Tag Archives: chopard

Chopard commits to 100 per cent Ethical Gold

Press Conference: Chopard commits to 100 Ethical Gold | Images courtesy of Chopard

Chopard leads the watch and jewellery industry with a major and unique announcement: by July 2018, Chopard will use 100 per cent Ethical Gold in its jewellery and watch creations.

Chopard defines “Ethical Gold” as gold acquired from responsible sources, verified as having met international best practice environmental and social standards.

The luxury jewellery and watch Maison, Chopard, owned and run by the Scheufele family was founded in 1860. As a family run business, sustainability has always been a core value, and today sees the culmination of a vision started more than 30 years ago.

The fourth generation of the Scheufele family runs the Maison today, and Chopard has been managing all the processes from manufacturing to final product, including developing vertically integrated in-house production, investing in mastering high quality craftsmanship, creating a rare in-house gold foundry in 1978 and nurturing the skills of high jewellery artisans and expert watchmakers.

Long term supporters and friends of Chopard; Colin and Livia Firth, Julianne Moore, models and activists Arizona Muse and Noella Coursaris and Chinese singer Roy Wang came to champion the gold landmark announcement, made by Chopard Co-Presidents Caroline and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, in front of a packed audience at Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Fair. Speaking at the event, the Co-Presidents outlined how they were able to achieve this milestone.

Fairmined Gold

Chopard Ethical Gold

From July, 2018 Chopard gold will be responsibly sourced from one of two traceable routes:

  1. Artisanal freshly mined gold from small-scale mines participating in the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA), Fairmined and Fairtrade schemes.
  2. RJC Chain of Custody gold, through Chopard’s partnership with RJC-certified refineries.

In order to further increase its contribution in artisanal gold miners’ improvement initiatives and therefore contribute to a further growth of volumes of ethically extracted gold, Chopard joined SBGA (Swiss Better Gold Association) in 2017.

Speaking at the press conference Karl Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard said: ”We are incredibly proud of being able to say that from July 2018 all of our gold will be purchased from responsible sources”.

Chopard’s vision is to increase, as much as it possibly can, the proportion of artisanal gold the Maison buys as it becomes more available on the market. Today Chopard is the largest buyer of Fairmined gold.

“It is a bold commitment, but one that we must pursue if we are to make a difference to the lives of people who make our business possible.

“We have been able to achieve this because more than 30 years ago, we developed a vertically integrated in house production, and invested in mastering all crafts internally, from creating a rare in-house gold foundry as early as 1978, to the skills of high jewellery artisans and expert watchmakers,” added Scheufele.

Chopard watches and jewellery are beautifully crafted in-house, this means the Maison is in the unique postion to be able to guarantee control of all processes; from manufacturing to final product, therefore controlling the gold used in its products.

Continuing the conversation Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and Creative Director of Chopard said: “As a family run business, ethics have always been an important part of our family philosophy. Naturally, we have always put ethics at the heart of the values of Chopard.

“True luxury comes only when you know the handprint of your supply chain and I am very proud of our gold sourcing programme. As Creative Director of the brand, I am so proud to share the stories behind each beautiful piece to our customers and know they will wear these stories with pride”.

As part of Chopard’s commitment to ethical gold, new High Jewellery Green Carpet Collection pieces presented at Baselworld are exclusively made from Fairmined gold, as well as the High Horlogery L.U.C Full Strike watch and the Happy Palm watch.


Chopard: The Best Jewellery On The Red Carpet

French actress Marion Cotillard adorned herself with exquisite jewels from Chopard’s Temptations Collection, featuring 18 carats white gold set with drop-shaped moonstones, rose-cut pink, violet sapphires and rubies as well as a ring from the High Jewellery Collection in 18 carats white gold set with a cushion-shaped emerald, half-moon diamonds and brilliants.

A close-up shot of Juliette Binoche wearing Chopard jewellery at the Cesar Film Awards 2018 on March 2 in Paris

French actress Juliette Binoche selected to wear earrings from the Precious Chopard Collection in 18 carats white gold set with emeralds and brilliants, a ring from the High Jewelry Collection in 18 carat white gold set with a heart-shaped diamond and brilliants and a ring from the L’Heure du Diamant Collection in 18 carat white gold set with brilliants and one round-shaped sapphire.

French singer Camelia Jordana won Best Newcomer Female Actor Award and she chose to pair her opulent outfit with a pair of earrings in 18 carat white gold set with pear-shaped diamonds and a bracelet in 18 carat white gold set with diamonds from the Haute Joaillerie Collection. The dazzling ring in 18 carat white gold set with one round brilliant-cut diamond from the same collection added an expressive and exotic touch to the scene.


Chopard’s Haute Joaillerie Collection

Images courtesy of Chopard

French actress Isabelle Huppert selected a pair of earrings from the Haute Joaillerie collection in 18ct white gold featuring pear shaped diamonds (7.9cts) and diamonds (4.35cts), a ring from the Haute Joaillerie collection in 18ct white gold featuring a cushion shaped peridot (4.13cts) and diamonds and a ring from La Strada collection in 18ct white gold set with diamonds (1.9cts). Chopard® 2018.

American actress Octavia Spencer chose to wear an 18ct white gold pair or earrings featuring pear shaped emeralds (6.65cts), pear shaped diamonds (3.3cts) and diamonds (1.15cts) and a ring in 18ct white gold featuring emeralds (4cts) and diamonds both from from the Precious Chopard collection. Chopard® 2018.

Follow Chopard on Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram or visit the official website here.

Chopard Opens its new St Moritz Boutique

Chopard has recently opened a new St Moritz boutique in addition to its existing range of boutiques in new countries, such as Sydney and Melbourne in Australia and Jakarta in Indonesia to bring the latest haute horlogerie and high jewellery creations to the most discerning.

Chopard opens new St Moritz boutique

The new St Moritz boutique by renowned luxury watch-maker and jewellery-maker presents a new concept, embracing style, class and elegance in its design that are specifically intended for mountain boutiques. Helmed by the Chopard design teams and the Scheufele family, Chopard co-president Caroline Scheufele unveiled the new boutique to her client at the official opening that took place in early December.

Step into the new St Moritz boutique, a sense of warmth from the oak wood and natural stones of Vals in the Grisons region overwhelms. Remarkable geometrical shapes and the ancient grooving technique by master artisans in the region can be seen throughout its interior.

The whole idea is to promote a sense of privacy and make visitors feel at ease while browsing around the point of sales. The boutique has been exclusively designed to accommodate the finest high jewellery, watchmaking and accessories.

In addition to getting a new interior design, the boutique has been relocated to Via Da Vout 2 – 7500 St. Moritz, which lies in heart of the resort’s finest shopping street where many international customers visit to discover the latest Happy Hearts, Ice Cube and Mille Miglia collections, along with creations from the Haute Horlogerie and High Jewellery workshops that have forged Chopard’s worldwide reputation.

“By skillfully combining artisan-style techniques, modern technology and a love of art, we wish to offer our customers an authentic experience where they discover the finest creations from our Maison.” – Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele

The interior is imbued with the Maison Chopard’s characteristic warmth to the accompaniment of the best whiskies selected by the Bacchus Cellar, along with the greatest vintages from the Château Monestier la Tour, which has belonged to the Scheufele family since 2012.

Caroline Scheufele said: “I’m delighted with the work we have accomplished. Cooperation between our in-house teams and our family has been extremely productive and we are thrilled with the result.”

As Chopard is a family business with its first boutique opened in Hong Kong in 1983 and the brand grew stronger throughout the years, and has established a strong presence on New York’s legendary Madison Avenue with a flagship boutique that also heralded a new architectural concept dreamed up by famous designer Thierry W. Despont. Since then, Chopard has actively pursued the expansion and renovation of its boutique network.

“This new concept also reflects our social and environmental commitments, since we have chosen materials from nearby regions in order to keep our ecological footprint to an absolute minimum. This was a very important factor in the project. We have opted for responsible luxury in our production and this must also apply to our boutiques,” said Scheufele.

For more details on Chopard and its exclusive Swiss watches and jewellery, visit www.chopard.com.

Karl Friedrich Scheufele on His Winning Formula and the new Chopard LUC Perpetual T Spirit of the Chinese zodiac piece unique

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele spoke to World of Watches and LUXUO during the world premiere of the Chopard LUC Perpetual T Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac Piece Unique in Beijing. Event report to follow. Image: Jonathan Ho

Speaking with Karl Friedrich Scheufele, co-owner and CEO of Chopard, and as of 2012, owner of a 100 hectare Chateau Monestier La Tour wine estate, one gets the sense that 2017 couldn’t be ending on a much higher note. After all, Scheufele was speaking to us as a winner of recent top honours: with the L.U.C. Full Strike taking the GPHG 2017 Aiguille D’or Grand Prix and the Chopard Lotus Blanc taking the jewellery watch prize. It is especially poignant considering that just last year, his “project” with the Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud had also achieved the Aiguille D’or also.

“It’s been a great year,” he says as he offers across a firm handshake while we take our seats at dining table within his suite at the Waldorf Astoria Beijing. “Yes, we noticed the gold medal sticker on the bottles of Bergerac Chateau Monestier La Tour,” we counter. A twinkle in his eye, he offers a joke, “There’s always appetite for more awards.”

World of Watches and LUXUO were present to witness the festivities surrounding the launch of the exclusive Chopard LUC Perpetual T Spirit of the Chinese zodiac

Karl Friedrich Scheufele on His Winning Formula and the new Chopard LUC Perpetual T Spirit of the Chinese zodiac piece unique

With his own brand of wino winning the gold medal at the Concours Des Vins Du Sub-quest in 2017, one gets the sense the Scheufele has been hitting the right notes with expressions of artisanal perfection in almost every product category he touches. But what does it all mean for a man who should be rightfully feeling a master of his domain? We find out.

Curiously, Louis Ulysse Chopard is a name that goes back to 1860 but here you’re celebrating your 20th anniversary, was there a reason for not celebrating the grander figure of a 150 years?

We had a celebration for the 150 years but 20 years ago was the true renaissance of the manufacture and it is as important because we added a foundation to the Chopard world which made us much stronger as an entity and much more complete when compared to what we were before.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele explains Chopard LUC’s raison d’etre. Image: Jonathan Ho

Would it be right to infer that there’s a certain humility or respect to the craft which is why unlike some other brands, you don’t lay claim to the centuries of watchmaking history?

Well, in the very beginning, there was a time where Chopard bought movements and so, you’re right to say that there’s a humility and a respect for reality because we cannot claim to be a manufacture for 150 years. We’ve always been very truthful and this is part of our philosophy. I find it amusing when one infers uninterrupted production.

You’re big as Chopard but small within the scope of LUC watches, how has that affected your business model in relation to market conditions?

We were tempted at one stage to have LUC as a sub-brand but then we decided that this wasn’t the road we would take. Out of 1000 Chopard retailers worldwide, only 350 points of sale carry LUC, this includes our own boutiques. This approach served to differentiate LUC with the general Chopard collection. LUC doesn’t have the ambition to make 10,000 pieces, our ambition is to focus solely on quality and innovation rather than think about how many watches we can sell tomorrow. It’s supposed to remain exclusive and represent the pinnacle of Chopard in terms of watchmaking expertise.

