This is a brief reference to Chopard’s History through the years. It is divided in two grand time periods. The first period refers to years from 1860 to 1984, and the second to years from 1985 to present.
Louis-Ulysse Chopard (May 4, 1836 – January 30, 1915) was a Swiss watchmaker and founder of Chopard. He created his L.U.C manufacturing company in Sonvilier, Switzerland at the age of 24, in 1860.
1860 : 24 years-old Louis-Ulysse Chopard founded a high-precision watch manufacture specialising in pocket-watches and chronometers, in Sonvilier, Switzerland.
1937 : Chopard relocates to Geneva (150 employees) and launched into the production of quality watches.
1963 : Paul-André Chopard, the grandson of the founder, sells Chopard to Karl Scheufele III, a young goldsmith and watchmaker, since his sons decided to follow other careers.
As the new head of the company, Karl Scheufele III, quickly gained significant experience with watchmaking, contributed to the modernization of the company and added the jewellery segment into the Chopard watch production.
1974: The Chopard factory moved from the center of Geneva to Meyrin-Geneva. It marked a new stage for the company as it started producing ladies’ and jewellery timepieces.
1976: Introduction of the Happy Diamonds collection and the creation of the first Happy Diamonds watch. Watches from the collection featured mobile diamonds that floated freely between two sapphire crystals.
1980: The Chopard Company debuted with sports watches on leather straps. The range of Happy Diamonds watches was enlarged by jewellery pieces. The first Chopard boutiques were opened in Hong Kong, Geneva and Vienna in the 1980-s.
1985: Karl-Friedrich and Caroline Scheufele are appointed vice-presidents of the Chopard group. Caroline Scheufele, passionate about drawing jewellery models since her young age, designed a first major sketch of a clown with hinged legs and a tummy full of diamonds and coloured stones. It was to become Chopard’s icon and propelled the company into its first high end jewellery line: Happy Diamonds.
1988 : Start of the partnership between Chopard and the Mille Miglia, the legendary classic car rally in Italy. Chopard creates the 1000 Miglia sports watch collection. To mark the partnership, Chopard has maintained the tradition of developing a new special edition Mille Miglia timepiece every year.
1993: The Chopard Happy Sport collection appeared in 1993.
1996 : The company returns to its roots and founds a watch manufacturing company in Fleurier, in the Swiss Jura, dedicated to the production of mechanical L.U.C movements. After years of planning and development, the first Chopard in-house movement of the late 20th century was produced, the calibre 1.96. This calibre was in many ways a ground-breaking movement for Chopard. Walt Odets wrote a comprehensive technical review of the 1.96 movement (see link below). It has been referred to as “…perhaps the finest Swiss automatic movement now produced. Creation of watches on behalf of the Geneva-based affiliate of José Carreras International Leukaemia Foundation, the Fondation José Carreras pour la Lutte contre la Leucémie.
1998 : Chopard becomes official partner of the Cannes Film Festival and Caroline Scheufele redesigns the Palme d’Or, from now on crafted in Chopard workshops.
2000: The beginning of the new millennium was marked by the introduction of the Chopard L.U.C Quattro watch, powered by a technically advanced caliber with four barrels – an innovation that provided 9-day power reserve.
2001: The horology world was joined by the Chopard L.U.C Tonneau watch powered by the first-ever tonneau-shaped self-winding movement with off-centered micro-rotor. In 2002 Chopard new Golden Diamonds concept enlarged the jewellery range.
2002: Chopard becomes official timekeeper of the prestigious Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, a classic car race held in Monte Carlo. Launch of the Elton John watch collection on behalf of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
2003: The Chopard Tourbillon watch enlarged the Manufacture’s L.U.C. range and the Happy Spirit collection was born.
2004: The company unveiled the L.U.C. Regulateur watch and the Butterfly jewellery pieces collection.
2005: Chopard presented the Copacabana and Golden Diamonds collections and introduced the L.U.C. Lunar One. The brand became a part of the sailing world, having initiated the Grand Prix Chopard Decision 35 sailing regatta.
2006: The company celebrated the 30th anniversary of Happy Diamonds watch collection and the 10th anniversary of the movement factory in Fleurier.
2008: Chopard Group founded Fleurier Ebauches S.A. after acquisition of a building located next to its existing facilities in Fleurier, Switzerland. The purpose of the company is to produce mechanical watch movements and watch key components to be exclusively used in its owners Chopard watches. During the years 1920 to 1932 exactly the same building had been the home to Fleurier’s Fabrique d’Ebauches, another movement manufacturer.
2009: The famous PuristS collector’s group awarded Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele the PuristSPro Purity Prize 2009, an exceptional prize honouring “the pursuit of perfection in an imperfect world”. PuristSPro officially presented him in Geneva with this distinction for the exceptional work he has accomplished with Chopard Manufacture since its creation in 1996. The award is a crowning recognition for the five proprietary movements developed by Chopard Manufacture within 10 years, and above all for the “technical and aesthetic excellence” of the L.U.C Lunar One, a perpetual calendar with complete moon-phase display launched in 2005.
2010: Celebration of Chopard’s 150th anniversary and presentation of anniversary collections: Animal World, 150 unique animal-themed Haute Joaillerie pieces as well as 4 new L.U.C models powered by 4 new manufacture calibres, L.U.C Engine One Tourbillon, L.U.C Tribute to Louis-Ulysse Chopard, L.U.C 1937 and L.U.C All in One.
2010/2011: The company’s estimated sales were €550 million in total sales and €250 million in watches with about 100 stores around the world.
2013/2014: A new company in the Chopard Group: La Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD SA in Fleurier. The Chopard Group is laying a new milestone in its watchmaking development and expanding its presence in Fleurier, in the Val-de-Travers, Canton Neuchâtel (Switzerland) by establishing a new company and developing a new brand.
The company offers a range of products from:
As of 2014, their watches are offered in six product families with their sub product lines, whereas the above section ‘history’ gives an overview on the creation and development of those product families:
- Classic Racing
- Happy Diamonds
- La Strada
Chopard has been involved for many years in a number of patronage activities covering a variety of fields including medicine, ecology, art and culture. The company supports José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and The Prince’s Foundation which are all dedicated to improving the well-being of others. The Scheufele family is involved with The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation donating Chopard pieces as a symbol of their support of the Prince’s cause.
More Detailed Reference in our source : Chopard, in Wikipedia
Photo 1 : Chopard – L.U.C Perpetual T
Photo 2 : Chopard Classic Rasing Superfast
Photo 3 : Chopard Happy Diamonds series
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