Thursday, October 29

Review: Chopard Happy Sport Oval

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We take an in-depth, ladies view of one of the iconic ladies watches – the Chopard Happy Sport Oval, a variant which was first released in 2018 in a magnificent bracelet.

Chopard Happy Sport Oval

These dancing diamonds have been a DNA of Chopard design since its introduction in 1976. The dancing diamonds are absolutely captivating with its sparkly shine. Only in 1993 did Chopard make a bold move to combine stainless steel with diamonds to create the Happy Sport collection, and it remained a mainstay in Chopard as well as in the industry. Fast forward two decades to 2013, when more women have become discerning and appreciative of mechanical watches, Chopard introduced an automatic movement into the Happy Sport collection.

The latest edition of Happy Sport Oval was released in 2018, celebrating the 25th anniversary since the first Happy Sport. Chopard also revives the first bracelet version of Happy Sport. Today we take a close look at this latest rendition of Happy Sport Oval.

The case and dial

Two words- Dancing Diamonds. There isn’t much more to say. These spinning diamonds are like dainty ballerinas doing pirouettes on the stage of a dial. The Happy Sport Oval comes with 7 dancing diamonds between two sapphire crystals. The name Happy Diamonds and it’s design embodies women who are precious and playful, radical and technical. For those who would like even more diamonds on their dial, Chopard offers customization services to add more dancing diamonds.

Close up of seven Dancing Diamonds in rose gold setting, to match the rose gold case.

The dial layout is simple and balanced. Solid dauphine hands on a subtly glimmering mother of pearl dial with solid gold markers. Only the 12 and 6 markers are in bold Roman numerals to aptly fill the spaces on the oval. The rest of the dial with less space uses plain baton markers.

Well-proportioned case and dial layout, with the 6 o’clock marker being obscured by the dancing diamonds here.

The oval case is well proportioned with the sensuous curves of the bezel, which adds to the femininity of the design. Measuring just 32mm x 29mm, it wears really well on small wrists.

Upon closer look, we noticed that the bezel is thicker at the sides and thinner top and bottom. This gentle curvature adds to visual perception of a longer oval on the dial, while having a rounder and more wearable case. We think the oval is a more stylish interpretation of the original round case of Happy Diamond and Happy Sport, befitting of modern ladies who like the free-spirited concept of Happy Diamonds.

The bracelet

The bracelet is a revival of the original pebble bracelet that came with the first Happy Sport. We’re not sure why, but for hundreds of iterations in between, there were rarely models that came on bracelet. Only in the early 2000s were some bracelet designs offered.

Happy Sport Oval with two tone bracelet.

We find this bracelet to be extremely comfortable. Each link is smooth, well-rounded and tightly connected to the next. The bracelet looks like a neat braid and wraps softly around the wrist to accentuate the slenderness and curves of a lady’s wrist. The small links and wonderful execution also goes to show the craftsmanship of Manufacture Chopard. The bracelet comes in stainless steel, 18kt rose gold, or two-tone. Chopard also made an announcement in 2018 that it would only use ethical gold, which are fair-mined and fair-traded. This has been a consistent message across all their recent releases including the Alpine Eagle.

The movement

This piece is more than just aesthetics. It is equipped with an in-house calibre self-winding 09.01-C which can be seen through the clear caseback.

Clear case back showing the 09.01-C in-house movement, shown here in the full gold, strap version.

This movement was entirely developed and crafted in-house specifically for small watches. The same movement is used in the Alpine Eagle 36mm. It is a time-only movement, with a 42-hr power reserve and Chronometer-certified by the COSC. The finish on the movement is also uncompromised with decorated surfaces and polished chamfers.

Concluding Thoughts

This series has RPPs ranging from S$12,600 for the stainless steel bracelet upwards to $44,3000 for the rose gold bracelet with diamond bezel. In between are options for case material, straps or bracelets, and the option of diamond bezel. We dare say the stainless steel bracelet variant has good value for money.

A variant with rose gold case on leather straps, without diamond bezel.

At a similar price range, we could compare this to Cartier’s Ballon Bleu de Cartier or the Baignoire, which are typically offered with quartz movements due to the small case sizes targeted at ladies. We definitely adore this timepiece, it compromises nothing. It has a wonderful, iconic and playful design, exhibits great craftsmanship and houses a good in-house movement (which is hard to come by for small watches). This is befitting of discerning ladies who want to have it all and relinquish nothing.

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