Chopard Manufacture celebrated 150 years while LUC celebrates 20 years out of recognition of the label’s modern revival rather than to infer “uninterrupted” manufacture


I have noticed in terms of Chopard communications, there always seems to be a hint of a ‘social mission’, be it Fairmined or ethical production, was this a conscious effort to appeal to women or a general statement that as leaders of the luxury industry, one has to set the tone of being socially aware?

First, it is a personal conviction of the family and certainly myself, otherwise we wouldn’t be credible. It’s not mere marketing message. It carries through even to Chateau Monestier La Tour. A year after we purchased the wine estate, we decided to scrap all synthetic materials and processes like chemical fertilisers in order to go fully organic. I was convinced that this was the only way to make our wine, it’s not the easy way but it’s the right way. Next year, we will be certified organic and personal conviction is the driving force. I have but one exception – I still love petrol engine cars.

Second, we observed from our own children that there is growing recognition for the environment and for social justice among the younger generation. It became clear to us that this was one of the subjects they cared deeply about because they had talking about this at school.

Finally, the added value in terms of marketing, is that a growing number of the population appreciate this.

The Chopard (萧邦) L.U.C Time Traveler One 北京特制版腕表-1 or Beijing Limited Edition (in 8 pieces) was also launched at this event. Image: Jonathan Ho

When it comes to Chopard LUC, do you have a distinct China strategy?

I won’t call it a strategy. LUC is naturally geared to please modern Chinese consumers who have passed the first phase of merely buying brands and are now looking deeper into refinement and for them, Chopard LUC is an interesting choice. China is slightly different from Asia in the way that it is very fast moving and catching up in terms of sophistication. The most sophisticated market in the region is Singapore.

We saw for the first time, the Chopard LUC Perpetual T Spirit of the Chinese zodiac piece unique, it is emblematic of the history and culture of China and should appeal to the Chinese market . However, in Singapore, we are sophisticated, ethnically diverse but sad to say, culturally bland, how does it help with design? How do you appeal to Singaporean collectors?

I think with this particular piece, we’d be surprised as who will make the final purchase. We definitely made it with China in mind but if you consider the Urushi collection, it’s been popular all over Asia except Japan and we designed the watch with Japan in mind!

This was an excerpt. You can read the full interview in WORLD OF WATCHES 2017 FESTIVE ISSUE

Special celebrity guests like Donnie Yen and Liu Tao were impressed by the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of the Chinese zodiac piece unique. Image: Jonathan Ho


Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of the Chinese zodiac piece unique Price and Specs

Paying tribute to over a 1000 years of culture, artisans from L.U.C. Chopard hand-engraved all 12 animal motifs of the Chinese Zodiac on the pink gold midcase, honouring the the milestones of high horology and traditional Chinese arts in one single piece unique. It is the natural culmination of the annual L.U.C. XP Urushi which pays tribute to each Zodiac year, here 12 signs are individually represented using champleve engraving technique where minute cavities are then filled with black patina to accentuate the motifs symbolising the Chinese calendar in chronological order. The bezel and solid gold dial of the L.U.C Perpetual T is also decorated with hand-engraved Chinese iconography, where the black and gold timepiece pays homage to the foundation of Chinese cosmology and belief.

The Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T Spirit of the Chinese zodiac piece unique was made for China in mind but Scheufele believes it’s anyone’s guess who will want it bad enough.  Image: Jonathan Ho

Within runs the chronometer certified L.U.C. Calibre 02.15-L which plays home to Chopard’s finest watchmaking expressions – the perpetual calendar, tourbillon and their innovative Quattro system which ensures one-week (8 days actually) of power reserve.

Everything from movement development, finished product design, gold foundry work, case stamping and machining, movement components, traditional hand engravings and decorations, surface treatments, polishing, assembly, adjustments and quality controls are performed in-house at Chopard’s Meyrin and Fleurier facilities


Movement Hand-wound movement L.U.C 02.15-L with 8 Days Power Reserve
Case 43 mm pink gold, hand engraved case with 30 metres water resistance
Strap Hand-sewn black alligator leather with alligator lining
Price TBC

Fine Barrel: Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru

Even though there’s a preponderance of round watches in the industry, the belief that form watches only have a niche appeal is fundamentally unsound. That Chopard is enriching its range with a form chronometer in the “form” (pardon the pun) of a barrel shaped L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru in 18kt rose gold is case in point (sorry, again) that tonneau shape watches aren’t going anywhere (if they were, why make them?).

L.U.C. watches, named for the founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard, is emblematic of the finest watchmaking skills cultivated by the Chopard manufacture. The ultra-slim, curvaceous L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru is exceedingly elegant  and the Fleurier manufacture’s only tonneau or barrel shape watch wound by an automatic movement.

Fine Barrel (Watch): Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru

‘Grand Cru’ is a term more commonly associated with the classification and certification of wine, to wit – Grand Cru wine. While aged wood barrels inspiring a barrel watch are readily apparent – what’s not immediately understood is that Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-president of Chopard is a distinguished epicurean and passionate lover of not just fine watches but also great wines. Most of us recognise Mr. Scheufele as one of the owners of Chopard but he’s also proprietor of another business venture – Le Caveau de Bacchus, a little network of three wine shops in Geneva, Lausanne and Gstaad (which has since been joined by a Bergerac wine estate) – then the synergy of barrel shaped Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru and its wine barrel muse no longer seems perfunctory but symbolic of the passions of a lifelong fan who has found expression for his two loves in one, exemplary, hallmark “Poinçon de Genève” certified L.U.C. timepiece. Yes, the L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru was conceptualised by the Co-President himself as a way of showing off a great vintage be it wino or heritage pocket watches of the Fleurier manufacture. The latter, represented by the emotionally charged pure white porcelain dial bearing black Roman numerals.

Aesthetically, the gleaming ivory countenance of the dial, dressed with minute track following the central part of the dial and balanced with small seconds at 6 o’clock and topped with gilded Dauphine hands produce sophisticated equilibrium.

It must be said that the Chopard Heritage Grand Cru is not the first L.U.C. tonneau watch, the first was released in 2001, but it is the first tonneau L.U.C.  equipped with an automatic calibre with micro-rotor. The automatic Chopard in-house caliber L.U.C 97.01-L is super-slim 3.3mm thin featuring  a 22kt gold micro-rotor with a power reserve of 65 hours courtesy of Chopard’s patented Twin Technology (two barrels) system.

Bearing the Geneva Seal, the L.U.C 97.01-L with well chamfered Swan neck regulator, finely tuned balance spring with Philips curve. and bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève is everything we’ve come to associate a watch affixed with the respected Poinçon and chronometer-certified to boot.


Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru price and specifications

Case: 38.5mm 18kt rose gold, water resistant to 30 metres
Dial: White porcelain-type dial with black and red transfers, Roman numerals and subsidiary seconds
Movement: Automatic manufacture calibre L.U.C 97.01-L with a power reserve of 65 hours
Strap: hand-sewn brown alligator leather strap with alligator leather lining and an 18kt rose gold pin buckle.
Price: S$31,980

In All Fairness: Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined

Consumerism has its pleasant and not so pleasant sides. Most of us are inclined to think about the experience of luxury at the boutiques and the lasting joy delivered by the products. On the other hand, the time and effort that goes into realising our cherished watches often goes unappreciated. This can be traced all the way back to how the raw materials are sourced.

We would not have gold if not for the miners who risk their lives doing difficult work in a hostile environment. But as with workers in many other industries, their rights and welfare are frequently far from optimal. For this reason, Chopard decided in 2013 to partner with the Alliance for Responsible Mining or ARM, a non-governmental organization in South America. Chopard was the first watch and jewellery company to make this move. Watches with the “Fairmined” designation in the model name attest to the fact that the gold used is obtained in a manner both ethical and responsible to the mining community, as well as the environment.

Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined

The latest timepiece in that noble series is the L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined watch. At first glance, the slate grey dial seems to have a sunray finish, originating from behind the hands. However, upon closer scrutiny, it becomes clear that a gentle radial twist is also at play. This pattern is supposed to resemble gold nuggets at the time they are extracted from the mine. Clever stamping and galvanic treatment contribute to the creation of this characteristic dial.

Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined

Powering this watch is the L.U.C Calibre 96.09-L with a 22K gold micro rotor to wind up the two barrels for a power reserve of 65 hours. The L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined watch is tested and certified on two levels. In addition to the industry standard chronometer certification by COSC, this watch is also Qualité Fleurier certified by the Fleurier Quality Foundation. Twenty samples are submitted to the Chronofiable phase of testing for accelerated aging, as well as wear and tear. All assembled watches are individually tested by the Fleuritest machine, developed specifically for this testing process, in order to imitate the various activity levels of a human person throughout a 24-hour period.

This is a limited edition of 250 pieces and features the first time the Fairmined logo itself is present on the dial.

Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Fairmined Specifications

Movement Self-winding Calibre L.U.C 96.09-L; 65-hour power reserve
Case 40 mm in Fairmined rose gold
Strap Black alligator leather with cognac-toned lining

This article was originally published in WOW.

Standard bearers: A Guide to the Swiss Watch Industry’s Quality Benchmarks


Before ­­the advent of the mobile handheld computer, watches were the primary (or in some cases the only) tools of timekeeping. Ok, also clocks but time became personal long before electricity lifted the world out of darkness. Consumers of the 21st century, by way of contrast, can access the hours, minutes and seconds on nearly all powered devices in their daily lives – while also having a perpetual calendar and chronograph in the mix. Fun fact: there is more computing processing power in your mobile phone than the Apollo 11 astronauts had in their spacecraft.

Obviously, we live in times where watches are bought less for their timekeeping performance and more as a lifestyle accessory or personality enhance. Well, that requires a qualifier so here goes: watches can make you feel better about your standing in life and in society. Still, the precision of timekeeping remains the single most objective aspect for which a timepiece can be judged, as design, shape, colour and size are all subjective. It is worth remembering here that collector Henry Graves Jr (he of the Henry Graves supercomplication from Patek Philippe) was primarily interested in watches with exceptional precision, which in the early 20th century meant observatory-certified watches.

Standard bearers: A Guide to the Swiss Watch Industry’s Quality Benchmarks

The following standards show prominent third party certification bodies serve as a pillar of confidence – and how certain watch brands are doing more internally to guarantee precision.

Typically found on watch dials, the COSC chronometer label sometimes appears in other places, as seen here. Breitling has put it on the rotor of the Superocean Heritage Chronoworks where it reads "Chronographe Certife Chronometre"

Typically found on watch dials, the COSC chronometer label sometimes appears in other places, as seen here. Breitling has put it on the rotor of the Superocean Heritage Chronoworks where it reads “Chronographe Certife Chronometre”

Watch Quality Benchmark 1: COSC CHRONOMETER

The Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute is also referred to as COSC – the shortened form of its French name Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres. COSC serves as an independent institution providing testing and certification services to watch companies. A manufacturer who wishes to market a watch as a chronometer-grade timepiece must first submit the watch’s movement to COSC. At this facility, the movement is tested in five positions and at three temperature levels over a period of 15 days in order to identify the watch’s average daily accuracy. Only movements proven to be accurate within +6/-4 seconds per day are certified. Once returned to the manufacturer, these movements are cased up and the watches powered by them have earned the chronometer designation on the dial.

