||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (August 2013)|
|Type||Privately held company|
|Founded||1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard|
|Revenue||€108.9 million (2010)|
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.
Louis-Ulysse Chopard (May 4, 1836 – January 30, 1915) was a Swiss watchmaker and founder of Chopard. Louis-Ulysse Chopard was the second son of Félicien Chopard and his wife Henriette, who had four children. The father of Louis-Ulysse Chopard, Félicien, was an experienced farmer and a man of tradition who encouraged his sons to learn the watchmaking trade. As a young man, Louis-Ulysse Chopard quickly grasped the fact that it was the comptoirs or watch dealerships that earned the greatest profit from the work of the farmers. Each spring, the agents picked up the movements, fitted the dials and hands, cased up the finished movements and they marketed the finished watches. It was therefore better to work independently and Louis-Ulysse wanted his own brand. He created his L.U.C manufacturing company in Sonvilier, Switzerland at the age of 24, in 1860.
No watches were mass-produced but his blend of artistry and functionality soon won over a large number of customers. Having grasped that foreign markets represented the future of his timepieces, he set off to canvass customers in Eastern Europe, Russia and Scandinavia. In 1912, he visited Poland, Hungary and The Netherlands with his finest creations. Chopard chronometers and watches marked the passing of time at the court of Nicolas II. Louis-Ulysse Chopard had won himself an international clientele. In 1859 and 1870 he had two children, Paul-Louis and Ida Hélène.
1860 : 24 years-old Louis-Ulysse Chopard founded a high-precision watch manufacture specialising in pocket-watches and chronometers, in Sonvilier, Switzerland.
1937 : Chopard relocates to Geneva (150 employees) and launched into the production of quality watches.
1963 : Paul-André Chopard, the grandson of the founder, sells Chopard to Karl Scheufele III, a young goldsmith and watchmaker, since his sons decided to follow other careers.
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.
2003: The Chopard Tourbillon watch enlarged the Manufacture's L.U.C. range and the Happy Spirit collection was born.
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.
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.
2010/2011: The company's estimated sales were €550 million in total sales and €250 million in watches with about 100 stores around the world.
In Meyrin, Chopard makes its own gold alloys and bracelet; Pforzheim is mainly devoted to jewellery, while Fleurier produces the high-end L.U.C watches. When it comes to designing exhibition booths for trade shows and boutique displays, Chopard also has its own in-house decoration department.
Chopard opened its first boutique in Vienna in 1989
The Chopard Company sells jewellery and watch collections, including quartz and mechanical timepieces, gem-set and technically complicated models, classic and sporty ones.
L.U.C is the “Haute Horlogerie” collection of the Chopard brand. L.U.C is the eponym of Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the watchmaking company’s founder back in 1860. The L.U.C collection was first introduced in 1997.Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the Co-President of Chopard, started the project of crafting the L.U.C watches in 1993 in Val-de-Travers. Within a few years, nine different movement families (96, 97, 98, 02, 04, 05, 03, 06, 01) and more than 50 variations were designed and produced among which the L.U.C 96.01-L, the L.U.C 98.01-L; the L.U.C 02.01-L ( Tourbillon); the L.U.C 97.03-L and the L.U.C 03.03-L chronograph movement.
The L.U.C watches are handcrafted and hand-decorated, chronometer-certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres - COSC (except movements which bears no seconds hand). Many of them are also marked with the Geneva Seal or Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark. Several models have also received the Fleurier Quality Foundation certification.
- L.U.C 1860 – 1997, the first model in the L.U.C collection. Issued in a limited edition of 1860, this watch was voted Watch of the Year in Switzerland.
- L.U.C Quattro – 2000
- L.U.C Tonneau – 2011
- L.U.C Tourbillon – 2003
- L.U.C. Regulator – 2004, a miniaturised version of the regulator clocks historically used by watchmakers to set their watches.
- L.U.C Lunar One – 2005
- L.U.C Chrono One – 2006, presented to mark the 10th anniversary of Chopard Manufacture.
- L.U.C XP – 2006, this model won first prize in the ultra-thin category at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix.
- L.U.C Twist - 2006
- L.U.C Strike One – 2007
- L.U.C Lunar Big Date – 2009
- L.U.C All-In-One – 2010, further enhanced with a Tourbillon, chronometer-certified by the COSC and bearing the Poinçon de Genève. This watch was awarded the “Watch of the Year” prize at the Salón International de la Alta Relojería (SIAR) in Mexico.
- L.U.C Louis-Ulysse – The Tribute - 2010
- L.U.C Engine One - 2010
- L.U.C Triple Certification Tourbillon - 2011
- L.U.C 8HF – 2012
Chopad also sells a racing collection that includes Mille Miglia, Jacky Ickx or Grand Prix de Monaco Historique models.
When Caroline Scheufele joined the company, Chopard created five Haute Joaillerie collections: Casmir, La Vie en Rose, Pushkin, Copacabana, and 709 Madison.
Chopard is a proud 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. Caroline Scheufele, passionate about animals decided to link Chopard with the WWF in their quest to protect biodiversity. 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.
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 José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and The Prince’s Foundation are all dedicated to improving the well-being of others. The Scheufele family is involved with The Prince Charles of Wales foundation donating timeless Chopard pieces as a symbol of their dedication to the Prince's cause.
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