Chopard’s famous Happy Sport collection turns 25 and celebrates the occasion with shimmering mother-of-pearl dials and a new, purpose-built, in-house automatic movement… Introducing the new generation of Happy Sport.
Caroline Scheufele, co-president and artistic director of Chopard, was determined to show women that diamonds can be fun and came up with the idea of mixing a sporty stainless steel case with floating diamonds on the dial. Presented in 1993, the Happy Sport is Chopard’s cult women’s watch and its signature moving diamonds, skating and whirling across the dial at the slightest touch take the seriousness and formality out of jewellery watches.
As one of the few independent, family-run brands, Chopard likes to keep things en famille and the siblings in charge of the company – Caroline and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele – are today’s top brother and sister act in the business. Vertical integration is a key concept and co-president Karl-Friedrich oversees the two manufactures in Fleurier. Since 1996, the Chopard Manufacture is the main production facility for the ultra-high-end L.U.C. movements (and home to the dedicated Ferdinand Berthoud team of watchmakers, KFS’ pet project), while other movements are produced in Chopard’s nearby Fleurier Ébauches highly mechanised premises.
The new 09.01-C calibre has been developed and assembled exclusively for the 30mm Happy Sport at Chopard’s Fleurier Ébauches manufacture. An automatic movement regulating the hours, minutes and central seconds, it beats at a frequency of 25,200vph (3.5Hz), has a power reserve of 42 hours and is made from 159 components. Decorated with thick 2mm Côtes de Genève stripes on the rotor and bridges, the main plate features circular graining.
Mobile diamonds for men, poached by a woman
Believe it or not, the inspiration behind the Happy Sport dates back to the mid-1970s when a designer at Chopard came up with the concept of mobile diamonds and created Happy Diamonds, a gold square-shaped men’s dress watch with unset diamonds on the black onyx dial. A one-off piece, Ronald Kurowski, the designer had to solve the problem of diamonds scratching the surfaces of the watch and from toppling over. His solution was to sheathe the diamonds in a thin layer of gold and place them between two layers of sapphire crystal. The watch, which won a jewellery award in 1976, was an astounding success and in 1993 crossed over into female territory with Caroline Scheufele’s Happy Sport collection revisited in sporty, stainless steel cases.
25 years of Happy Sport
Mother-of-pearl, in pastel shades of pink, white and blue, is used to decorate the dial. The natural iridescence of the textured mother-of-pearl creates a warm sheen that changes according to the angle of the light. Adding further light and movement to the dial are Chopard’s hallmark floating diamonds skating across the round rink. The curvaceous Roman numerals at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock and the indices are applied and gilded for the rose gold cases or rhodium plated for the steel model and a blue sapphire cabochon is inserted in the facetted crown for an extra touch of femininity.
The four new models in the Happy Sport family belong to the Mini range with small case diameters of 30mm (the other Happy Sport watches come in Medium 36mm and XL 42mm cases). Nothing has been altered regarding the shape of the case, which comes in stainless steel with a gem-set bezel, trendy two-tone steel and 18k rose gold, and 18k rose gold with or without a gem-set bezel.
Presented on matte alligator straps to match the colour of the dial, prices start at EUR 7,450 for the steel and rose gold model and reach EUR 19,100 for the rose gold model with a diamond-set bezel. More details on www.chopard.com