Geneva Seal or poincon de Geneve on a caseback of Vacheron Constantin watch

Geneva Seal or poincon de Geneve on a caseback of Vacheron Constantin watch

Watch Quality Benchmark 2: POINÇON DE GENÈVE

More casually referred to as the Geneva Seal, this standard scrutinises and certifies movements on three levels: provenance, craftsmanship and reliability. Provenance is a key emphasis here. Only movements assembled in Geneva can be certified; after all, the seal was established by the State of Geneva as a guarantee of Genevan watchmaking excellence.

According to the certification criteria, movements submitted to the testing body will be gauged for an accuracy level of +1/-1 minute per week. Functions such as chronograph, calendar and repeater are tested to ensure operational functionality. The power reserve must also be correct as per the specification claimed by the manufacturer. While the above qualities are intangible, the craftsmanship is not. All plates and bridges must be chamfered and polished by straight or circular graining such that all machining marks are removed. For this reason, a Geneva Seal watch is invariably well finished. Today, only a handful of brands can boast the seal in the form of an engraving on a movement bridge or the caseback.

The Qualite Fleurier mark on a Chopard LUC

The Qualite Fleurier mark on a Chopard LUC

Watch Quality Benchmark 3: QUALITÉ FLEURIER

The Fleurier Quality standard was officially launched in 2004. It marks a joint project by Bovet Fleurier, Chopard, Parmigiani Fleurier and Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier. Taking the form of a foundation, the standard involves local governmental authority with auditing by a third party in the private sector. At the beginning of a lengthy process is the regular COSC chronometer certification. The movements are then subject to accelerated ageing and shock under what is called the Chronofiable Test. Subsequently, movements having passed the aesthetic quality criteria are cased and placed in a purpose-built Fleuritest machine for a period of 24 hours to simulate real-life wear, with alternation between more and less active periods. The required accuracy goal is +5/-0 seconds per day.

Although the foundation is located in Fleurier, the certification is technically open to watches from any other town in Switzerland, provided that the case, dial and movement are Swiss made.

Cyclotest machine at the Jaeger-LeCoultre facility

Cyclotest machine at the Jaeger-LeCoultre facility

Watch Quality Benchmark 4: JAEGER-LECOULTRE MASTER 1000 HOURS

Despite the respect earned from watch enthusiasts around the world, Jaeger-LeCoultre found it necessary to provide such customers with concrete assurances, resulting in the establishment of the Master 1000 Hours programme of rigorous testing. Assembled watches are put in a machine, which move and subject them to small shocks, not unlike when the watches are worn, to ensure that the watch components are firmly in place and to test the tension of the mainspring. The next tests concern balance spring adjustment, power reserve and reaction to Swiss room temperature (22°C), a lower temperature (4°C) and a higher temperature (40°C).

Test watches are then left on the cyclotest machine for three weeks to simulate wrist movements, both in motion and in repose. The entire test period of 1,000 hours is sufficient to serve as the run-in period. A technical glitch, if any, should manifest already and can be corrected while at the manufacture. And as a result, customer dissatisfaction is minimised.

Montblanc Laboratory Test 500 - here, testing water resistance

Montblanc Laboratory Test 500 – here, testing water resistance

Watch Quality Benchmark 5: MONTBLANC LABORATORY TEST 500

Having made a name with products other than watches, Montblanc had quite the task convincing traditional brand-conscious buyers of their watches’ technical virtues. One of the means used is the introduction of the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500. This comprehensive test program in a dedicated laboratory sees that each Montblanc watch to be released from the manufacture in Le Locle meets strict quality criteria, such that it can offer as long a service life as expected by the buyer.

Several procedures are carried out during the 500 hours of the test. For the first four hours, cased watches are tested for assembly quality and winding performance. This is followed by 80 hours of continuous accuracy control, 336 hours of functions control and 80 hours of general performance testing. In this process, daily wear and various environmental conditions are simulated by machines. The final test is two hours immersion in water to ensure perfect resistance.

At the METAS facility within Omega's HQ, an automated system alters positions of the watches and move them from one temperature zone to another.

At the METAS facility within Omega’s HQ, an automated system alters positions of the watches and move them from one temperature zone to another.

A photograph is taken for comparison with one from before the test process in order to determine the level of accuracy.

A photograph is taken for comparison with one from before the test process in order to determine the level of accuracy.

Watch Quality Benchmark 6: MASTER CHRONOMETER

This last example of in-house control comes with governmental oversight. Going beyond the regular chronometer certification, Omega has developed the Master Chronometer standard in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) as the next level of timekeeping performance.

First, COSC-certified movements are cased-up for a series of tests. Chronometric accuracy of the watches is monitored for a period of 24 hours after they have been exposed to a magnetic field of 15,000 gauss. Following demagnetisation, a machine the size of a (small) room arranges watches in six positions in two alternating temperature zones. Accuracy is rechecked at the end of the 4-day period to arrive at a daily average. Deviation in accuracy between when the watch has 100% and 33% power reserve is determined as well. A test watch must be accurate to +5/-0 seconds per day in order to be certified.

Everything is done under Omega’s roof at the firm’s facility in Biel but a room is allocated to METAS so their personnel can audit the watch company’s test results using their own equipment. This is why the certification is official and the red certificate card can bear the METAS emblem with Swiss national flag on it.

More brands are diligently working in the area of quality control. With competition being more intensive, everyone is fuelled by the need to offer added value, which is always beneficial to end users. At the close of the day, it is realistic to remember that mechanical watches do not stay accurate forever. Their performance theoretically can be affected by the knocks and bumps from everyday usage, as well as from their natural service life. This is why reasonable care should be used when wearing and handling your watches, and why you should have them serviced at the interval suggested by their respective manufacturers.

Mille Miglia 2017: Celebrating 90 years of racing with official timekeeper Chopard

©Alexandra Pauli for Chopard

Mille Miglia recently celebrated its 90th anniversary running, along with official timekeeper Chopard. The event is one of the world’s largest races between collectible classic cars, and opened to competing cars from the great race between 1927 and 1957. From May 18 to 21, the annual event saw teams compete against one another on the historic thousand-mile route. Running from Bresvia via Padova to Rome and back via Tuscany, the legendary classic car event welcomed 440 teams in this year’s race. As part of the celebrations, Chopard also unveiled three new watch models: Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition, Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition and Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph.

The Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition is the most exclusive in the new collection. Inspired by the timelessness and elegance of the race, it encompasses a 46mm-diameter, 13mm-thick rose gold case. With intricate piston-inspired chronograph pushers, the watch pays homage to the vintage cars. The sportier counterpart Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, with the machinery visible through the sapphire crystal case-back. Lastly, the limited edition Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition is a stunning timepiece that mixes vintage elements with modern influence. Boasting an engine-turned dial finish along with vintage car dashboard inspired counters; only 1100 of these are available on the market. A thousand pieces will be dressed in steel, while a hundred pieces will be available in a steel and 18-carat rose gold mix. Not to mention, this 44 mm-diameter timepiece is also water resistant to 100 metres.

Upon witnessing the flag off, Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele commented on how “It’s amazing how passionate the Mille Miglia followers are. They are here for the cars every year. It’s so unique.”

© Magali Girardin/ Chopard.

To commemorate their 30-year partnership, Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele participated in the race alongside French pilot Romain Dumas in a Porsche 550A Spyder RS, on loan from the Porsche Museum. This year’s winning team comprised of Andrea Vesco and Andrea Guerini. They clinched first place in a 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Zagato. Second place went to Luca Patron and Massimo Casale on a O.M 665 Superba Sport 2000 CC. Rounding up the podium was Stefania Biacca and Giordano Mozzi in their Alfa Romeo 1500 Gran Sport.

The close ties between Chopard and the Mille Miglia stem from a now inseparable shared history. The initial connection was born from a personal passion for classic cars nurtured by Scheufele. Under his leadership, Chopard became the main sponsor of the Mille Miglia in 1988 and one of the first brands to associate its name with the automobile world. Scheufele states,“Lovers of fine cars often have a great weakness for precious timepieces and vice versa. Extreme precision and sporting elegance are important in both these fields.”

For more information, do visit Chopard and Mille Miglia.






Cannes Film Festival 2017: 70 year festival celebrated by Chopard Red Carpet Collection

Leading up to the Cannes Film Festival, Chopard — the festival’s official jeweler — presents us with its annual Red Carpet Collection. To honour the festival’s 70th anniversary and the 20th edition of their partnership, Chopard once again pushes beyond the boundaries of haute joaillerie.

Every year Chopard matches the number of pieces in the collection to the edition of the festival — this year being 70. Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and Creative Director of Chopard as well as the brains behind the iconic Palme d’Or in 1998 brings stunning pieces to life with cutting-edge techniques. This year, a diamond set edition of the Palme d’Or will be unveiled to celebrate the festival’s 70th anniversary.

Jewelry happens to be one of the most eye-catching elements that sets our heart aflutter on every red carpet. For this Red Carpet edition, Chopard offers a modern take on their signature mix of vibrant colours, signifying their infinite creativity and passion for jewelry. The collection includes a pair of sparkling white gold and titanium earrings. Pear-shaped topazes, amethysts, sapphires, Paraiba tourmalines and tsavorites blend together to create a mesmerising paisley pattern. Focusing on elegance, Chopard’s classic chandelier earrings are topped with teardrop shaped rubies — a sensual addition that cleverly matches the red carpet.

Other than the usual diamonds, sapphire seems to be a big trend for the brand this year, with several necklaces sporting the precious gem. The most striking of the lot is a 18 carat gold-white necklace composed of tanzanite beads. Set with diamonds and sapphires, the center of attraction is an impressive pear-shaped tanzanite. This rounds up to an astonishing 937 carats in total, making it one of the most distinct pieces in the collection.

This year’s arm candies are doused in cooler hues: blues, pinks and violets. Nestled in the heart of one is a spellbinding opal reminiscent of the Chopard Fleur d’ Opales collection. Sporting swirls and spirals akin to baroque patterns, these bracelets add another layer of glamour.

Rounding up the collection are a kaleidoscope of dazzling rings. Feast your eyes on the beautiful heart-shaped rubelite in the centre, circled with an array of amethysts and tsavorites.

The Cannes Film Festival 2017 will commence on May 17, marking the start of 12 days of screenings and celebration of the event’s 70th year running. For more information, do visit Chopard and Festival de Cannes.

Luxury watchmakers from Switzerland: Interview with Co-President of Chopard, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, on the essence of watchmaking

The watch that started it all — Chopard’s L.U.C 1860.

The watch that started it all Chopard’s L.U.C 1860.

It is almost too easy to be envious of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. As one of Chopard’s two co-presidents alongside his sister Caroline, he manages a group that’s vertically integrated to the extent of virtual self-sufficiency, while being wholly family owned and free from any shareholder influence or pressure. Thus, he has the freedom and ability to pursue his interests, and the man is very specific about what he likes.

Chopard’s Classic Racing collection, for instance, was borne out of Scheufele’s love for classic cars and their associated races, some of which he participates in personally. The brand’s involvement in this universe extends to sponsorships for specific events, as well as the Porsche Motorsport team. Ferdinand Berthoud is another example, as the latest addition to the Chopard group, it began as a passion project and only debuted its first watch, a time-only chronometer with a tourbillon escapement, in 2015. In many ways, Scheufele is a holdover from an earlier era when owners, guided by their personal interests, had a direct hand in and heavy influence on the activities of their companies. With Chopard entering its third decade of reestablishment as a manufacture, this does not look set to change, and the brand is all the better for it.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of the Chopard Group and President of la Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of the Chopard Group and President of la Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud.

