautiful and exotic surfaces , Can be made from it. According to the introduction of the product launch event, Chopard’s engineers have been on the verge of giving up this material for months (I want to play all kinds of French curses while also kicking their factory in Fleurier out of the door)-this is how much In the process of making Lucent Steel as beautiful as they knew it, they had to endure mechanical (and neurological) failures. online men watches

Chopard Alpine Eagle’s design and wear resistance
The design itself is based on Chopard’s 1980 St. Moritz series. Keeping pace with the times, even today’s 36mm version is wider and thicker than the original-but neither it nor the 41mm variant feels or appears bulky, or appears large for “sports”. The layout of the three-link bracelet does not seem to have changed, but it is actually different in other respects: the links are still held together by octagonal pins, thus achieving a popular combination of rigidity and flexibility. The central link is raised instead of being flush like the original 40 years ago, and the integration between the bracelet and lug structure now includes a more complex lug design, thanks to the latest developments in case manufacturing.

The flow of the original bezel and case profile remains unchanged, although the latter is more blocky on the new model to support the larger side. Some of the flower-like exquisiteness and playfulness of the original version are missing in the new design, and I hope this is not the case. Again, this more angular and structured appearance is exactly what the market demands for luxury sports watches with a width of 41 mm. It’s just my instinct that tells me that the public’s taste will continue to return to the more relaxed and airy design of the 80s, of which the original St. Moritz is a very good and likable example-but here and now, Alpine Eagle is suitable for sitting with as many viewers as possible.

An interesting detail—and also proof of the detail-oriented approach of Chopard’s management that I praised above—is how Chopard overcomes the trouble of designing the functional screws of the case and bezel to align their slots with the flow stop. plate. So yes, what Hublot didn’t bother to do, and what AP has achieved by cleverly solving the problem, Chopard managed to find an engineering solution. Reading this article, you may belong to one of the following two groups: a) Misaligned screws in Hublots (and other watches) never bother you, or b) You think they are the opposite of the design of a good luxury watch. If you are in group a), you may ignore this paragraph-but the rest of us will not nod in appreciation for Chopin’s attention to detail.

Long-term abrasion resistance is still to be determined by a wrist time review. For now, I can only say that the narrow links are easy to imitate the shape of a wrist as narrow as mine. However, due to the use of eight-shaped pins, they are also rigid enough to not make people feel soft or cheap to make. The double-folding clasp is completely hidden under a pair of links in the center of the bracelet; it only needs enough force to open it to feel safe and not very troublesome. Both versions of the watch case are thin enough to allow the sleeves to slide over the watch-I rarely have the sleeves crawling over luxury sports watches when taking pictures, but unfortunately, this is the case here.

The 41 mm wide version wears significantly less than the recommended size for this size. For example, it is smaller than the log type 41 and looks more symmetrical. Therefore, this version has a 41 mm watch combined with elegance and restraint, emanating from something 39 mm wide like the original Royal Oak. The proportions of the two models are so good that I don’t want to see any changes in the size of the bezel, case, bracelet or dial-this is a rare feat, especially in terms of proportions.

Two sizes and each variant of the luxury Chopard Alpine Eagle series are equipped with an automatic movement produced in-house. The two movements in all watches have passed the COSC Observatory certification, covering the entire series. The larger version is equipped with Chopard Calibre 01.01-C, which is an internal movement with a modern 4Hz operating frequency and a 60-hour power reserve. It combines industrial finishing techniques and traditionally shaped bridges and splints. It measures 28.80 mm wide and fills the 41 mm case of the larger Alpine Eagle nicely.

Powering the 36 mm Chopard Alpine Eagle watch is Chopard Calibre 09.01-C, as shown in the picture above, also produced in-house by Chopard’s Fleurier Ébauches manufacturing plant. It runs at 3.5Hz (25,200 vph) and matches a 42-hour power reserve with its compact structure and 159 components. This movement is clearly designed around the proportions of the basic ETA movement, allowing Chopard to replace the supplied movement with its own movement without having to redesign its existing case and dial. Its ball bearing rotor and neatly marked splints complement the surface decoration details of the bottom cover and bracelet. This attention to detail helps negate the idea of ​​replacing a simple action with a female model, which is the basis for “that will do”.

The Chopard Alpine Eagle 41mm watch is available in three versions when it is released: all Lucent steel material with a blue or gray dial, or a combination of Lucent steel and 18k rose gold with a gray dial. The smaller Chopard Alpine Eagle 36mm is available in a variety of other styles, including an all-gold watch with or without a diamond-set bezel and bracelet center link.