Founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard set up a successful manufacture for pocket watches and chronometers in Sonvilier in 1860. Bought by Karl Scheufele in 1963, Chopard switched production to jewellery watches hitting a high note with the 1976 Happy Diamonds watch for men. The men’s watch division is overseen today by son and co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele.
In 1860 Louis-Ulysse Chopard, then aged 24, founded his watchmaking workshop in Sonvilier, in the Swiss Jura. In 1937 the Firm, by that time headed up by Louis-Ulysse’s son Paul-Louis, moved to Geneva.
The last generation of Chopard watchmakers sold the Firm to the Scheufele family from Germany in 1963. The Scheufele family rapidly developed its fame by using the name for its jewellery creations. Combining watchmaking and jewellery, in 1976 Chopard created one of its iconic timepieces: the ‘Happy Diamonds Watch’, featuring a set of freely moving diamonds around the dial.
In 1985, at the initiative of Caroline Scheufele, Chopard presented its very first jewellery collection, named after the watch: Happy Diamonds. It went on to make a successful move into Fine Jewellery in the 1990s.
In 1989, Chopard opened its first dedicated store in Vienna. The group now has over 140 stores worldwide and no fewer than 1500 outlets.
1996 marked a decisive stage in Chopard’s watchmaking strategy. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele returned to his roots, opening the Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier, Val-de-Travers. Intended to house the design and production of L.U.C. high precision movements (named after the Firm’s founder) Chopard Manufacture is now part of the very restricted circle of genuine watchmaking manufactures.
Chopard has also been very involved for many years in the work of major philanthropic organisations. The group has long-standing partnerships with WWF, the José Carreras International Leukaemia Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.