It is the 20th anniversary of Chopard’s manufacture. Looking back, what were some of its biggest milestones?

The first was of course 1996, when we began to re-establish the manufacture and reacquire the knowledge and know-how of producing watch movements in-house. That really developed the commercial possibilities for the group, and we started to be recognised as a serious watchmaker again. We presented our integrated chronograph 10 years later, so that was another milestone. We unveiled the L.U.C Full Strike, our first minute repeater, this year, and this was another highlight because with it, we have more or less covered the full spectrum of complications. It is almost like we’ve cleared the tests that a manufacture needs to pass in order to be recognised as one.

Was there any single factor that drove your decision to re-establish the manufacture?

It was all about credibility in the beginning to be recognised as a manufacture. Later on, independence became as important a consideration, which prompted me to work on vertical integration.

The point about credibility is an interesting one, because the term “in-house” has become somewhat diluted in recent years.

Oh yes, I agree. The French term “manufacture” has been diluted a lot, because it is used too easily nowadays, although we really do live the part. There are many brands that claim to but don’t, because it is a bandwagon that everybody wants to get on.

L.U.C Chrono One, Chopard’s first in-house integrated chronograph.

L.U.C Chrono One, Chopard’s first in-house integrated chronograph.

What do you consider necessary for a brand to possess, before it can call itself a manufacture?

It is about mastering the different stages of production, from conceptualising a calibre, to prototyping, to the production of essential movement parts such as baseplates and hairsprings. Then, there is assembly, and quality control. In my opinion, a brand’s movements must also reach certain levels of precision and finissage quality. We’ve started reacquiring this capability in 1996, and finally declared ourselves fully integrated in 2006.

This organic growth took you a very long time, compared to brands that chose to acquire assets like production facilities and watchmakers.

Yes. Our choice was to start with a blank slate, partly because there wasn’t anything suitable for us to acquire then. Maybe it is also because I prefer to take the harder route.

You highlighted the integrated chronograph as one of Chopard’s milestones. Several other brands that we’ve spoken to also consider their integrated chronographs to be significant, instead of a high complication like a perpetual calendar, or even a tourbillon. Why?

With the tourbillon, for example, the real complexity is limited to just the parts that are linked to the tourbillon mechanism, while the rest of the movement is relatively easier to design. An integrated chronograph has many parts interacting with each other the moment you actuate the pusher, you start off a chain of events that affect various parts of the movement. Because there is so much to consider, and because everything has to be adjusted to work together and run smoothly, it is more indicative of a manufacture’s capabilities.

L.U.C Full Strike, released to mark the 20th anniversary of the manufacture’s re-establishment.

L.U.C Full Strike, released to mark the 20th anniversary of the manufacture’s re-establishment.

Has Chopard crossed the finishing line with its release of the L.U.C Full Strike?

Oh no, there are many different areas that we want to explore, including high frequency movements and complications. There is also general R&D work to improve our watches’ precision, service intervals, and even aftersales service.

How did the idea to use crystal gongs in the L.U.C Full Strike come about?

It is like every L.U.C watch that we’ve presented so far. In our first L.U.C movement, for example, we didn’t just want a calibre with a micro-rotor it needed to have additional value, which took the form of bidirectional winding and a stacked, two-barrel configuration. Every other L.U.C movement also offers a little extra bit of innovation. For the minute repeater, we worked on adding to what has already been achieved so far. The idea was to make a minute repeater that can be shared if a group is sitting around a table, everyone should be able to hear it. At the same time, it must have a good sound; I’m an audiophile, and I wanted the minute repeater to be like a good Hi-Fi system that offers the same playback quality independent of its volume. We settled on the idea of using sapphire crystal as the sound had to escape from somewhere, and it is the watch crystal anyway. What had previously been done was to connect the crystal to the gongs, but there was never an integrated system. The challenge for us was to construct the gongs and crystal as a single structure.

Chopard Manufacture, Fleurier

Chopard Manufacture, Fleurier

It looks like you’re still very personally involved in the watches’ developments.

Let’s put it this way, if I could delegate everything else and just do what I want to, this is precisely it.

The industry has many standards now, from COSC to region-specific ones like Poinçon de Genève, to in-house ones like Superlative Chronometer. Do you think the watch industry will benefit from having a single overarching standard?

It will probably benefit consumers, because a single standard is easier to understand. I don’t think this will happen though, because the industry’s players like to develop their own standards. Some companies want to do it in-house, because they can. That’s fine, but if you look at bookkeeping, the practice is to have external auditors. Similarly, I prefer third-party certification such as COSC, because we cannot influence anything, so it is the most objective way to judge if our movements are performing well. In any case, there is no right or wrong answer it is a philosophical question.

What about minute repeaters? Should a standard be developed for it?

I think this is one of the few areas of watchmaking that really comes down to preference. Acoustics and the perception of sound are very personal matters.

Watches undergoing Chronofiable testing, as part of Qualité Fleurier’s certification procedures.

Watches undergoing Chronofiable testing, as part of Qualité Fleurier’s certification procedures.

But surely some aspects can be quantified, such as the cadence, or the gap between the hours and the minutes should there be no quarters to strike.

Our idea was to have a short gap, but I’ve heard from someone who prefers to have a longer period of silence. At the end of the day, there will be some who prefer our minute repeater’s chimes, and others who will prefer another brand’s. You can tell me that you prefer Chateau Haut-Brion 1961 to Romanee-Conti 1995. I will say both are top quality wines it is just that you prefer Bordeaux, while I prefer Burgundy.

Who, then, was the final arbiter of how the chimes of the L.U.C Full Strike would sound?

It was a group decision. Minute repeaters are rare animals, so we didn’t have the chance to listen to every possible one before starting the project. However, as the project progressed, I was able to listen to more examples of them in the course of my travels. Thankfully, these opportunities only reassured me that our project was on the right track.

Why did you start Ferdinand Berthoud as a new brand instead of just integrating it as a new collection under Chopard?

I think that Chopard already has so many facets, and it is difficult to communicate them all. In fact, rather than adding a new collection, Chopard ought to focus on just a few of its existing ones. We didn’t go out there with the intention of adding another brand to the group anyway. It was almost a coincidence that I came across the Berthoud name and learned about his work. Here was an opportunity with a really interesting watchmaker whose work was worth reviving, and it led to a passion project. This was why I started Ferdinand Berthoud, not because we were looking for a reason to increase sales.

A pocket watch originally made by Ferdinand Berthoud.

A pocket watch originally made by Ferdinand Berthoud.

With Ferdinand Berthoud, you don’t seem concerned with releasing novelties every year.

Well, I completely disapprove of the recent race to present novelties continuously, because serious watch collectors just cannot follow this tempo any more. We’re not in the fashion industry, and do not have the same approach.

What kind of pace would you like to see then?

I’d like to see a more organic, natural cadence, where brands launch new products when they are genuinely ready to. In recent years, I’ve been getting the feeling that products are being launched too early, before they are fully developed, just to satisfy the need for communication, or for the brand to be talked about and remain visible. It just isn’t in the long-term interest of the brand or industry.

In a way, this has been the result of shorter attention spans.

Yes, that is true, but put yourself in the shoes of a potential Ferdinand Berthoud buyer who’s considering whether to spend such a large sum of money. If he does, and if we were to launch the FB 2 next year, he may think, “Oh, I should have waited.” It becomes very difficult to make a decision in such circumstances. The last new Porsche that I bought was the 1997 model of the 911, because it was the final one with an air-cooled engine, and the last 911 that corresponds to exactly what I think that car is all about. Of course, there are people who will buy the latest Ferrari every few years and get rid of the previous one, but I’m not that type of person. It is a different type of buying behaviour, and I think that the Ferdinand Berthoud client is someone who will consider his acquisitions seriously like I do, and we should afford him the time to do so.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1, which draws its movement and design elements from marine chronometers of yore.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1, which draws its movement and design elements from marine chronometers of yore.

Unfortunately, companies do have shareholders to answer to, which leads to such a pace of product development and release.

But that is, unfortunately, not necessarily compatible with the essence of watchmaking.

This article was originally published in WOW #43 (Festive 2016) issue.

VACHERON CONSTANTIN Overseas Small Model in pink gold; TORY BURCH Trocadero wrap dress

Tiara Shaw shows us how to accessorise for every occasion

A popular fixture in the local society scene, Tiara Shaw is much more than the charismatic other half of Shaw Organisation executive vice-president Mark Shaw. The mother of one currently splits her time working in real estate as a Savills Residential sales director, jetting around the world, attending film festivals and business trips with her husband, and managing her start-up boutique wellness-travel portal, Om & Away. Sassy and chic, Tiara shows us her flair in clever accessorising for any occasion about town.

Big on Bulgaribulgari-serpenti

BVLGARI Serpenti tubogas pink gold necklace and earrings with pavé-set diamond scales; BOTTEGA VENETA lurex and wool jacket and pants, soft lurex bra, lurex and viscose scarf, Tippie Mary Jane pumps

Statement Maker
The intense and vibrant deep green beauty of the emerald makes it one of my favourite gemstones

The intense and vibrant deep green beauty of the emerald makes it one of my favourite gemstones

CHOPARD Red Carpet collection necklace with a 95.89-carat heart-shaped emerald and 61.4 carats of diamonds, High Jewellery earclips with 8.96 and 7.5 carats of pear-shaped diamonds on each side surrounded by more diamonds, High Jewellery solitaire ring with a 14.36-carat D-colour, Internally Flawless marquise-cut diamond surrounded by more diamonds; MIU MIU velluto coat, cashmere vest

Chromatic Queencartier-galanterie-de-cartier

CARTIER Galanterie de
Cartier white gold earrings, ring with black lacquer and diamonds, Galanterie de Cartier white gold necklace and bracelet with black lacquer, onyx, and diamonds, Love white gold bracelet with ceramic and diamonds; BOTTEGA VENETA silk organdy dress with paillettes and Swarovski embroidery

Respect for Heritagepatek-philippe

PATEK PHILIPPE Ladies’ Annual Calendar Ref. 4948G in white gold with mother-of-pearl dial; DKNY notched collar fitted jacket

Very Versatilevan-cleef-arpels

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Bouton d’or pink gold necklace with diamonds, white mother-of-pearl, and carnelian, Perlée pink gold and diamonds ear studs, Perlée Couleurs pink gold between-the-finger ring with diamonds and carnelian; TORY BURCH Trocadero wrap dress

Winter Stylejaeger-lecoultre

JAEGER-LECOULTRE Reverso Classic Medium Duetto Ivy Red watch in pink gold with diamonds; CHAUMET Liens white gold necklace with an oval-cut ruby and diamonds, Joséphine Aube Printanière platinum ring with a pear-shaped ruby and diamonds; CH CAROLINA HERRERA wool coat and wool dress

Casual Elegancetiffany-co

TIFFANY & CO. Schlumberger Rope yellow gold and platinum two-row hoop earrings with diamonds, Schlumberger Rope yellow gold three-row X ring, Tiffany T yellow gold hinged wrap-bracelet with diamonds, Tiffany T yellow gold square bracelet; MONTBLANC Bohème Perpetual Calendar jewellery watch; CH CAROLINA HERRERA wool dress.


