Chopard finally enters a segment that has been abandoned for too long, that of all-steel sports timepieces with integrated bracelet, introducing the new Alpine Eagle collection. What for many from a superficial first glance might seem trivially a watch very similar to others, in reality has a very specific identity, valid technical and stylistic arguments such as to have made even the most skeptical observers change their minds. Including who is writing to you.
FROM ST. MORITZ ALL 'ALPINE EAGLE, A FAMILY BUSINESS
In reality, for the Maison it is one reinterpretation of its first steel sports watch, the St. Moritz, created in 1980 by Karl-Friederich Scheufele, when he was still a XNUMX-year-old employee of the family factory. The watch was so successful that it became one of the bestseller of the Maison in the following decade. The St. Moritz was a watch designed essentially for people who liked to live well, with a watch that was elegant and sporty at the same time, just like the charming and luxurious Swiss town.
Since then the young Karl-Friederich has become co-chairman of Chopard and had the great intuition of connecting the passion for watchmaking with other worlds, for example that of motoring enthusiasts. This is the aim of the now historic partnership between Chopard and the Mille Miglia.
Even the idea of reinterpreting this classic of the Maison is a "family business”, Which is repeated. Karl-Fritz, Karl's grandson, seeing the watch his grandfather wore in the office asked him what model it was. It was a Chopard St. Moritz with an integrated steel bracelet. He immediately thought that that type of model was to be proposed again in contemporary version and after the initial skepticism of Karl-Friederich, strengthened by the complicity of his grandfather Karl, that project took shape bringing to light the Alpine Eagle.
The inspiration came from the exceptional scenery of the Swiss Alps. This is where the whole family recharges and finds inspiration. I can also indulge my passion for skiing here. As you know, at Chopard, creativity is also fueled by the passion of family members, who inspire our collections. As a nature lover, I am very interested in the Alpine region and the impact of climate change on its flora and fauna. The Alpine Eagle can be a powerful ambassador for this message.
Scheufele also founded the Eagle Wings Foundation, an organism that aims to reintroduce golden eagles to their natural alpine habitat.
LUCENT STEEL A223, A 'NOBLE' STEEL
For the Alpine Eagle design, Chopard made a new steel developed after 4 years of research and development, called Lucent Steel A223. Totally hypoallergenic and formed in part by recycled steel. In practical terms the Lucent Steel A223 has a resistance equal to 223 Vickers, which makes it the 50% more scratch resistant compared to traditional steels such as 316L.
This type of steel subjected to a double forging process, has less impurities than a classic steel (316L), which is why the case, bezel and bracelet emit a truly impressive luster.
The characteristics of Lucent Steel A223 are enhanced by the alternation of glossy and satin finishes which, starting from the case, continue along the links of the integrated bracelet.
The bracelet in Lucent Steel A223 it is made up of a wide satin mesh, divided by a central glossy area. This central "ingot" is also an integral part of the bracelet adjustment. In fact, for adjustment, each series of links slides sideways, to then be correctly tightened by means of the shiny ingot on the front, fixed by a screw placed on the inside of the bracelet.
La brightness that gives the Alpine Eagle is truly something unique. In the photos you see in the article, it was not difficult to capture this peculiarity as the watch actually "shone with its own light".
The eight polished screws of the bezel are grouped two by two, at the cardinal pointsi, just like in the 1980 St. Moritz. Noteworthy is the attention in positioning the screws in such a way that their cut follows the circular shape of the dial. In addition, the screws a guarantee the water resistance of the watch up to 100 meters.
THE ALETSCH BLUE DIAL
The dial is literally magnetic. The Alpine Eagle we tested, as well as our favorite, is the version in Aletsch blue. A reference to the reflections of the largest glacier in the Swiss Alps, whose texture recalls the iris of the eagle. Applied indices and figures are covered with Super-Luminova Grade XI.
COSC MANUFACTURING MOVEMENT
Both the Large and Small versions of Chopard's Alpine Eagle line are equipped with in-house automatic calibers. Both movements of all watches are COSC chronometer certified across the range. The Alpine Eagle with Large case is powered by the Caliber Chopard 01.01-C, frequency of 3.5Hz and power reserve of 60 hours. The movement is visible thanks to the visible sapphire crystal caseback.
The Alpine Eagle collection can boast a rather complete range of variants, including steel, steel-gold and full gold. All variants are available both in the Large version with a 41 mm case and in the Small version with a 36 mm case, with the exception of the full gold version, which is still under development in the Large version.
Looking at the Alpine Eagle, parallels can certainly arise with other iconic and legendary watches. However, this watch definitely won me over. Once on the wrist, a key test for a watch lover, I found the Alpine Eagle to be excellent in all respects. Comfort, build quality, finishes and the fascinating blue dial, which seems to be surrounded by ice due to the luster of the steel ...
The price of the version we tested, Ref. 298600-3001 in Lucent Steel is 12.200Euro.