The Chopard Alpine Eagle collection welcomes a new 44 mm-diameter chronograph introducing two novel features: on the one hand, a bi-material case crafted in ethical gold and ceramised titanium; and on the other, a calfskin leather strap.
Press release information with Editorial Commentary in italics.
Editorial Commentary and highlights
This is a model extension to the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono which we reviewed in detail here. The design remains the same, as well as the excellent movement. What is new is the new bi-metal case in ethical gold and ceramised titanium. As well as the calfskin leather strap.
The visual impression is completely different from the earlier releases of the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono. Even the earlier bi-colour steel and gold version (Ref. 298609-6001 at a less expensive CHF 27,500) has a different aesthetic. The launch bi-metal XL Chrono had the entire watch case in Lucent steel, accented with a gold bezel and a bi-metal bracelet, while the new watch, Ref. 295387-9001 (CHF 34,500) is in a gold case, with ceramicised titanium crown guards and back bezel. The balance is quite beautiful, as the watch looks like a gold watch, with dark crown guards. This is an interesting use of the ceramicised titanium for crown guards. As the name implies, the crown guard’s job is to protect the gold crown, and makes good sense to use a ultra hard metal. This heavier usage of ethical 18k rose gold also accounts for the higher retail price. Also new in this release is the use of a calf strap, which Chopard has never used before, except for the Only Watch piece unique for 2021 which featured a Lucent steel case with a granite dial from Switzerland’s Graubünden region.
For those looking for a solid gold chronograph from the Alpine Eagle collection, this is the XL Chrono which calls out their name. The original steel and rose gold one has a more sporty, lighter, perhaps more youthful look. While this new version has the traditional luxurious feel of a gold timepiece. For others, it may be more interesting to stick to the value for money regular all Lucent steel versions (CHF 19,200).
New: Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono in ethical 18-carat rose gold and ceramised titanium
Retail price for the Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Ref. 295387-9001 is CHF 34,500.
An design inspired by Nature
Above and beyond its technical prowess, the Alpine Eagle collection has been a guarantee of aesthetic finesse ever since its launch, entirely aligned with Louis Sullivan’s “form follows function” principle. The new Alpine Eagle XL Chrono model fully reflects this principle. On the right-hand side, the chronograph pushers are subtly and discreetly integrated on either side of the protective bumpers so as to preserve the Alpine Eagle’s characteristic harmony of form and symmetry.
On the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono model, harmony also reigns supreme at the heart of the Pitch Black dial. Drawing inspiration from the colours of alpine flora and fauna, Chopard’s Co-President and creator of the collection, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, wanted this hue as a reference to the intense black of mountain nights when wildlife reclaims its rights, reminding us of the extent to which night-time lighting linked to humans and urbanisation disrupts the way of life of surrounding animal species. As on all Alpine Eagle models, the dial retains its texture and radiant pattern, evoking the eagle’s iris. The feather-shaped seconds hand flies over this highly legible display punctuated by raised counters.
The addition of black counters for the 30-minute, small seconds and 12-hour indications – respectively positioned at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock – has been carefully designed to enhance the legibility of measurements. This is also the case of the red inlays punctuating the hands linked to the chronograph function as well as the 100, 160 and 240 graduations on the tachymeter scale. Divided into four sections, this tachymeter graduation features intervals varying from 5, 10, 20 or 40km/h per line so as to ensure perfect calculation of average speed measurements.
The extra-large 44-millimetre case of the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono is crafted in ethical 18-carat rose gold and ceramised titanium. The combination of these two noble metals is a first in watchmaking aesthetics, and even more so in the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono range, thus far available in Lucent Steel A223 and/or ethical rose gold.
The 18-carat rose gold used to make the case is sourced from an ethical supply chain, in accordance with the commitment Chopard has upheld for all its watch and jewellery production since July 2018; while the use of ceramised titanium reflects the avant-garde spirit of the workshops. This light and ultra-resistant metal is obtained through a process of titanium oxidation using electro-plasma technology – a treatment that gives it a hardness of 1000 Vickers and a resistance to shocks and scratches comparable to that of ceramics. Developed in the aerospace and automotive industries, it has an anthracite grey colour that does not fade over time and gives the entire watch a sporty, ultra-contemporary look.