Text by Yanni Tan
Photography Assistance Alfred Phang
Styling Assistance Joey Tan
Studio Assistance Stills Network Team
Hair Sha Shamsi/Indigo Artisans, using L’Oréal Professional
Makeup Cheryl Ow/Indigo Artisans, using Parfums Christian Dior

Tiffany & Co. Masterpieces 2016 Prism pendant necklace in platinum with 
tsavorite garnets and diamonds

13 Birthstones: Benefits of precious gems and where to find them

Add text.

Chanel Fine Jewellery Les Éternelles de Chanel Signature Garnet secret watch in white gold with a 39.9-carat cushion-cut red garnet, yellow sapphires, orange sapphires, spessartite garnets, and diamonds.

Chanel Fine Jewellery Les Éternelles de Chanel Signature Garnet secret watch in white gold with a 39.9-carat cushion-cut red garnet, yellow sapphires, orange sapphires, spessartite garnets, and diamonds. It is a unique piece equipped with a quartz movement


Signifying eternal friendship and trust, the name garnet is derived from the Latin word “granatum”, which refers to the red seeds of the pomegranate. Apart from the red varieties, which were among the most ancient of healing talismans, garnet also comes in other colour types, the key ones being the orange-yellow spessartite and the bright green tsavorite.

Bvlgari Magnificent Inspirations Extravaganza necklace

Bvlgari Magnificent Inspirations Extravaganza necklace in pink gold with 12 sassi-cut amethysts totalling 344.25 carats, South Sea cultured pearls, emeralds, 
amethysts, spinels, and diamonds


Historically coveted by European royalty by virtue of its intoxicating purple and rarity then, the ever-popular amethyst was also used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to keep the wearer sober, sharp, and restraint. In fact, its name derives from the Greek word “amethystos”, which means “not drunken”.

Tiffany & Co. Blue Book collection Water Colours three-strand necklace

Tiffany & Co. Blue Book collection Water Colours three-strand necklace in platinum with 
a 52.80-carat cushion-cut aquamarine, tanzanites, green tourmalines, aquamarines, 
and diamonds


Named for the Latin phrase “water of the sea”, the ethereal aquamarine was believed by the ancients to be the treasure of the mermaids, and by sailors as a talisman for protection and safe passage over water. The gem was also used to dispel gossip, and imbue the owner with a sense of
calm and confidence.

Cartier Magicien Illumination bracelet in white gold with one 31.16-carat D-colour, internally flawless emerald-cut diamond

Cartier Magicien Illumination bracelet in white gold with one 31.16-carat D-colour, internally flawless emerald-cut diamond, other diamonds in various cuts, and carved rock crystal.
The main diamond can be worn on a ring or replaced by a pavé diamond motif


Adopted from the Greek work “adamas”, meaning “invincible”, diamond is symbolic of eternal love and strength today. The gem was referenced in Sanskrit texts as early as 400BC, and since antiquity, believed by various cultures to possess powers that range from therapy and healing, energy-boosting, to imparting balance and clarity of thought.

Van Cleef & Arpels Émeraude en Majesté Grand Opus transformable necklace

Van Cleef & Arpels Émeraude en Majesté Grand Opus transformable necklace in white gold with three old-mine Colombian emeralds (two are shown here) totalling 127.88 carats, diamonds, and white cultured pearls


Emerald was a holy gemstone for many early civilisations, including the Egyptians and South Americans, and also revered by ancient royalty spanning the Greeks to Indians. A symbol of renewal and growth, the gem is believed to grant the owner youth, vision, and wisdom. Its name was derived from the Greek word “smaragdus”, for green.

Chaumet La Nature de Chaumet Le Chêne Racines Célestes transformable necklace

Chaumet La Nature de Chaumet Le Chêne Racines Célestes transformable necklace in white gold with an oval-cut pink spinel, cultured freshwater pearls, spinels, pink sapphires, and diamonds. This is the short version of the original long necklace that has a total of seven pink and violet spinels weighing 10.94, 8.40, 6.81, 6.80, 6.53, 5.29, and 1.87 carats


Probably the first gem discovered by mankind to be used for adornment, pearl boasts a long and interesting legacy of mythical importance in countless civilisations, including the Romans and Tudors. Its natural form, colour, and radiance endowed it with a celestial quality, and it has become symbolic of innocence, purity, and virtue in modern history.

Chopard Red Carpet collection High Jewellery Necklace

Chopard Red Carpet collection High Jewellery Necklace with 33 cushion-shaped rubies 
totalling 64.12 carats, diamonds, and rubies of various cuts


Symbolising passion, vitality, and wealth, the blood-red ruby was so fascinating and visceral in appeal to historical nobility, from Kublai Khan to the Indian maharajahs, that their obsession with it was the stuff of legends. Named from the Latin word “ruber” for “red”, the legendary gem is one of the oldest associated with royalty, and remains sought-after to this day.

Chanel Fine Jewellery Les Blés de Chanel Brins de Printemps earrings

Chanel Fine Jewellery Les Blés de Chanel Brins de Printemps earrings in white gold with 
two marquise-cut peridots totalling 10.4 carats, other peridots, green tourmalines, aquamarines, and diamonds


Called chrysolite in early writings, peridot was believed to wield powers against nightmares and the dark forces, and bring the wearer influence and success. Named from the Arabic word “faridat” for “gem”, it is the national gemstone of Egypt as it was first discovered nearly 4,000 years ago on an Egypt-owned island in the Red Sea, where stones were mined for the kings.

Cartier Magicien Incantation necklace

Cartier Magicien Incantation necklace in platinum with one 22.84-carat cushion-cut
Sri Lankan blue sapphire and diamonds. The necklace can be worn inverted along 
its radius and the sapphire may be fitted onto a ring


The sky blue colour of sapphire endowed it with a divine quality, and naturally, it became a royal gem for many cultures tracing back to the Middle Ages. Since then, it has been associated with numerous virtues that range from devotion and loyalty, to wisdom, justice, and prophecy. Its name has roots in Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit, meaning “blue stone”.

Louis Vuitton Blossom High Jewellery ring in white gold with a 2.9-carat indicolite tourmaline set onto a 5.05-carat petal-shaped opal along with diamonds

Louis Vuitton Blossom High Jewellery ring in white gold with a 2.9-carat indicolite tourmaline set onto a 5.05-carat petal-shaped opal along with diamonds


Referring to its play-of-colour property, opal’s name was derived from the Greek word “opallos”, which means “to see a change of colour”. Its stunning visual quality led it to become a talisman for strengthening both one’s eyesight and higher consciousness.

Boucheron 26 Vendôme Passementerie necklace in pink and white gold with one 2.02-carat oval cabochon pink tourmaline, five rubellites totalling 35.53 carats, spessartite garnets, multi-cut pink tourmalines, multi-colour sapphires, diamonds, and a rock crystal

Boucheron 26 Vendôme Passementerie necklace in pink and white gold with one 2.02-carat oval cabochon pink tourmaline, five rubellites totalling 35.53 carats, spessartite garnets, multi-cut pink tourmalines, multi-colour sapphires, diamonds, and a rock crystal


Also a birthstone for October, tourmaline is historically associated with matters of the heart, and stands for humanitarian love and positivity. The gem’s name, born of the old Sinhalese word “turmali” for “mixed colours”, reflects its many attractive colour varieties.

Chanel Fine Jewellery Sous le Signe du Lion Solaire brooch in white gold with with a 123.5-carat carved yellow citrine, a 7.8-carat cushion-cut orange topaz, 
diamonds, and yellow sapphires

Chanel Fine Jewellery Sous le Signe du Lion Solaire brooch in white gold with
with a 123.5-carat carved yellow citrine, a 7.8-carat cushion-cut orange topaz, 
diamonds, and yellow sapphires

Topaz & Citrine

A gemstone with many colour varieties, topaz was prized in antiquity, with the opulent orangey-pink stone hailed as the imperial topaz by the Russian tsars. It is supposed to possess a warm and gentle solar energy, and helps to soothe, stimulate, and recharge the owner. Because the yellow-orange topaz was historically thought to be the same as citrine, the latter has also come to be known as November’s birthstone too. Regarded as the “healing quartz”, it is believed to have a healthful, encouraging influence.

Bulgari Magnificent Inspirations Fiore ingenuo High Jewellery necklace in white gold 
with carved turquoise inserts, one 9.39-carat trillion-cut tanzanite, diamonds, 
moonstones, and blue sapphires

Bulgari Magnificent Inspirations Fiore ingenuo High Jewellery necklace in white gold 
with carved turquoise inserts, one 9.39-carat trillion-cut tanzanite, diamonds, 
moonstones, and blue sapphires


Another gem that pre-dates written history is turquoise, which was revered as an ornamental and ceremonial stone, especially in ancient Persian, Egyptian, and American civilisations. Its name came from the French expression “pierre tourques”, meaning “Turkish stone”, as it was first traded from Persia through Turkey to Europe in the 17th century.

Text by Yanni Tan

This article was first published in WOW.

Happy Diamonds Watches

Chopard Happy Diamonds: Interview with Caroline Scheufele about the collection

For an aesthetic that is still fresh and beloved today, it is pretty hard to believe that Chopard’s Happy Diamonds collection has just turned 40 years old. Indeed a sight to behold, the maison’s concept of sparkling, free-moving diamonds exudes an inexplicable sense of joy that has continued to captivate and surprise throughout an impressive four decades.

Chopard Happy Spirit Pendants

Happy Spirit Pendants

This delightful quality belies the design’s sheer originality and unconventionality that remains unsurpassed until today. Copied or referenced umpteenth times, the Happy Diamonds concept has been written into Chopard’s historical legacy as one of its chief creative triumphs and an instrumental part of its wide-ranging design lexicon.

Born in 1976, the concept was the brainchild of Chopard’s in-house designer  Ronald Kurowski, who got the inspiration from watching how sunbeams danced across a waterfall during a walk in the Black Forest. Seeking to reproduce the magic of water droplets sparkling under the sunlight with rainbow colours, he dreamt up the concept of leaving diamonds free to float and whirl between two slices of sapphire crystals.

Chopard Happy Diamonds

First Happy Diamonds watches from 1976

Each diamond was encased in a gold capsule with a bevelled base, allowing the stones to move in any direction, spinning and twirling as they go.

For those who associate Happy Diamonds with feminine creations, it must be astonishing for them to learn that the concept was originally meant for a men’s timepiece. When Chopard stalwart Karin Scheufele saw the first completed Happy Diamonds watch, she exclaimed, “These diamonds are happiest when they are free!” – and thus the collection was named.

Since winning the prestigious Golden Rose of Baden-Baden the same year Happy Diamonds made its debut, the concept has gone on to evolve into a complete watch and jewellery collection, largely thanks to the efforts of Karin Scheufele’s daughter Caroline Scheufele.

Chopard Happy Fish Watch

Happy Fish Watch

The current Chopard co-president and artistic director, Caroline Scheufele was just a teen when she set her eyes on the Happy Diamonds watch. “Being able to see the design and the inspiration come together to be produced into a timepiece was overwhelming and exciting, because the concept of having the diamonds dance between two sapphire crystals was new and refreshing,” she says.

Happy Diamonds Collections over the years

Happy Diamonds Collections over the years

The main person responsible for subsequent expressions of the original concept in jewellery and watch designs that became so warmly embraced worldwide, Scheufele created her first Happy Diamonds piece in the form of a clown with a tummy full of moving diamonds and colourful stones.

