flying high

Soaring high with Chopard’s Alpine Eagle xL Chrono

Discover the newest addition to Chopard’s Alpine Eagle collection

Soaring high with Chopard’s Alpine Eagle xL Chrono
Chopard’s Alpine Eagle, the newest addition to its collection of watches.Chopard

Introduced in late 2019, Chopard’s Alpine Eagle is the newest addition to its collection of watches. Although it bears a new-fangled name, it is in fact a rebranded and modern reinterpretation of the St Moritz, a heritage collection introduced in 1980. Rolled out during the heyday of steel-clad quartz powered watches, the St Moritz was co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s first watch creation. It also marked the brand’s foray into sports timepieces and was the first Chopard ticker to be crafted from stainless steel.

Karl-Friedrich, Karl and Karl-Fritz Scheufele

Despite its commercial success, the St Moritz was supplanted by other collections and eventually discontinued. Its significance, however, meant that it never quite faded into obscurity in the eyes of the Scheufele family. Decades later, in a fortuitous turn of events, it was Karl-Friedrich’s son, 23-year-old Karl-Fritz, who masterminded the collection’s revival. Assisted by his grandfather Karl, it took two years for the younger Scheufele to convince his father to bring back the St Moritz.

The success of the three-generation collaboration called for a re-christening of the collection. St Moritz was renamed Alpine Eagle, which recalls the family’s passion for the Alps as well as the majestic birds of prey that live among its snow-capped peaks.

Featuring an integrated case and bracelet design, Alpine Eagle falls perfectly within the luxury sports watch category occupied by familiar names like Patek Philippe’s Nautilus and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak. But you’d be remiss to think it was just another steely number. Clad in Lucent Steel A223, a new alloy that is anti-allergenic, tough and boasts a brilliance and brightness that’s comparable to gold, it is also powered by the brand’s in-house, chronometer-certified automatic movements.

A compelling contender in the popular watch segment, it was first introduced as a three-hand model and offered in Fairmined gold (a reflection of the brand’s longstanding commitment to ethical mining) and in bi-metal variants, with 41mm and 36mm cases.

With its latest release, the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono — primed to be Chopard’s key focus for the foreseeable future — the brand introduces a new chronograph, case size and dial colour to the collection. The robust 44mm ticker is driven by Chopard’s COSC-certified 03.05-C mechanical movement with automatic movement and flyback function, which is derived from its L.U.C 03.03-L calibre that’s typically found in the brand’s higher-end L.U.C chronographs.

Backed by four patents, the Chopard 03.05-C calibre comes equipped with a unidirectional gearing system that prevents energy loss even as it allows for rapid winding. A vertical clutch mode guarantees accurate time measurement while the flyback function allows for smooth successive timing operations, thanks to three pivoting hammers with elastic arms that facilitate the zero-setting of the counters. It also comes fitted with Chopard’s exclusive  Variner balance to ensure long-term rate stability.

The Alpine Eagle XL Chrono is available in the brand’s proprietary Lucent Steel A223 alloy or in a bi-metal variant (in Lucent Steel and Fairmined rose gold). It is offered with an Aletsch Blue or Absolute Black dial, the latter being a new colour variant that references the intense darkness of the Alps come nightfall. Other signature features include the incredibly supple bracelet bearing links with bevelled edges, a case with contrasting brushed and polished surfaces, a textured dial with a sunburst pattern evoking an eagle’s iris, a seconds hand with a feather-shaped counterweight, eight visible screws on the bezel and a crown engraved with a compass rose.