The Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono makes its debut in 2020. All three debut models feature a Raptor-themed dial, a case made of Lucent steel A223 and a state-of-the-art in-house Chopard caliber 03-05-C. Chopard initially offered steel bracelets and recently introduced two rubber straps. Looking at these latest styles, Angus Davies reflects on the extraordinary success of the Alpine Eagle collection.
The advent of the luxury sports watch
Until the 1970s, watches tended to be either formal or utilitarian items (such as dive watches or sports chronographs). In the 1970s, however, the lines between formal and casual wear, classic dress watches and utilitarian watches suddenly blurred.
The 1970s saw a new breed of sports watch capable of straddling the world of blazers and jeans. In addition, stainless steel has completed its studies in Switzerland and presents a noble temperament similar to precious metals such as gold and platinum.
Chopard St. Moritz
Recognizing the paradigm shift that was taking place at the time, Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele masterminded a new form of watch, the luxury sports best replica watches. In 1980, Geneva Maison launched St. Moritz, named after the high-end, glamorous Alpine resort.
The choice of the name was inspired by the fact that it evokes the idea of a stylish person who wears a ski suit by day and a tuxedo by night. Chopard St. Moritz watches are versatile and adapt to their surroundings.
The St. Moritz model was designed in keeping with Louis Sullivan’s “form follows function” philosophy. For example, the bezel is held in place by eight screws, which is also a style feature. Chopard is also “steel like gold”, the case is brushed and polished, the bracelet is integrated, and the movement includes automatic movement and quartz movement. The decision to make St. Moritz was a brave one. While rival companies have also released their interpretations of luxury sports watches, there’s no guarantee the genre will continue to be popular. Over time, people’s love for luxury sports watches has never waned.
ALPINE EAGLE – THE FIRST MODEL
In 2019, in consideration of St. Moritz and its remarkable success, Chopard released a new luxury sports watch “Alpine Eagle”. In this case, the Geneva brand was inspired by nature. It seeks to capture the majesty of eagles soaring above the Swiss Alps, taking advantage of thermals as they glide peacefully.
Chopard references these regal creatures with a number of aesthetic elements, including a dial that mimics the iris of an eagle and a seconds hand with an arrow-feather-like weight that mimics the feathers of an eagle.
Similar to the St. Moritz, the Alpine Eagle uses a combination of Roman numerals and simple batons to indicate the hours. Likewise, the bezel is again equipped with utility screws, and the bracelet is integrated into the case. And when it comes to the bracelet, Chopard has spent incredible effort creating an elegant way of integrating the watch with its wearer. Shortly after the first model was announced, I wrote two in-depth features on the Alpine Eagle, one of which was about the model’s modifications.
Both the case and bracelet are made of stainless steel, but Chopard did not settle for the usual 316L or 904L grades. Instead, the brand has teamed up with Voestalpine, an Austrian company that specializes in cutting-edge steel technology. After four years of research and development, a new generation of steel Lucent Steel A223 was born.
Made from 70% recycled steel, the new steel is similar to surgical stainless steel and therefore hypoallergenic. Lucent Steel A223 is 50% harder than regular stainless steel and less likely to scratch. In addition, its purer structure gives the metal its white appearance.
The first version of the Alpine Eagle came in two sizes, 36mm and 41mm. Both models are equipped with COSC-certified automatic movements manufactured in the company’s Fleurier Ebauches factory.
ALPINE EAGLE XL CHRONO 2020
A strong sign of a product’s success is the brand’s choice to extend a range of models. In 2020, after receiving a positive response to the first Alpine Eagle, Chopard cheap released the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono.
Wearers can choose between an Aletsch Blue dial or a Pitch Black dial, both paired with a Lucent Steel A223 case and matching bracelet. Additionally, a third model was released with the same jet-black dial, but this time it features a bi-metal case made of Lucent Steel A223 and 18-karat ethical rose gold. This luxurious combination extends to the bracelet and buckle, with precious metals being used exclusively for the bezel and crown.
In addition to its attractive face and sculpted torso, the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono is equipped with a remarkable movement, the Chopard 03-05-C. This self-winding chronograph movement is again produced in-house at the company’s Fleurier factory and has many features, including some very impressive patented technology.
The COSC-certified movement has a flyback function. For a normal chronograph, the stopwatch is started by pressing the pusher at 2 o’clock and stopped by pressing the same pusher again. To reset the register (return to zero), the wearer simply presses the pusher at 4 o’clock. Everything is very simple and logical. However, imagine if you needed to time consecutive events and suddenly the index numbers had to start, stop, reset, and start again very quickly. It’s a challenge for even the most dexterous of people.
A flyback chronograph takes the hassle out of timing consecutive events. It can be used like a traditional chronograph, but its flyback function provides additional convenience. Assuming the chronograph is running, the wearer simply presses the pusher at 4 o’clock and in the blink of an eye the chronograph is stopped, reset and starts from zero. The flyback function of this particular movement is patented and uses three rotating hammers with elastic arms to reset the counter to zero.
top luxury copy watches lovers will be pleased to hear that the Chopard 03-05-C is a fully integrated movement with column wheel and vertical coupler. This gives the putter a creamy smoothness. Furthermore, when the chronograph is activated, the central chronograph seconds hand begins its journey without hesitation or hesitation. In addition, Chopard has equipped the movement with a patented unidirectional transmission system that “prevents energy loss while ensuring rapid winding, a feature highly regarded in the inherently power-hungry chronograph category”.
The oscillating weight is partially skeletonized and made of tungsten. The balance beats at 28,800 vph (4Hz) and the movement has a power reserve of 60 hours.
ALPINE EAGLE XL CHRONO 2022
Earlier this year, Chopard launched two other Alpine Eagle XL Chrono watches at the Watches & Wonders show. Clearly, the success of the eagle-themed model shows no signs of abating.
Familiarity is the order of the day. The 44mm case is also made of Lucent Steel A223. Aletsch Blue and Pitch Black dials recreate performance, while the tried and trusted Chopard 03-05-C is on hand to offer another chronograph performance.
However, this year’s Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono ditches the elaborate bracelet found on previous models in favor of a color-coordinated blue and black strap. Each strap has a titanium insert and has a pin buckle made of Lucent Steel A223.
These differences may sound insignificant, but in fact, they give the Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono a completely different look. Arguably, these latest styles are more casual with a touch of sportiness that brings a little something new.
Throughout Chopard’s history, the company has considered the wants and needs of the watch-buying public, creating watches that meet those demands and inspire enthusiasm in the process. In fact, it was this careful attitude that led Karl-Friedrich Schaefer to conceive the St. Moritz watch at the age of 22. This previous model blends elegance with everyday versatility and practicality.
Alpine Eagle continues the St. Moritz legend and now attracts a new generation of brand advocates. The success of the inaugural Alpine Eagle and subsequent iterations of the Raptor-inspired model is evidence of this.
I can’t honestly say that I prefer a Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono with a steel or rubber strap, but, like all watch lovers, I’m certainly glad to have more options.
Model: Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono
Ref: 298609-3003 (Lucent Steel A223 with Aletsch Blue dial)
Ref: 298609-3004 (Lucent Steel A223 with jet black dial)
Case: Lucent Steel A223, diameter 44.0 mm, height 13.15 mm, sapphire crystal and display case back
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, semi-instantaneous date, stop-seconds, tachymeter, chronograph
Movement: Chopard 03.05-C, automatic, 28,800 vph (4Hz); 310 components; 45 jewels, 60-hour power reserve, certified chronometer (COSC)
Bracelet: Blue or black rubber strap with titanium inlays, Lucent Steel A223 pin buckle