The success of this jewellery creation, initially produced as a one-off model for her own personal collection, led to the launch of the Happy Diamonds jewellery line in 1985, marking the beginning of jewellery-making at Chopard. The clown was followed by the elephant, the ladybird, the teddy bear, and of course, Scheufele’s much-cherished heart.

The later Happy Diamonds lines include Happy Sport, Happy Fish, Happy Spirit, Very Chopard, Happy 8, Happy Emotions, Happy Diamonds Good Luck Charms, and Happy Hearts.

Happy Clown Family

Happy Clown Family

This year, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the design, Chopard has launched an unprecedented innovation: a new prong setting for the free-roaming diamonds, which allows the stones to be larger than before, in a variety of sizes. They are featured in a romantic new jewellery collection, named Happy Dreams, that is reminiscent of fluffy clouds in the sky. The watchmaking department also presented a new ladies’ Happy Diamonds Icon watch that pays tribute to Chopard’s heritage by picking up the cushion shape of the very first model.

Recently in town for a VIP event, Scheufele shares her thoughts on her role in the evolution of Happy Diamonds, and the secrets behind its  remarkable success.

Caroline Scheufele

Caroline Scheufele

You’d initially sketched the Happy Diamonds into a clown. What inspired you to do that?

I have always loved the circus and watching the artistes, acrobats, animals, and clowns, especially the clowns because they make people happy. I created my first-ever design when I was 16, and it was a little clown with diamonds and precious stones moving in his belly. My dad saw the design and he had it made in our workshops as a surprise gift for Christmas. Some of our clients saw it and ordered it, and that sparked off the start of the jewellery at Chopard, because before this, we had no jewellery collection, only watches.

It seems that your creative involvement at Chopard began in your youth.

I love drawing and I have been designing since I was a young girl. I grew up in this family-owned company, and so I’ve been immersed in this creative state of mind from a very early age.

Personally, how much do you identify with the concept?

I would define myself as a free-spirited person.

Chopard Happy Curves Rings

Happy Curves Rings

Why do you think the Happy Diamonds concept is such a success and still evergreen in appeal over four decades?

It is such a unique concept that has become an icon, the DNA of the collection. Now the concept is recognisable whether it is expressed in the classic Happy Diamonds line of watches or jewellery, or Happy Sport watches. It is fun and makes people smile. We also keep proposing new designs for Happy Diamonds to our clients, with the latest being Happy Dreams.

What are your first thoughts when you unexpectedly see someone wearing a Happy Diamonds creation?

Happy! I am definitely elated to see someone wearing our Happy Diamonds collection, not only because the person is wearing my own creation, but also because it honours the hard work by the team, the skills of the artisans, the watchmakers’ knowledge, and the whole story behind it.

Talking about the new prong setting for your 40th anniversary collection, please take us through why it was conceived or necessary for the execution of the designs.

We decided to introduce a new prong setting for the 40th anniversary of Happy Diamonds so that the diamonds sparkle even more in their free and playful space, intensifying a wonderful spectrum of light as they spin.

How did you come up with the Happy Dreams idea?

I love clouds, their fluffiness, and the sky. It makes me feel peaceful and happy… I think many share this feeling.

Chopard Happy Hearts Bangles

Happy Hearts Bangles

Do you have a favourite Happy Diamonds watch or jewellery item that you always wear?

I don’t have a favourite one, and often it is my latest creation that becomes my favourite of the moment. These days, I usually wear the Happy Hearts collection – two sautoirs and lots of bangles that I love to stack. In terms of watches, I have a crush on the new Happy Diamonds Icon watch, with a square shape, which I wear all the time.

Do you think there is a type of personality suitable for Happy Diamonds, or there is a Happy Diamonds creation suitable for every type of personality?

This collection is very versatile and appeals to different personalities, styles, and ages,  which is what makes it so special.

What are you dreaming of creating next for the Happy Diamonds range?

That is a surprise for now! You will have to stay tuned for the launch of the new collections next year!

This article was first published in WOW.

Steely Resolve: Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin

The L.U. Chopard insignia may be subtle and simple, even unremarkable, but what it stands for is the complete opposite. This collection of timepieces is in fact Chopard’s most technically accomplished, most horologically beautiful. It is, after all, named after the company founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard. At its Fleurier and Geneva manufactures, Chopard carries out all the operations involved in watch production: movement construction, product design, gold smelting, case stamping and machining, movement components, traditional handcrafted decorations, surface treatments, polishing, assembly, adjustment, and quality control.

New to the L.U. Chopard line is the L.U.C Perpetual Twin (covered very briefly al BaselWorld). As its name suggests, this timepiece proffers the perpetual calendar complication, which displays the exact date in perpetuity. Day, date, month, and leap year indications are all clearly shown via two sub-dials marked in black, one each for the day and month, as well as a small black circular indicator for the leap years and a large date display. But the double-window display is not the reason why the watch is named Perpetual Twin. This has more to do with the watch’s movement than its dial display.

The movement, Calibre L.U.C 96.51-L, keeps the watch running for a maximum of 58 hours when fully wound. Here is where one of its most unique attributes can be found: A micro-rotor winds up the movement’s two barrels in what Chopard calls its patented Twin technology. Those familiar with Chopard’s watchmaking pursuits would recall that the manufacture is also known for its Quattro technology, which uses two sets of double stacked barrels for a whopping nine-day power reserve. Evidently, mainspring power is something of an obsession by the watchmakers at Chopard.

Technical matters aside, there is the all-important issue of finishing and decoration. In keeping with the strict criteria set by the manufacture, the movement comes with components that have hand-bevelled edges and surfaces that are either circular-grained or decorated with Côtes de Genève. It is also COSC-certified as Chopard’s co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, who personally oversees the L.U.C line, believes in the importance of independent certification of timekeeping precision.


  • Dimensions: 43mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, perpetual calendar, moon phase indicator
  • Power Reserve: 58 hours
  • Movement: Self-winding Calibre 96.51-L COSC-certified perpetual calendar with 58-hour power reserve
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Hand-sewn black alligator leather with steel pin buckle

This story was first published in World of Watches.

Franck Muller

9 Stealth All-Black Watches: Dark Beasts

All-black watches are cool. It is that simple. Whether they sport in-house power plants and are the result of internal research and development or use third-party solutions, these watches are captivating. As we show in this spread engineered (and published) by WOW (World of Watches), there are plenty of forms for these dark horses of space-time to take. How did it all start? Well we won’t bore you with the details but watches with black dials offered better visibility for wearers and less glare to unwittingly call attention to the wearer.

These qualities appealed to the military mind of course and so of course many aviator timepieces had black dials. It wasn’t until 1972 that an all-black watch – with case, dial and bracelet entirely in black – emerged. That was the legendary Porsche Design Chronograph 1. Here are nine watches proudly flying the black flag into the 21st century.

BulgariBulgari Octo Ultranero Velocissimo

Bulgari Octo Ultranero Velocissimo

  • Dimensions: 41mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: 50 hours
  • Movement: Automatic BVL 328 based on Zenith El Primero calibre
  • Material: DLC-coated steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Rubber
PaneraiPanerai Luminor 1950 10 Days

Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT Ceramica

  • Dimensions: 44mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, GMT, 24-hour hand, power reserve indicator
  • Power Reserve: 10 days
  • Movement: Automatic Panerai P.2003 calibre
  • Material: Black ceramic
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Buffalo, black
HYTHYT H4 Gotham

HYT H4 Gotham

  • Dimensions: 51mm
  • Functions: Retrograde hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator
  • Power Reserve: 65 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding, HYT calibre
  • Material: 3DPT carbon
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters
  • Strap: Black rubber with integrated Nomex fabric
Franck MullerFranck Muller

Franck Muller Black Croco

  • Dimensions: 55mm x 39mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre FM 800
  • Material: PVD-treated steel
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Crocodile, black
ChopardChopard Superfast Chrono Split Second

Chopard Superfast Chrono Split Second

  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph with split seconds,
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Material: DLC-coated steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Calfskin, black
BremontBremont ALT1-B

Bremont ALT1-B in DLC-coated steel; $9,000

  • Dimensions: 43mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre BE-54AE
  • Material: DLC-coated steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Calfskin, black
Bell & RossBell & Ross BR-X1 Carbon Forgé

Bell & Ross BR-X1 Carbon Forgé

  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: NA
  • Movement: Automatic calibre BR-CAL.313
  • Material: Carbon, titanium and ceramic
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Alligator and grey rubber
MontblancMontblanc TimeWalker Urban Speed UTC

Montblanc TimeWalker Urban Speed UTC

  • Dimensions: 41mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date, second time zone
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre MB 24.05
  • Material: DLC-coated steel
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Leather, black
SevenFridaySevenFriday V3/01

SevenFriday V3/01

  • Dimensions: 44.3mm x 49.7mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, day/night indicator
  • Power Reserve: 40 hours
  • Movement: Automatic Miyota 82S7
  • Material: PVD-treated steel
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Leather, black

Story Credits

Photography Greenplasticsoldiers

Art Direction Joaelle Ng

This article was first published in WOW.

Chopard Supports Austria for Beijing-Paris Rally’16

What does one do when faced with what is arguably the toughest classic car race of the world? Once the sport of privileged gentlemen and the aristocracy, common folks shied away from races like the Beijing-Paris rally and remained mainly on the sidelines. Watchmaker and jeweler Chopard is certainly not sitting it out and neither are our two intrepid Austrian drivers. For this year’s Beijing-Paris Rally – i.e. possibly world’s hardest classic car race although the Dakar rally is arguably tougher for all classes of vehicles – Chopard was the proud sponsor of the Austrian team as they embarked on the challenge from June 12 to June 17.

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Chrono

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Chrono

The driver, Ingo Strolz, conquered the race with his co-driver and mechanic Werner Gassner, while armed with their Mille Miglia GTS Chrono. Incidentally, the Mille Miglia is another classic car race that’s no cakewalk either and Chopard is right in the thick of that action too. The car of choice for the Austrian duo was a 99-year-old chain-driven American La France Tourer Speedster, which was interestingly the oldest car of the race. The duo traversed 11 countries, beginning in Beijing and moving through Mongolia, Russia, Belarus, Poland and eventually ending at Place Vendome in Paris.

Driving through the Gobi Desert.

Driving through the Gobi Desert.

“Most of the time we had only 3 – 4 hours sleep per night because after the daily stage there were repairs to do on the car as well as maintenance works. The race is an extreme challenge for humans and machines, in the Gobi desert there are no streets, only sand tracks and it is hard to navigate. Our car does neither have a tachometer nor a GPS or any other devices. Timing is very important to us. Nevertheless, sand and hard shocks made high demands on the watches,“ says Ingo Strolz.

Ingo Strolz and Werner Gassner.

Ingo Strolz and Werner Gassner.

Chopard also interviewed the Austrian team, who revealed the challenges they faced during races, as well as their opinion on watches.

This story is also available in Bahasa Indonesia. Read it here: Chopard Resmi Mendukung Austria Di Rel Beijing-Paris 2016

Luxuo World of Watches Rolex Daytona closeup 2016

10 Important Collector Watch Calibres

Car nuts rattle off engine codes as a special lingo that authenticates membership within the tribe; trump card hoarding schoolboys of an earlier age would memorise service designations of combat jets, as well as such vital stats as engine thrust and capacity armament. Watch appreciation too, has a nerdier aspect that finds parallel obsession with calibres, mainly addressed by their number codes: 2824, 2892, 7750, 4130, etc.

