Chopard Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
Co-President, Chopard & president, la Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud.*
In 2000, Karl-Friedrich had been co-president of Chopard for two years, alongside his sister Caroline (in charge of jewellery) – and was the very first watchmaking director interviewed for GMT, by yours truly. As Vice-President since 1985, he had already initiated strategic partnerships to develop the brand’s reputation, including with the Mille Miglia race in 1988. Raising Chopard’s profile remained one of his priorities, together with preserving the independence of the family group by integrating production and safeguarding expertise (more than 50 different skills are now available in-house), all underpinned by a major commitment to sustainable development. The first L.U.C haute horlogerie watches were released at the turn of the millennium, developed and produced by the Fleurier-based Manufacture. Over the next twenty years, this resulted in a dozen or so calibres with some 80 different options. In 2008, a new production facility, Fleurier Ebauches, was opened, producing over 25,000 movements. And on the occasion of its 150th anniversary in 2010, Chopard became a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, receiving the organisation’s accreditation for its compliance with environmental, labour, and ethical standards. This policy was embodied by a world first in 2014: the L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined, made using Fairmined gold. Many other initiatives were to follow, confirming Chopard’s unwavering commitment to ethical gold – implemented for all its production since 2018. A further example is the L.U.C Full Strike, the first minute repeater watch to be made with Fairmined-certified rose gold, which scooped an “Aiguille d’Or” award at the 2017 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. It wasn’t the first time Karl-Friedrich Scheufele had been the recipient of this supreme distinction: the previous year, he had won it for Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, which he founded in 2015 to create top-end timepieces especially for collectors – an extremely rare double feat. The rise of the family group can also be measured in commercial terms, with the number of Chopard stores increasing from 56 in 2001 to over 150 by early 2020. This carefully managed growth has involved doubling the workforce at the headquarters in Geneva.
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele © Chopard
*On the occasion of GMT Magazine’s 20th anniversary (and WorldTempus’s upcoming 20th anniversary in 2021), we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English.
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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