||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (August 2013)|
|Privately held company|
|Founded||1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard|
|Caroline Scheufele, Co-President; Karl-Friedrich Scheufele; Co-President|
|Revenue||more than CHF 800 million (2013)|
Chopard is a Swiss-based luxury watch, jewellery and accessories company founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard, from whom the company takes its name.
- 1 History
- 2 Products
- 3 Partnerships
- 4 Events and sponsoring
- 5 Charity
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
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.
1920 : Due to an increasing importance of more famous cities than Sonvilier, it was the son André Chopard, who opened the first Chopard branch in the city of Geneva. It was a move to not miss the drive of a rapidly growing watch market in that time. Up until today, Chopard is not merely a proud representative with the headquarters in this watch making hot spot, but also is an active contributor to maintain the heritage by application of the Poinçon de Genève, engl. Geneva Seal, in some of its collections.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Some of their more exclusive watches are equipped with movements of their own manufacture as a sign of the brand's attitude concerning their position in the market. From a technical point of view, the company follows a strategy of further developments and innovations that also resulted in various patent applications so far. The European Patent Office lists more than 20 publicised references to Chopard since 2002.
To complete the product range, one can find accessories of Chopard, too. Those certainly relate to the main group of jewellery and watches, with e.g. cuffinks and pens in rubber pattern like some watches of the Classic Racing line. In 2014, following articles were available on the market:
- Writing instruments
- Silk & More
Chopard is a Member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), an international not-for-profit standards-setting organisation established to reinforce consumer confidence in the jewellery industry by advancing responsible business practices throughout the supply chain.
In 2010, Chopard initiated a three-year partnership supporting WWF's Tiger Initiative, a conservation project aiming at saving wild tigers from extinction.
Events and sponsoring
The Cannes Film Festival
The partnership between Chopard and the Cannes Film Festival has started in 1998 when Caroline Scheufele and the team of Chopard master craftsmen have redesigned the film festival's award - The Golden Palm award. It was initiated by the meeting between Caroline Scheufele, Chopard Co-President, and Pierre Viot, President of the festival. By Viot's request, Mrs. Scheufele with the team of Chopard master craftsmen redesigned the Golden palm award. The Palme d'Or redesigned by Chopard was unveiled on May 24, 1998. Chopard has served as official partner of the Festival, and each year it creates new models and events to celebrate movies: jewellery sets for the legendary “mounting the steps” ritual, parties to honour films, a trophy for youthful talents, and the Palme d'Or.
The Chopard Trophy
The partnership between Chopard and the Cannes Film Festival continued with Chopard's introduction of a new award to promote creativity in films. Since, the Chopard Trophy awarded by a jury of professionals honours two film “revelations”, with the support of the Cannes Film Festival. This prize is awarded during the festival to two young actors as Male and Female Revelation of the Year.
In 1988, Chopard became the event sponsor of the Mille Miglia race, in conjunction with Karl and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s personal passion for collectors’ cars. As a family company, Chopard has always regarded this partnership as much more than a passive commitment, and father and son have personally participated every year in the 1000-mile race from Brescia to Rome and back.
Grand Prix de Monaco Historique
The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique unites sports cars dating from 1926 to 1978 and it is divided into seven categories that compete on the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit. First organised in 1997 to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Grimaldi dynasty, it was intended as a one-off event. However, the enthusiasm generated by this gathering of legendary cars led the prestigious Automobile Club de Monaco to hold the race every two years. In 2002, Chopard became official partner and timekeeper for the event, and has also developed a series of classically inspired sports watches, forming the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique collection. They are awarded to the winners of each category.
Porsche Official Timing Partner
For the 2014 return of the Porsche Motorsport family to the FIA World Endurance Championship with its LMP1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, Chopard became partner of Porsche as an addition to Chopard's commitment to automotive motor sports. During the Le Mans 2014 race, Chopard presented the related version of its Superfast Chrono dedicated to the race car limited to 919 pieces only while featuring its Manufacture d'horlogerie caliber 03.05-M.
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.
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