The Alpine Eagle collection by Chopard is the brand’s take on the luxury sports watch. When the first Alpine Eagle model appeared in 2019, many had forgotten that it had a predecessor known as the St. Moritz, a sporty-chic watch of the 1980s with an elaborate-shaped bezel that captured the overstated flamboyance of the decade. Although the ornate bezel of the St. Moritz was not retained, the watch was revisited from head to toe, retaining some features of the original like the eight screws on the bezel and the bracelet with its ingot-shaped central link. Appearing in a time-and-date model with certain design features alluding to the alpine eagle, the sporty Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono version followed in 2020. This month, Chopard unveils another two-tone model in 18k ethical rose gold and ceramised titanium. In a clear departure from the earlier two-tone chronograph, the latest model swaps the integrated bracelet for a matte black calfskin strap, marking the first series-produced timepiece in the collection with a leather strap.
Ethical gold and ceramised titanium
The imposing 44mm case of the Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono with a thickness of 13.15mm is composed of several structures adding to its complexity and dynamic presence. Crafted in 18k ethical pink gold, the tonneau-shaped case supports the round gold bezel with eight perfectly aligned and polished screws set at a tangent. Between the bezel and the case is a layer of ceramised titanium that combines lightness with resistance. The bead-blasted ceramised titanium crown guards on the right, which are mirrored on the left side of the case to enhance the symmetry of the watch, reveal the dark grey colour of the titanium obtained through a process of oxidation using electro-plasma technology.
Not only does it ensure a hardness of 1000 Vickers, but it is also as resistant to shocks and scratches as ceramic and will not fade over time. Flanking the crown guards are the discreet rectangular pushers to activate the chronograph. The complex architecture of the case is highlighted with a significant area of vertically brushed finishings contrasting with the brightly polished bevels on the bezel, pushers and lugs. Viewed from the side, you can appreciate the compass rose motif engraved in the rose gold crown. Fitted with a glare-proofed sapphire crystal over the dial and caseback, the watch is water-resistant to 100m.
The Pitch Black dial is decorated with a textured striated pattern created with a galvanic treatment to suggest the iris of an eagle’s eye. The black dial was also Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s – co-president and creator of the collection – way of evoking the dark mountain nights that wildlife yearns. The richly textured surface of the dial hosts two black snailed chronograph counters (30-min at 3, 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock) with gilded frames, a running seconds counter at 6 o’clock with a snailed interior and rounded edges, a date window with a black background tucked in between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers, and a tachymeter scale on the flange. The three chronograph hands have red tips and the central chronograph seconds hand features the hallmark feather counterweight. All the hands are gilded to match the case pink gold case, and the applied indices, Roman numeral XII and hour and minute hands are enhanced with Grade X1 Super-LumiNova.
As we mentioned above, another novelty of this flyback chronograph is the incorporation of a matte black calfskin leather strap instead of a bracelet. Until now, only the unique Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono donated to Only Watch was fitted with a leather strap. The raised and brightly polished area of the lugs continues on the strap with its central raised area, while the red bridle stitching picks up on the red chronograph indications on the dial.
Chopard’s 03.05-C sophisticated automatic flyback chronograph calibre is a precision COSC chronometer-certified movement. With three patents under its belt, this column-wheel movement is equipped with a unidirectional gearing system to prevent energy loss. The vertical clutch guarantees accurate time measurement starts, while the flyback function ensures smooth successive timings. With a frequency of 28,800vph and an openworked 22k gold rotor, the movement can store up to 60 hours of autonomy.
Availability & Price
The Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono in 18k ethical rose gold is not a limited edition and retails for EUR 34,400. More information at Chopard.com.