The Alpine Eagle XL Chrono is also the collection’s first series-produced timepiece with a black calf leather strap. Until now, only the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch – a one-of-a-kind model designed to support the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy – had departed from the iconic metal bracelet. Like the latter, the leather strap retains the Alpine Eagle’s characteristic embossed central cap as well as a highly contemporary graphic design. And because style is all about details, its red bridle stitching subtly echoes the chronograph function indications on the dial.
Three patents for a high-precision chronograph movement
At the heart of the case beats a highly sophisticated chronograph movement endowed with a precision chronometer certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). Equipped with a central rotor in 22-carat rose gold, Chopard Calibre 03.05-C has a 60-hour power reserve and features an elaborate design guaranteeing accurate adjustments as well as optimal use of the timekeeping functions. Equipped with a column wheel, it represents the culmination of several technical innovations for which Chopard has been awarded three patents, filed for the development of L.U.C Calibre 03.03-L, devised by the engineers of Chopard Manufacture for the L.U.C Chrono One timepiece. First presented in 2006, this chronograph movement equipped with a column wheel, vertical clutch, flyback and small seconds reset functions, as well as a particularly precise jumping minute counter, remains the most innovative in the world. In 2022, the L.U.C. collection will celebrate its 25th anniversary, an opportunity for the Maison to underscore Chopard Manufacture’s leading role in innovation and the integration of watchmaking knowledge into its entire production process. With the Chopard 03.05-C movement, produced in larger quantities by the workshops, this cutting-edge technology makes a remarkable entry into the Alpine Eagle collection.
The Alpine Eagle collection: reinterpreting an icon
Devised by three generations of gentlemen in the Scheufele family, the Alpine Eagle collection is a modern reinterpretation of the St. Moritz watch, the first horological creation by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele in the late 1970s. With its pure and assertive design, Alpine Eagle enriches this heritage with powerful inspiration drawn from Nature. A round case with stylised flanks; a crown engraved with a compass rose; a bezel with eight functional indexed screws; a textured dial with deep hues and luminescent indications; as well as an integrated metal bracelet.
Chopard’s independence and integrated skills enable the Maison to perform the entire range of the collection’s production and assembly stages in its own workshops, from movement to bracelet, as well as components and case.
Alpine Eagle XL Chrono in ethical 18-carat rose gold and ceramised titanium specifications
Ref. 295387-9001 – in ethical 18-carat rose gold and ceramised titanium.
Ethical 18-carat rose gold and ceramised titanium
Total diameter 44.00 mm
Thickness 13.15 mm
Water resistance 100 metres
Crown in ethical 18-carat rose gold
with compass rose 8 mm
Pushers in vertical satin-brushed ethical 18-carat rose gold with polished chamfers
Crown guards in beadblasted ceramised titanium
Caseband in ethical 18-carat rose gold
Bezel in ethical 18-carat rose gold A223 with eight screws set at a tangent
Glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Ceramised titanium exhibition case-back fitted with a glare-proofed sapphire crystal pane
Mechanical self-winding movement Chopard 03.05-C
Column-wheel chronograph with integrated construction
Number of components 310
Diameter 28.80 mm
Thickness 7.60 mm
Number of jewels 45
Frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve 60 hours
Annular balance with balance-spring featuring a flat terminal curve
Patented chronograph zero-resetting system with pivoting hammers and elastic arm
Patented seconds hand zero-resetting system
Patented vertical coupling clutch
Openworked ethical 22-carat rose gold central rotor
Dial and hands
Brass dial stamped with a sunburst Pitch Black motif achieved by galvanic treatment and inspired by an eagle’s iris
Black counters with white transfers (and gilded surrounds for chronograph counters)
Applied gilded numerals and hour-markers enhanced with Grade X1 Super-LumiNova®
Black inner bezel ring and chronograph counters
Gilded baton-type hours and minutes hands enhanced with Grade X1 Super-LumiNova®
Gilded, red-tipped arrow-type seconds hand with eagle feather counterweight
Gilded, red-tipped chronograph counter hands
Central hours, minutes and chronograph seconds
Semi-instantaneous minutes counter display
Semi-instantaneous date display between 4 and 5 o’clock
Chronograph with flyback function
30-minute counter at 3 o’clock
12-hour counter at 9 o’clock
Small seconds at 6 o’clock
Strap and clasp
Black calfskin strap with red bridle stitching and gilded titanium inlay
Pin buckle in engraved beadblasted ceramised titanium