What’s hot right now and has been so for a couple of decades now? Luxury stainless steel sports watches with integrated bracelets. That’s what. And Chopard has just shot across the bow of the current Masters of that segment with a release that is sure to turn heads.
Chopard has just released its highly anticipated Alpine Eagle Watch Collection.
The design is not entirely new at all to Chopard. Chopard has of course a very rich history and catalogue of watch releases to date. The Alpine Eagle is essentially a modern evolution, or revolution, of the St Moritz design it released in the Eighties.
And here today, I have no doubt many people will be drawing parallels to the ‘other’ watches in this category from for example Patek and Audemars Piguet and it is easy to see why. Note also that the St. Moritz at the time was already Chopard’s answer, so to speak, to AP’s Royal Oak.
As the watch does have the same spirit and design cues of the original St Moritz, is certainly a very different watch and I can see why they decided to go for an updated naming of this particular collection as well instead of continuing the former name. Opinions may differ on this topic I suppose.
Let’s set aside opinions for a second on originality of design. Everything about this watch has the hallmarks of fine watchmaking. Let’s dive right into it all, starting with the dial.
The striking sunburst dial is said to have been inspired by the Eagle’s iris. It’s hard to argue that this is anything but beautiful indeed.
There are more design queues to the Alpine eagle, my favorite being the little counterweight on the seconds hand being shaped like a feather.
The case is made from steel as I mentioned. The Stainless steel that Chopard has gone for is of course not just any stainless steel, it is in-house developped Lucent Steel A223. ” Uniquely durable, Chopard Lucent Steel A223 is 50% harder and significantly less scratch resistant than other steels. It is also antiallergenic, making it comparable in quality to surgical steel”. The ‘Lucent’ in the name further refers to its reflective and luminous qualities.
Very striking and true to the design here is of course the integrated bracelet. Handmade from the same Lucent Steel A223 as the case. The gently tapered Alpine Eagle bracelet features a single ingot-shaped link, topped by a raised central cap “reminiscent of its mountain biotope”.
The in-house automatic winding calibre 01.01-C is COSC certified. It measures just under 5mm thick. It further features 31 jewels, beats at 28.800 VPH offering a 60 hour power reserve.
The Alpine Eagle comes in two sizes, 41mm and 36mm. Retail prices starting at CHF 12,450 (41mm) and CHF 9,760 (36mm).
This is a fine watch indeed, and I can’t help but wonder what the reaction will be to these releases as the parallels will surely be drawn here – as they should. The watch collecting community has become quite sensitive to the originality of designs, which I wholeheartedly applaud indeed, and my spider senses tell me this release will be received with very mixed feelings as a direct result of that.
Images courtesy Chopard