Calibres, or movements, are the hearts of mechanical watches and the very engines that divide the continuum of existence into consistent intervals that we might know when it is that we are meeting for lunch.

As has been widely reported, though there are myriad brands in the watchmaking business, at least where the Swiss are concerned, most of the movements come from a single source: ETA. A movement maker within the Swatch Group, ETA supplies movements that can be found in around seven out of 10 Swiss watches, never mind what brand it says on the dial. Of these, the 2824 and 7750 come to mind as being among the most ubiquitous. The self-winding 2824 found in three-hand watches, and the 7750 in automatic chronographs, pretty much cover the field. We will not be including these two movements in our list, as they belong more properly to “movements you already know about”. Rather, our list includes movements that are noteworthy, from a collector’s standpoint for their relevance to the brand or particular collection; or that they represent a milestone in the ever-progressing evolution of the mechanical movement. As a whole, this ensemble was also chosen as a broad survey of watchmaking, old and new.

Patek Philippe Calibre 240Patek-Philippe-Calibre-240

Sitting at the pinnacle of fine Swiss watchmaking, Patek Philippe is renowned for its elegant high complication watches. Such a feat would not be possible were it not for movements like the 240, a trusty, self-winding ultra-thin movement designed to take on more modules for ever more complications, while still looking svelte, and gala-ready. Unlike most self-winding movements sporting a full-sized rotor, the 240’s is a micro-rotor, not stacked on top of the movement (thus adding height) but recessed on the periphery, hence contributing towards a slim profile. At the same time, it does not obscure the beauty of the wonderfully decorated 240 when viewed through a crystal case back, though the rotor too is a thing of beauty in itself, a solid piece of 22K gold.Patek-Philippe-Calibre-240-automatic-movement

Dating from 1977, the 240 has been updated over the years and today features the Spiromax (silicon) balance spring, which offers precision in operation and manufacture as well as resistance against magnetic fields. At its simplest, the 240 drives several of Patek Philippe’s time-only watches such as the Ref. 7200R ladies’ Calatrava.

That said, the 240 was designed as a base calibre to accommodate complication modules while retaining a slim profile. In Patek Philippe’s present catalogue, there exists no less than seven variants with an impressive array of complications, from the 240 HU with world time and day/night indication, 240 PS C with date hand and small seconds, up to the 240 Q offering moon phase and perpetual calendar! With the latter, the number of components had grown by more than 70 per cent, to 275 parts, and movement height increased from 1.61mm to 3.88mm. Because of the added energy required to drive these added components, power reserve had also dipped, but remains at an agreeable minimum of 38 hours.


Automatic movement beating at 3Hz, with silicon hairspring and 48-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 27.5mm x 2.53mm

Number of parts: 161

Rolex Calibre 4130Rolex-Calibre-4130

Even in the relatively dignified realm of luxury watch collecting (high expense and a Britannica’s worth of technical history and cult lore promotes sobriety), there are fanboys, and the objects of their fevered affection falls upon Rolexes, not a few. Lusted after at a higher pitch even in this company, is the Cosmograph Daytona, and this was recently demonstrated once again at BaselWorld 2016 when the announcement of a new steel cased Daytona with white dial and black ceramic bezel sent the watch press and enthusiast community into another fit of ecstasy.

Why is this? Some credit surely accrues to the movement behind the silvered/lacquered face: the Calibre 4130.Rolex-Calibre-4130-Daytona-Movement

The Daytona wasn’t always mated to the 4130. Introduced in 1963, it was driven by a hand-wound Valjoux movement till 1988 when it was cased with Zenith’s self-winding El Primero movement (also featured on our list). However, Rolex famously detuned the movement from its native 5Hz to a more conventional 4Hz, while swapping out more than 50 per cent of the El Primero’s original parts. Major surgery; but still, not a Rolex movement. That would come in 2000, in the shape of the 4130, ticking all the right boxes: self-winding, column wheel control, vertical clutch for smooth starts, and Parachrom hairspring designed to perform well against magnetism, temperature variation, and shock. Rolex even reduced the number of parts enough that it could fit in a longer mainspring to achieve an impressive 72 hours of power reserve. It is a chronometer too, naturally.


Automatic chronograph movement beating at 4Hz, with 72-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 30.5mm x 6.5mm

Number of parts: 201

Audemars Piguet Calibre 3120Audemars-Piguet-Calibre-3120

Often banded together with Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin as the “Big Three” of high watchmaking, Audemars Piguet is phenomenally plugged into pop culture while remaining firmly anchored in high watchmaking orthodoxy. Like no other, its long resume of firsts in watchmaking innovations and high complications sits very comfortably with associations on the funkier end of the cultural spectrum, being a perennial favourite of sports and rap royalty. Part of this comes from dynamic thinking, like in 1972, when Audemars Piguet practically created a new genre of the luxury sport watch when it introduced a steel watch, finished to the standard and priced accordingly, as one of gold: thus the Royal Oak (RO) was born. Together with the burlier Royal Oak Offshore (ROO) chronograph that came on the scene in 1993, and in an almost unlimited arsenal of limited editions in various colour combinations, the RO and ROO are wont to steal the thunder from the company’s arguably more accomplished collections. The movement that unites the handsome duo, is the self-winding Calibre 3120.Audemars-Piguet-Calibre-3120-movement

Like Patek Philippe’s 240 described above, the 3120 is also a base calibre meant to accommodate more modules for additional complications. What’s different is that the 3120 was not made thin, but robust, including a balance bridge that anchors the oscillator securely on two points, wound by a full-sized solid gold rotor. Its thickness is suited for the masculine, sporty RO and hulkier ROO. In the latter’s case, because the chronograph is a module stacked above the 3120, the date display looks recessed – a quirk that has done nothing to dampen its popularity.


Automatic movement beating at 3Hz, with
60-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 26.6mm x 4.26mm

Number of parts: 280

Zenith El Primero Calibre 400Zenith-Primero-Calibre-400

A rock star among movements in more ways than one, the El Primero was unleashed to the world in a relatively low-key press conference in January 1969, which belied its ground-breaking specs. Not only was it the world’s first automatic integrated chronograph movement, it also featured an escapement that blitzed along at an unprecedented 5Hz which offered better chronometry and the ability to measure elapsed times to an accuracy of a tenth of a second. An engineering coup; but Oscar Wilde hit the nail on its head when he complained that people knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. In 1975, Zenith’s then-American owners decided to focus on making quartz watches and ordered the El Primero’s production equipment dismantled and sold as scrap. Instead of complying, an intrepid employee spirited away the El Primero’s technical plans and tooling bit by bit after work. Thanks to Charles Vermot, the El Primero resurfaced in 1984.Zenith-Primero-Calibre-400-movement

Today, the El Primero remains among the fastest beating mechanical movements at 5Hz, in the company of a few brands that have caught up with high beat movements in recent years. Though it started life as a chronograph, El Primero can now also be found in Zenith’s time-only watches such as the Synopsis, which drops the chronograph function but features an updated escapement with silicon wheel and lever visible through an opening on the dial. It has also made its way into the watches of Zenith’s sister brands within the LVMH group: TAG Heuer, Hublot, and Bulgari.


Automatic chronograph movement beating at 5Hz,
with 50-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 30mm x 6.6mm

Number of parts: 278

A. Lange & Söhne Calibre L951.6A-Lange-Sohne-Calibre-L951-6

The beautiful images and videos about Lange’s watches and movements belie a much more dramatic history that the Lange manufacture shares with its home city, Dresden. Towards the end of World War II, the city was obliterated by aerial bombing. Lange too ceased to exist after it was nationalised together with other companies into a watchmaking consortium to serve the needs of the Eastern Bloc. But both Dresden and Lange have since regained their place in the world with the end of the Cold War. The former, rebuilt brick by brick – from original rubble, in the case of the magnificent Frauenkirche church; while Lange has shrugged off the mass market tickers it made in the Communist era to return to the high watchmaking of its roots. It is history that informs the ethic at Lange, and the difference this makes is amply demonstrated in Lange’s interpretation of the ubiquitous wristwatch chronograph: the Datograph Up/Down.

While the field is largely divided between sports chronographs made for everyday practicality and ruggedness or daintier dress chronographs meant to add a dash of dynamism to a formal getup, the Datograph is a little different in approach. On the outside, it is almost austere in its devotion to function, driven by visual clarity and balance without anything superfluous. Yet, turn the watch over and the Calibre L951.6 astounds with baroque richness. Lange doesn’t seem to care about ease of manufacture, since the L951.6 has got more parts than many perpetual calendars, all finished with stoic patience and consummate skill. At the same time, it brims with technical innovation: unlike most chronographs where the elapsed minutes is a dragging hand, that on the Datograph jumps from marker to marker, making for much clearer readings. It’s just one of a series of instances where Lange spares no effort in creating innovative solutions to easily overlooked issues, while remaining well within the old school realm of mechanical craft. Moreover, not only is the L951.6 an in-house movement, Lange is also in the even smaller class of companies that make their own hairsprings. No shortcuts.


Hand-wound chronograph movement beating at 2.5Hz, with big date and power reserve indicator (60 hours)

Dimensions: 30.6mm x 7.9mm

Number of parts: 451

Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 854/1Jaeger-LeCoultre-Calibre-854-1

In an industry where most watch brands source their movements from other companies, Jaeger-LeCoultre is the technical superpower with more movements than we’ve got fingers to count them (more than a thousand different calibres, in its 180-year history, with hundreds of patents shepherding the evolution of mechanical watchmaking), and distinguished names on its client list include the likes of Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and Cartier. Jaeger-LeCoultre today boasts a most expansive catalogue that showcases its deep expertise in diverse disciplines, covering high complications, artisan craft, and gem-setting. Of these, its most iconic watch is the Reverso; and even here, this venerable model exists in countless iterations, from petite quartz models for ladies, to high complication models with perpetual calendars, triple dial faces, repeaters, and multi-axis tourbillons spinning in cage within cage. Do we pick the movement one ought to know by drawing movement numbers out of a fish bowl? No. If we have to choose, we’d pick the Calibre 854/1.Jaeger-LeCoultre-Calibre-854-1-movement

The original Reverso was created in 1931 in answer to complaints by British army officers stationed in India over having their precious wristwatches smashed during energetic games of polo. With the Reverso, simply flipping the case over protected the fragile crystal and watch dial, while the metal case back that now faced the outside could be engraved with unit insignias or loving words. Outside the polo experience however, we think it more practical to have a second dial in place of bare steel, tracking a second time zone.

Enter the Reverso Duoface of 1994, refreshed in recent years with an ultra-thin and special edition blue dial versions, displaying time on each of its two sides. The GMT function is among the most practical of complications in this global village century, and while every other GMT watch in the business shows home time either via pointer, or window on one dial, the Reverso is alone in spacing this out over two. It may not be as efficient as checking dual time zones in a single glance, but the clarity can’t be beat. And because the Duoface sports contrasting dials, e.g. silvered dial and black on the reverse, it is essentially two watches in one, able to match near a complete range of dress codes and occasions. All this is made possible with the hand-wound 854/1, a single movement driving two time displays. Time can be set normally by pulling the crown, or when passing time zones, the hour hand in the second display can be advanced in one-hour jumps by pushing the flat pusher on the case side.


