Chopard finally enters an abandoned segment 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 precise identity, valid technical and stylistic arguments such as to have changed the mind even to the most skeptical observers. Including who's writing to you.
FROM ST. MORITZ AT THE ALPINE EAGLE, A FAMILY AFFAIR
In fact, for the Maison it is a reinterpretation of its first steel sports watch, the St. Moritz, created in 1980 by Karl-Friederich Scheufele, when he was still a 22-year-old employee of the family manufacture. The clock was so successful that it became one of the best-seller of the Maison over the next decade. The St. Moritz was a watch designed primarily for people who liked to live well, with an elegant and sporty watch 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 was the start of chopard's historic partnership with mille miglia.
The idea of reinterpreting this House classic is also a "family business", which repeats itself. Karl-Fritz, Karl's nephew, seeing his grandfather's watch in the office, asked him what model he was. It was a Chopard St. Moritz with integrated bracelet, made of steel. He immediately thought that that kind of model was to be proposed again in contemporary version and after karl-friederich's initial skepticism, thanks to the complicity of his grandfather Karl, that project came to fruition 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 in 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 design of the Alpine Eagle, Chopard has created 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 the 316L.
This type of steel subjected to a double forging process, has less impurities than a classic steel (316L), precisely for this case, bezel and bracelet emit a truly impressive shine.
The characteristics of the Lucent Steel A223 are enhanced by the alternation of the glossy and satin finishes which, starting from the case, continue along the links of the integrated bracelet.
The bracelet in Lucent Steel A223 it consists of a wide satin mesh, divided by a glossy central area. This central "ingot" is also an integral part of the bracelet adjustment. For adjustment, in fact, each series of meshes flows sideways, and then is properly tightened through the shiny ingot on the front, fixed by a screw placed in the inner part of the bracelet.
The brightness that gives the Alpine Eagle is really something unique. In the photos you see in the article, it was not difficult to be able to capture this peculiarity because the watch, in fact, "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 St. Moritz of 1980. Noteworthy is the attention in placing the screws in such a way that the cutting of these, follows the circular shape of the dial. In addition, the screws guarantee the waterproofness of the watch up to 100 meters.
THE ALETSCH BLUE DIAL
The dial is literally magnetic. The Alpine Eagle we tried, 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. The indices and digits applied are covered by 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 entire range. The Alpine Eagle with large case is animated 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 glass caseback.
The Alpine Eagle collection boasts a pretty 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 case, with the exception of the full gold one, still being developed in the Large version.
Looking at the Alpine Eagle, parallels can surely arise with other iconic and legendary watches. However, this watch definitely won me over. Once on the wrist, key test for a watch lover, I found the Alpine Eagle excellent in all respects. Comfort, construction quality, finishes and the fascinating blue dial, which seems to be surrounded by ice due to the sheen of steel...
The price of the version we tested, Ref. 298600-3001 Lucent Steel steel is 12,200Euro.