The history of Chopard watches

Chopard watches

Chopard has been carrying on a tradition of elegance and high technology since the second half of the nineteenth century. Chopard is unique, having proved itself over time, and now symbolises the Cannes Film Festival.

In 1860 Louis-Ulysse Chopard founded a high precision watch making factory, specialising in pocket watches and chronometers, at Sonvilier, in the Swiss Jura.

In 1920, Chopard moved to Geneva and increased its production of quality watches.

In 1963, Karl Scheufele took over Chopard. He represented the third generation of a family of goldsmiths and watch makers and owned the German brand ‘Karl Scheufele’, founded in 1904, that specialised in jewelled watches that were then distributed under the name of Eszeha. From then on production at both factories continued under the Chopard name.

In 1974, the factory moved from the centre of Geneva to a new site at Meyrin. Chopard increased the number of designs of elegant women’s watches and luxury watches.

In 1976 the first ‘Happy Diamonds’ watch was launched with mobile diamonds floating freely between two transparent sapphire crystals moving around the central dial. Chopard was producing its men’s high-end watches exclusively in gold at this time.

1980 saw the launch of the first sports watch with a leather strap, the ‘St. Moritz’.

In 1985, the ‘Happy Diamonds’ line had extra jewels added.

1988 was an important year because it saw the start of the partnership between Chopard and the classic motor race, the Mille Miglia. Chopard designed a collection of ‘Mille Miglia’ watches that combined precision horology with sporty lines.

The ‘Happy Sport’ collection was launched in 1993 that would soon become Chopard’s largest collection of watches for women.

In 1996 the company returned to its roots and founded a watch making factory at Fleurier in the Swiss Jura that was devoted to the production of L.U.C. movements.

The first ‘L.U.C 1860’ watch was produced in 1997, equipped with a L.U.C 1.96 Calibre, which was named ‘Watch of the Year’ by the Swiss magazine ‘Montre Passion/Uhrenwelt’.

In 1998 Chopard became the official partner of the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2000 came the introduction of a worldwide first, i.e. the ‘L.U.C Quattro’ watch, equipped with an L.U.C 1.98 Calibre. This new movement contained four barrels with two sets of two barrels one on top of the other, patented as ‘L.U.C Quattro® Technology’. It had an outstanding power reserve of around 216 hours, the equivalent of 9 whole days.

In 2001 the ‘L.U.C Tonneau’ design was launched. It was equipped with the first ever tonneau shaped self-winding movement (L.U.C 3.97) with an off-centred micro rotor.

In 2002 Chopard became the official timekeeper of the prestigious Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, a classic car race in Monte Carlo.

In 2003, the ‘L.U.C Tourbillon’ watch was launched. It was made entirely by Chopard Manufacture, and the mastery of the first L.U.C. tourbillion movement represented a major technological achievement in the world of high-end horology. The ‘Happy Spirit’ was launched at the same time which combined contemporary design and beautiful clean lines.

2004 saw the introduction in Basel of the ‘L.U.C. Régulateur’ watch which was awarded ‘Watch of the Year’ by the Swiss magazine, ‘Montres Passion/Uhrenwelt’. This year saw another world first with the launch of the certification of quality horology under the name ‘Qualité Fleurier’. The ‘Butterfly’ Haute Joaillerie also appeared.

In 2005, the ‘L.U.C Lunar One’ watch with a mechanical L.U.C 96 QP Calibre, a perpetual calendar and a phases of the moon feature. The ‘Happy Sport Carrée XL’ woman’s watch was also launched in this year.

In 2006 the ‘L.U.C Chrono One’ was launched, the first chronograph in the L.U.C. collection, as was the new ‘Kind of Magic’ international advertising campaign. In the world of sport, Chopard became the official partner of the world sailing championship for the 8 metre category.

In 2007 the brand launched two watch collections, the ‘Two O Ten’ and the ‘Red Carpet’ Haute Joaillerie collection which was launched at the Festival de Cannes.

In 2008 Chopard epitomised elegance with its ‘L.U.C. XP’ slate dial, ultra-slim wristwatch which formed part of the L.U.C. high-end horology offering.

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