The luxury sports watch is one of the most dynamic categories in the watch industry. In 1972, with the Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet and Gerald Genta defined the genre: a sporty but clearly expensively-crafted steel watch with an integrated bracelet and shaped case. Most high-end brands gave their take on the category. Patek Philippe with the Nautilus, Vacheron Constantin with the 222 and the Overseas, Cartier with the Santos, IWC with the Ingénieur, Piaget with the Polo… and Chopard with the St. Moritz. Back in 1980, this watch was Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s (now Chopard’s co-President) first watchmaking project… And its design is back with the new Chopard Alpine Eagle.
As Chopard re-enters the luxury sports watch market, the Alpine Eagle is a state-of-the-art reinterpretation of the St. Moritz. The brand made a great job in modernizing this 1980 design into a contemporary watch. Interestingly, the watch was reborn today as Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s son, Karl-Fritz, supported by his grandfather Karl, insisted on updating the model… At first reluctant, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele was convinced by his son, just as he himself had been able to win his father’s support 40 years ago… a three-generation story.
The brand decided to name – or rename if you prefer – the watch Chopard Alpine Eagle. Among different reasons, because it embodies new values. If the St. Moritz was inspired by the flamboyance of the 1980s jet set, the Alpine Eagle was designed in tune with the times, with sustainable values in mind. In this respect, let’s credit Chopard for its long term commitment to sustainable luxury. In particular, the brand now uses 100% ethical gold. On the occasion of the presentation of the watch in Gstaad, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele also announced his support to the newly formed Eagle Wing Foundation, an environmental project to raise awareness on the need to protect the alpine biotope.
Last but not least, Chopard states that several (discreetly integrated) design cues of the watch are inspired by the eagle and its biotope. For instance, the second-hand counterweight shaped like a feather or the dial texture evoking the eagle iris.
The Chopard Alpine Eagle in details
The case of the Chopard Alpine Eagle stands out with its 8-screw bezel and its distinctive crown-guards on each side of the watch. The central case, as often in this category, has a tonneau shape and combines brushed surfaces with well-positioned polished accents on the edges. Compared to the watch that inspired its design, the new Alpine Eagle feels more modern, with a round bezel (no more notches around the screws). The case isn’t per se “ultra-thin” but with a 9.7mm profile, it remains sleek enough to feel comfortable but not fragile. The 100m water-resistance is also reassuring.
The Chopard Alpine Eagle has all the attributes of a luxury sports watch but also clear Chopard DNA
Classically for the category, the Chopard Alpine Eagle features an integrated bracelet, which is slightly tapered. It features an ingot-shaped link with a polished and slightly raised centre link. It comes in two versions, 41mm or 36mm for 10 references in total. The large model is available in steel and in steel-and-gold. The small model comes in steel, in steel-and-gold and in gold with or without diamonds.
Interestingly, with the Alpine Eagle, the brand introduces a new steel alloy, named “Lucent Steel A223”, with properties comparable to surgical steel. Its industrialization required no less than 4 years. Lucent Steel A223 is an alloy resulting from a re-smelting process and featuring three unique characteristics. It is highly dermo-compatible. With its 223 Vickers resistance, it is 50% more endurant than conventional alloys. Last, with its superior homogeneous crystal structure, its purity enables it to reflect light in a unique way.
As for the dial and display, the Alpine Eagle also relies on a classic feature of the luxury sports watch category, with a textured dial. Here, we find something that feels totally Chopard, with a radial effect and a deep, irregular texture with lots of depth and details. The texture appears more discreet when the watch is worn than on our close-up photos and is pleasant and unique to this watch. The dial has a combination of applied Roman numerals and batons, all filled with Super-LumiNova, just like the bold hands. Besides the classic 3 hands, the Alpine Eagle features a date at 4:30, with a date wheel matching the dial – date for the large model only.
In-house automatic movements
The Chopard Alpine Eagle is powered by in-house automatic movements, both chronometer-certified by COSC. The 41mm version uses the calibre 01.01-C, which measures 28,8 mm in diameter and operates at 28.800 vibrations per hour for a 60-hour power reserve.
The 36mm version of the Alpine Eagle is fitted with the calibre 09.01-C, measuring 20.8mm in diameter and running at 3.5Hz for a 42-hour power reserve. Both movements can be seen via the exhibition case back of the watch. They are decorated in a contemporary way, with brushed bridges and a monochromatic look.
thoughts, Price and Availability
Overall, there is a lot to love in the Chopard Alpine Eagle. Dominated by the Royal Oak and the Nautilus, the luxury sports watch category is ultra-competitive but the reinterpretation of the St. Moritz is convincing and plays in a lower price range. If the filiation is obvious, the facelift does give the watch a sleeker, more modern look. I can thoroughly recommend you go hands-on with the watch to check it out in person. Retail price starts at CHF 12,450 for the large model and CHF 9,760 for the small model.
For more information, visit www.chopard.com.