Chopard A chat with Caroline Scheufele
The Co-President and Creative Director of Chopard talks about the Happy Sport watch, the brand's independance and the Cannes Film Festival.
Among your collections, which ladies’ watch would you describe as a sure bet ?
Definitely the Happy Sport! We are celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and it can now be personalised. It’s an affordable luxury watch and women rarely have the opportunity to get a one-of-a-kind model in this price range. To create their own watches, they can visit a Chopard boutique and examine the options, or first download the Happy Sport app and choose from the variations displayed on their tablet. This new possibility we are offering them is already a hit in Asia, and we are starting to see customers showing an interest in the concept in our Chopard boutiques.
Which Chopard accessories are most successful ?
The writing instruments, and notably the Mille Miglia line.
How many people work in the in-house jewellery and Haute Joaillerie departments ?
As far as Haute Joaillerie is concerned, 35 people are involved in the creative process, including three gemsetters. Haute Joaillerie gemsetting requires extremely sophisticated mastery, particularly when it comes to reproducing the subtle shades of fur stone by stone such as in our Animal World collection. Around 15 people handle the design of our jewellery lines, including 3D drawings ; while production of our gold bracelets and bracelets and small items such as earrings and pendant necklaces calls upon the talents of 40 people in our Geneva workshops and another 250 in our German subsidiary. Chopard has a total staff of around 2,000 working in our watch department, our Manufactures, our boutiques and our subsidiaries.
What does the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix mean to you ?
It is the watchmaking prize that rewards the very sources of our industry ; it is the most important and most representative of the watchmaking field, and as such is very important to us. The Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix has evolved in a very positive way over the years and we take part in each edition. We always hope to see our creations singled out from among the magnificent watches presented by our competitors, and this happens from time to time.
What benefits does the brand derive from its presence at the Oscars and at the Cannes Film Festival ?
While we are indeed present at the Oscars as a result of our involvement in Cannes for the past 17 years, I feel it is more appropriate to speak of our presence on La Croisette. As official partner, we not only make the Palme d’Or, but also created the Chopard Trophy in 2001 in order to reward youthful talents. The Chopard Trophy is part of the official Cannes selection, which means we have made a real new contribution to the world of cinema and are helping to encourage the up-and-coming generation. The young laureates enjoy international media visibility, which thus raises their profile. The film festival is the world’s second largest media event after the football World Cup, which means Chopard does indeed enjoy significant spin-off effects from its sponsorship. Moreover, it is a precious opportunity for hospitality, since we make the most of the occasion to host our best customers from our boutiques and our partners, who are thus given a chance to tread the famous red carpet. Even the wealthiest individuals cannot treat themselves to this privilege, since there is no sale of tickets to attend these ceremonies. All this enables us to strengthen our customers’ loyalty and nurture their dreams.
What is the price to be paid for Chopard’s independence ?
The price is paid in air miles ! Since Chopard is a family business, as you mention, our clients and partners expect to see members of the family. My brother Karl-Friedrich* and I are in great demand on the markets and in our 150 boutiques, particularly in the latter half of the year. I am speaking to you from Dubai, and next week I’m flying off to Kuwait where we are inaugurating the world’s largest Chopard boutique. I’ll then return to Geneva for three or four days before travelling to inaugurate another one in Baku and then on to St. Petersburg to a shop-in-shop ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by an event in Moscow. After another few days in Geneva I’ll be hopping on another plane for Shanghai. That gives you an idea of the degree of commitment required and the monthly pace of our lives. Fortunately, there is also a long list of positives, beginning with our freedom of action and the possibility of choosing our own path.
What advice would you give a sporty European businesswoman entering a Chopard boutique and wishing to treat herself to a complete set of items including a ring, bracelet, earrings, necklace, watch and accessories ?
To start with, a Happy Sport that she can wear from morning to night in an elegant and relaxed manner. Small diamond earrings because one never tires of them, as well as a pretty round or heart-shaped Happy Diamonds pendant according to personal taste. I would then advise a Temptation ring with a pink or blue stone, and possibly a sautoir necklace featuring four or five integrated elements such as exquisitely dainty Happy Diamonds, which may also form a bracelet wrapped several times around the wrist and which is extremely easy to wear. To set the finishing touch, I would suggest a small clutch bag, a pair of glasses and of course a Chopard fragrance !
* Co-President of Chopard, notably responsible for the watchmaking division
Maison Chopard epitomises the alliance between watchmaking and jewellery. It has always known how to meet the expectations of its day, relying on four essential values: expertise, tradition, innovation and commitment to philanthropy, whilst working hard to pass on knowhow and skills to future generations.Find out more
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