Hand-wound movement beating at 3Hz, with dual time zone and 45-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 3.8mm thick

Number of parts: 180

Montblanc Minerva Calibre 16.29Montblanc-Minerva-Calibre-16-29

There is a logic to progress that is unflinching, almost ruthless in its efficiency. Making much more of something in shorter time, for much less, is an advantage that is very hard to pass up. For this reason, mass produced commodity is stamping out the niceties of artisan production everywhere. Yet, thanks to companies like Montblanc, industrial prowess is sometimes lent towards preserving precious pockets of artisan production so that future generations may yet wonder and actually acquire heritage objects of rare beauty.

Montblanc churns out timepieces by the tens of thousands a year from its facility at Le Locle. It also has a manufacture at Villeret (formerly Minerva SA before it was acquired by the Richemont Group in 2006 and turned over to Montblanc) that produces only around a couple of hundred timepieces a year – that’s about as many as possible, doing things the old way, everything in-house, with classical tools and machines, largely by hand!Montblanc-Minerva-Calibre-16-29-movement

Minerva was best known for its chronographs, and the Calibre 16.29 that is used in the Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter is a gorgeous sample of classical watchmaking. Based on a movement made by Minerva in the 1930s, the 16.29 is huge, filling up the 44mm watch case. There’s a column wheel, lateral coupling instead of vertical clutch favoured by its modern brethren, and the huge balance with weight screws oscillates at a stately 2.5Hz for maximum visual drama. But classical architecture is not the 16.29’s sole merit: lush finishing aside, the serpentine profile of its bridges and levers, including the signature devil’s tail of the chronograph hammer, makes many other chronograph movements
look ungainly in comparison.


Hand-wound chronograph movement beating at 2.5Hz, with 50-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 38.4mm diameter

Number of parts: 252

Chopard L.U.C Calibre 98.01-LChopard-LUC-Calibre-98-01-L

Some companies just have the knack for juggling diverse competencies. Among these, Chopard could have been content with the knowledge that its haute joaillerie collections are no strangers to red carpet galas, while its Happy Diamonds watches are extremely popular as everyday luxury. But the latter can no more lay claim to “authentic watchmaking” than could the Swatch watch, though both are phenomenal success stories for their respective companies. To address this, Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele established the Chopard Manufacture in 1996 to create “serious” watches fitted with movements designed and manufactured in-house. Since then, Chopard Manufacture has kept the steady pace of a long-distance runner, creating no less than 10 base movements with some 60 variations, cased in beautifully finished, classically styled watches of varying degrees of complication under the L.U.C label, the initials of the original company founder.Chopard-LUC-Calibre-98-01-L-movement

Of these, Chopard’s 8Hz is a dazzler for sure; but for us, the L.U.C Calibre 98.01-L beating inside Chopard’s Quattro watch is more in character with the company’s bold gambit and tireless consistency. Quattro is Italian for “four”. In the 98.01-L, which was introduced in 2005, that refers to the movement’s four mainspring barrels coupled in two stacks – a world’s first! According to Chopard, each mainspring is 47cm long, and it’s no small feat to squeeze four of them into a 28mm movement that is just 3.7mm thick. As such, the watch boasts a power reserve of nine days when fully wound. What is noteworthy is that this is achieved despite having the movement beat at a relatively quick (and energy-hungry) 4Hz. Moreover, while accuracy can suffer in watches with long power reserves as the energy wanes, the 98.01-L manages to be a COSC-certified chronometer. Add to that, quality and provenance validated by the Geneva Seal, and no room is left to doubt Chopard’s intent and capability in authentic watchmaking.


Hand-wound movement beating at 4Hz, with four barrels and nine-day power reserve

Dimensions: 28mm x 3.7mm

Number of parts: 223

Cartier Calibre 1904 MCCartier-Calibre-1904-MC

Cartier has an enviable history of supplying the most exquisite jewellery to royalty, and commercial success as a luxury purveyor to, well, the whole world. Its timepieces, too, have staked their place in watchmaking history. The Santos created in 1904 is one of the earliest true wristwatches (as opposed to pocket watches bound to the wrist by leather straps) for men, originally made for Alberto Santos-Dumont who flew the first true (powered) aeroplanes.

Still, for too long, Cartier hadn’t gotten the respect it deserved, not least for its Parisian (not Swiss) address, and that its most dazzling timepieces and complication creations, particularly those produced between 1998 and 2008 under the “Collection Privée Cartier Paris” (CPCP) label, used movements from companies like Jaeger-LeCoultre and Piaget, though Cartier did the finishing.Cartier-Calibre-1904-MC-movement

The sniggers stopped when Cartier introduced its first Geneva Seal watch in 2008, the Ballon Bleu Flying Tourbillon. However, it is a more mundane watch that is the real hitter into the heartland of Swiss watchmaking: the Calibre de Cartier, launched two years later. Though a humble three-hand with date, it is as pivotal as first love, containing Cartier’s first self-winding manufacture movement, designed, developed and made in-house: the Calibre 1904 MC.

Cartier now has a base movement from which to venture into higher complications, while broadening its reach tremendously, in bringing to market reasonably priced watches with authentic manufacture movements. To this end, the 1904 MC was engineered for reliability, ease of service, and efficient mass production. Performance also factored prominently in its design – though the 1904 MC boasts two mainspring barrels, they are arrayed in parallel, achieving only a modest power reserve of 48 hours, but energy delivery is made more consistent over a broad spread of its state of wind, contributing significantly to accuracy. The 1904 MC is also used in 2014’s Calibre de Cartier Diver, which meets the ISO 6425 international quality standard for diver’s watches.


Automatic movement beating at 4Hz, with twin barrels and 48-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 25.6mm x 4mm

Number of parts: 186

IWC Calibre 52010IWC-Calibre-52010

Even among storied brands, IWC stands out for how deeply it has written itself into watchmaking history. Timepieces for air force pilots just as air power was gaining traction among military planners, watches for scuba diving, timepieces for engineers as we turned a corner into the modern technological age – individuals engaged in pushing boundaries on land, in the air, and under the sea need wristwatches and IWC has enriched its own heritage and know-how by making purpose-built wristwatches for them. For a dressier pick, the Portugieser is among the most iconic and best loved. The original introduced in the 1930s was borne from the need for a marine-chronometer grade wristwatch, then only possible by casing a large, high-quality pocket watch movement in a wristwatch case.IWC-Calibre-52010-movement

This collection has been characterised by large cases and IWC’s largest movements ever since, including 2000’s Portugieser Automatic with a 50000-calibre movement that boasts seven-day power reserve and a highly efficient Pellaton winding system. The calibre 52010 featured here is a 2015 update with further technical enhancement and better finishing. Ceramic parts have been added to the winding system, making it virtually impervious to wear and tear; the faster balance now beats at 4Hz for better accuracy. Moreover, 52010 has two mainspring barrels to supply the same seven days’ power reserve with greater consistency for improved chronometry. IWC also partly skeletonised the rotor so the improved finishing of the movement is more readily evident.


Automatic movement beating at 4Hz, with two barrels and power reserve indicator (seven days)

Dimensions: 37.8mm x 7.5mm

Number of parts: 257

This article was first published in WOW.

Paris Couture Week: Chopard High Jewelry Shines

Ralph & Russo, together with Chopard, are known to host some of the most elaborate and luxurious dinner parties, which usually involve the rich and famous. Their latest event earlier this month was no exception. Held on 4 July at the Georges in Paris, the prestigious dinner saw esteemed celebrities the likes of actors Sophie Marceau and Sonam Kapoor, alongside Victoria’s Secret model Jourdan Dunn wearing Chopard’s stunning creations.

Sonam Kapoor;Caroline Scheufele;Jourdan Dunn

(Left to right) Sonam Kapoor, Caroline Scheufele, Jourdan Dunn

Chopard’s precious jewels also made an appearance at The Art of Giving Love Ball at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris to raise funds for the Naked Heart Foundation, an initiative by supermodel Natalia Vodianova to raise funds for children with special needs. Graced by the powerful, such as Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH, the supermodel brandished her own power look, with a pair of dazzling drop earrings.

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 06: Natalia Vodianova attends the "The Art of Giving" Love Ball Naked Heart foundation : Photo Call as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 6, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 06: Natalia Vodianova attends the “The Art of Giving” Love Ball Naked Heart foundation : Photo Call as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 6, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images)

Porsche, Chopard Honor Le Mans With Limited Editions

The Le Mans 24-hour race is possibly the ultimate on-track test for drivers out there – forcing them to undergo intense non-stop racing in order to challenge the endurance of both man and machine. Speaking on non-stop, Porsche has been enjoying a non-stop winning spree here for a long time already, enjoying a record-breaking 18th victory at this year’s race. Coupled with that win, though, Porsche and their official timing partner Chopard are announcing limited editions inspired by endurance racing. One of this is the limited edition called the Porsche 911 Endurance Racing Edition, and the other is the Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition.

The Porsche 911 Endurance Racing Edition


Since 1964, the Porsche 911 has always kept its basic outline and engine position, proving that it maintained an enduring appeal and stature from the very start. Even then, the special exclusive arm of Porsche aimed to create a model that can enjoy the best possible track performance on the road. In other words, the goal was always to create a race car that was also road-legal. A sneak peek was offered at Le Mans but it will be properly showcased at next weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Taking the Carrera S as a starting point for further modification, it keeps the stock 3-liter flat-six twin turbo powerplant. This gives it 420hp as well as a 191mph top speed; power and the acceleration are improved via a revised chassis.

The model rides 20mm lower than standard, and comes with the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control and Active Suspension Management systems. With this, power is always going to the wheel with the most traction, and wheels can be pushed up or down to either ensure contact with the road, or cancel out excessive force. It also introduces rear-wheel steering as standard. This provides quite a bit of flexibility in the various scenarios encountered on the road.

There’s also the Sports Chrono package, allowing the owner to time laps, perform racing starts, and even have a ‘boost function’ at their command. This function is entitled the “Sports Response” and will push out everything the engine’s got in one 20-second blast upon activation.

The interior will be fitted with black leather and subtle red accents, as well as carbon fiber. For the sake of the driver, there are quite a few comforts such as a sliding sunroof and parking sensors. Even more of a joy for serious drivers though, is the inclusion of seven-speed manual transmission as standard.

The Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition

Superfast Chrono Porsche Motorsport 919 Black Edition - 1 - Black - 168535-3005

As the official timing partner for Porsche, Chopard aims to celebrate their legacy of speed with their own Superfast watch collection. The Black Edition is a 100-piece limited series exclusively available at their boutiques. It combines the aesthetic codes of the new Porsche prototype with the special precision for which the watch company is well known.

Sketch - 1 - Superfast - Case 1

A sleek 45mm diameter case made of titanium houses the Chopard Calibre 03.05M. This mechanism was desgined like an authentic engine and features a self-winding chronograph movement delivering a substantial 60-hour power reserve. It also features a flyback function. To further improve on its endurance, the case has also been bead-blasted and blackened by a DLC (diamond-like carbon) treatment – ensuring scratch-resistance. It is water resistant to 100 meters so you can go swimming with it quite safely.

This standout chronograph is designed mainly for the passionate racer in mind, even coming with a black rubber strap inspired by slick competition racing tires. No doubt Chopard Co-President Karl-Frederich Scheufele’s own love of racing played a part in the development of the Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition.

Here’s a video that describes the relationship.