The Chopard “garage” has been busy lately since two major competitions are in less than two months, which they traditionally participate in. Mille Miglia is a 1,000 -mile classic car race between Brescia and Rome tickling the attractive leg of Italy first at the back of the booth, then in front, all the way up to Brescia. Chopard has sponsored the event since 1988 and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele co-president takes part each year as a driver, too.
The following week all movie maniacs will give their full attention to the Cannes Film Festival, where the Palme d’Or that was re-designed by Caroline Scheufele 17 years ago will be handed over to the winners. Chopard has been casting the award traditionally and as per the company’s commitment to sustainable luxury it is made of fairmined gold since 2014.
At Baselworld we enjoyed the hospitality of Chopard and experienced their novelties, including the special line of watches created for the Mille Miglia, another L.U.C timepiece made by Fairmined gold and the glorious creations in Cannes’ favourite Green Carpet collection.
Green Carpet collection
Chopard’s Green Carpet collection was brought alive in 2014 with the intention to promote the luxury sector’s responsibility for participating people and impacted environment by creating the most astonishing high jewellery pieces totally from fairmined gold and from gemstones from RJC certified sources. It instantly became an initiative and a collection people on the red carpet wanted to identify themselves with.
The Responsible Jewellery Council promotes responsible and ethical social and environmental practices as well as human rights throughout the gold and diamond supply chains. In 2005, a group of 14 organisations from a cross-section of the diamond and gold jewellery business came together to form the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices. In 2008, the Council adopted the simpler name of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).
Two latest additions to the Green Carpet Collection is a necklace and a ring designed as a ribbon of diamond arabesques in fairmined white gold set with brilliant-cut diamonds (all together 19ct). The new pieces look amazing in the big, beige colour silk box too, but to try it on is a real pleasure. The technique of the diamond setting (and of course the quality of the diamonds) gives a tremendous amount of brilliance to the piece and to the wearer.
Arabesque motifs are often used in Chopard’s Imperiale collection too – for instance on the dial of the Imperiale watch or the amethyst Imperiale jewellery pieces.
This year these motifs are sculpted in white gold and set with diamonds on the tanzanite, sapphire and diamond “Byzantine” jewellery pieces. The centrepiece of the necklace is a pear-shaped tanzanite. The white gold Temptations earrings are set with four pear shaped aquamarines (29ct), six brilliant-cut aquamarines (3.3ct), and sapphires.
A unique ring with white gold and diamond lacework around was set with an exceptional 41.57ct oval shaped Paraiba tourmaline.
Mille Miglia collection
The Mille Miglia was one of the toughest races between 1927 and 1957; and it still is. Italy in general and the few hundred kilometres diameter circle around Brescia has been the cradle of car racing. I guess all men’s and most of ladies’ dreams have involved Italian sports cars in one way or another, and we also keep on fuelling our love for these beautiful beasts by attending classic car shows whenever we can (eg. Ennstal or Zürich Classic Car).
Chopard has a dedicated Classic Racing collection and for the Mille Miglia the company issues a special edition every year – this acts as official timekeeper during the race. Last year’s watch had a more classical look with smooth lines, while in 2015 the face became more adrenaline-loaded. There is similarity to other pieces of the collection, like last year’s Grand Prix De Monaco Historique series, but a main difference is to be noted. The new Mille Miglia series (except the GTS Chronograph) received a recently developed in-house manufacture movement.
Two movements left Chopard’s Fleurier Ebauches workshops, both COSC certified 4Hz calibres with 60 hours power reserve. Calibre 01.08-C beating in the GTS Power Control is manually-wound with power reserve and date functions in addition to the generic time measurement. Calibre 01.01-C is wound by a rotor while worn and it works in the GTS Automatic.
Although all are offered with steel bracelets, you would definitely have better tracking with the Dunlop-pattern rubber strap originating from the 60s.
The L.U.C collection pays tribute to the memory of Louis-Ulysse Chopard and so it incorporates the very soul of Chopard dressed in a simple and elegant outfit. All timepieces of the collection are empowered by in-house movements, many of them satisfying the certification requirements of “Poinçon de Genève” or the Fleurier Quality Foundation.
L.U.C XPS Fairmined
Just as in jewellery, Chopard aims to use more fairmined gold in its timepieces too. The new XPS model received the 3.3 mm thin micro-rotor wound Calibre 96.12-L, which has 2 barrels in such a small space. The 18 carat rose gold case has a warm shine, which harmonizes with the slate-grey galvanic dial. The sunburst satin-brushed dial pattern has a kind of hypnotic power, you can easily stare at it for minutes before you realise what you are doing. I had a crush on this piece!
In a workshop, where watchmakers produce and service timekeepers, reference time is very important in order to test and adjust the mechanics of the workpiece. Therefore from the 19th century very precise regulator clocks with independently placed hour, minute and second displays were used for this function. Chopard possesses three examples of these clocks in their museum, which gave them the inspiration to reproduce the same in an L.U.C style wrist watch. The L.U.C 98.02-L movement passed the COSC tests and the entire watch received the Poinçon de Genève hallmark. Time and an additional time-zone can be read on independent dials, the aperture on the top shows the power reserve meter and date is shown in the opening at 4 o’clock.
L.U.C 1963 Tourbillon
I love the 1963 line that the Roman numerals and the railway pattern on Grand Feu enamel provide for visual pleasure. The new model leaves even greater space for the enamel, since the new movement Calibre 02.19-L1 is 0.6mm slimmer than its predecessors, allowing more thickness to the dial surface. This gives a slightly more silky tone to the Grand Feu enamel. The movement encompasses the 4 barrels of Chopard’s patented Quattro® technology which in return supplies constant energy for 216 hours via a rotating escapement in a tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock. The model is made in 18k rose gold and is limited to 100 pieces.
L.U.C XPS 35mm Esprit de Fleurier
Esprit de Fleurier is part of the XPS family, which is the thinnest of Chopard. The new model is adorned with a cloud-like blue mother-of-pearl dial and Fleurisanne engraving covering the back plates. The manufacture, located in the village of Fleurier in Val-de-Travers since 1996, wants to contribute to the preservation of the local folklore and decorated this model with the characteristic motif of the region. The self-winding L.U.C 96.12-L movement has a micro rotor, which allowed larger plate surfaces for the pattern to fully come into its own.
Photo credits: Chopard, Loupiosity.com.
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