Chopard: A Dynastic Saga
Today, Chopard’s authentic family saga shows the crucial role that determination and independence play in achieving success. This fascinating firm was founded by Louis Ulysse Chopard in Sonvilier, Switzerland, in 1860.
The company changed hands in 1963, and was taken over by Karl Scheufele, young heir to a family of goldsmiths from the Pforzheim region. His intention at the time was to acquire a watchmaking firm and independently manufacture very expensive jewellery watches. In just a few years, he turned the modest concern into a multifaceted brand creating attractive designs and playing on its natural talent to shape tomorrow’s trends without ever compromising the timeless values of luxury. It was a dynamic venture with a variety of skills ranging from luxury jewellery to fashion accessories.
In 1968, the increasingly successful Chopard moved to Meyrin near Geneva. In 1990, the firm took advantage of a period of exponential growth to both increase its production capacity and found the L.U.C. manufacture, which soon relocated to Fleurier in the Val de Travers. Chopards’s dazzling triumph was in part due to its management’s determination to continue to combine luxury and original design with an eye to constant innovation.
From 1976 onwards, Caroline Scheufele brought a lighter touch to luxury watchmaking with the manufacture of a little clown pendant that soon became a brand bestseller. Currently co-chair with her brother Karl-Friedrich, she presides over the fortunes of the firm, one of whose particularities is its annual presentation of a broad variety of strikingly recreational women’s watch collections, including its most famous model, the Happy Diamonds, produced in the 1990s.
Chopard has two strings to its bow. Firstly, publicity: its watches grace the wrists of many personalities in the performing arts world, at the Academy Awards or on the red carpet and at chic social events during the Cannes Film Festival. It was the first to make a splash in the jet set world, adorning some of the most beautiful and famous women in the world. Chopard’s positioning in this image enhancing society provides international, targeted publicity, consolidating its identity as a strictly glamorous jeweller and watchmaker.
The other sign of the brand’s dynamism is that in barley ten years, it has successfully acquired a powerful image as a luxury men’s brand, overseen by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. Responsible for the development of the famous watchmaking collections presented annually at the Mille Miglia rally, this aesthete also brilliantly manages the fortunes of the L.U.C. manufacture founded in 1996. The independent manufacture develops and produces its own automatic (microrotor) and manual (four-barrel) calibers, as well as complication tourbillon and perpetual calendar creations. Apart from its exceptional specialties, it has also recently developed a chronograph movement eagerly awaited by the public, crowning just over ten years of impressive fundamental design work, expressing the spirit of tradition in contemporary timepieces and using them to tell the fascinating story of time.
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