Founded in 1860, Chopard initially specialized in developing accurate pocket watches. Now, the company focuses on creating a wide array of models, from precise chronometers to jewelry watches with an unparalleled degree of opulence. Chopard is especially renowned for using fine gold and precious stones in many of its watches, making a Chopard a symbol like no other. Buying a Chopard watch is an excellent choice for those looking to diversify their collection with a unique timepiece. Browse our array of exceptional used Chopard watches here at Crown & Caliber.
Louis-Ulysse Chopard founded his namesake company in 1860 in Sonvilier, a small town in the Swiss Jura. Although he was only twenty-four years old, Chopard had a clear vision for his company. He wanted his watches to showcase superb quality from the inside out. Chopard started by focusing on reliable and precise movements made by hand. Soon, he built a reputation for his expertly crafted, ultra-thin, and highly accurate pocket watches.
By the turn of the century, transportation and industrialization were flourishing, and Chopard began expanding to new territories. Along the way, this led him to Russia. Here, he created one of his earliest and most significant bespoke pieces for Tsar Nicholas II. In addition, Chopard became the official watch of the Tir Federal, the Swiss railway network. Shortly after, Louis-Ulysse passed away in 1915, and his son Paul-Louis and grandson Paul-Andre took over the company. Their first order of business was relocating the brand’s headquarters to La Chaux-de-Fonds. However, their time there was relatively short-lived. By 1937, they moved to Geneva in order to be eligible for the coveted Geneva Seal.
The second half of the twentieth century brought about major changes for Chopard. Paul-Andre was ready to retire but no one in the family wanted to take over the business. In 1963, Chopard fell out of family leadership for the first time since its founding over 100 years prior. Paul-Andre sold the company to Karl Scheufele III, who came from a long line of watchmakers. Although it was the end of an era, Scheufele ultimately helped Chopard grow and prosper into the powerhouse brand we know today. Just over a decade later, the brand debuted one of its most highly prized and instantly recognizable models: Happy Diamonds. This innovative and one-of-a-kind design showcased free floating diamonds between two sapphire crystals on the dial.
The company continued to explore new territories in watchmaking in the 1980s. First, they introduced a steel sport watch into their catalog. The St. Moritz was a departure from Chopard’s traditional design and highlighted the influence of the new leadership. Later, in 1988, they forged a partnership with the Mille Miglia race in Italy. This spurred a new collection aptly named Mille Miglia.
In the next decade, the brand shifted their focus to intentionally fusing together Chopard’s past and future. They began by launching the Happy Sport collection in 1993. The line brings together the iconic concept of the Happy Diamonds with a more contemporary stainless steel construction. This entirely new collection was a revolution in the watch world and helped solidify Chopard’s place in the industry. A year later, the brand really returned to its roots with the Imperiale collection. These jewelry watches for both men and women showcase chronograph functions and gem setting techniques in an array of shapes. In the late 1990s, Chopard also landed a new partnership with the Cannes Film Festival.
Into the new millennium, Chopard continues to be one of the foremost luxury watchmakers in the world. In 2017, the brand’s L.U.C. Full Strike won the prestigious Aiguille d’Or at the annual GPHG awards. This model was particularly monumental, as it marked the company’s first minute repeater. More recently in 2019, Chopard launched a new line of stainless steel sport watches called the Alpine Eagle collection. The line pays homage to the brand’s original sport watch from the 1980s.
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