Chopard Don't worry, be happy!
Caroline Scheufele, the creator of the Happy Sport collection, is just as devoted to give free rein to innovation as she is invested in gold's ethical mining.
In 1993, twenty years after her parents, Karl and Karin Scheufele, had acquired the Chopard family business, Caroline did something unheard of then in the horological trade – she placed diamonds into steel sports watches and launched the brand’s Happy Sport collection.
Interestingly, it was her mother Karin who was behind Chopard’s Happy Diamonds watch that was unveiled in 1976 and introduced at the annual Basel watch fair a year later in 1977 as an evening dress watch for gentlemen. The Happy Diamonds collection is today a line for ladies and the Happy Sport is the sportier version.
What’s even more interesting is that Caroline’s Happy Sport idea came not only when she was still in school but from a Rolex watch gifted to her. Advised not to wear the watch as it would have been politically incorrect, she decided to create a Chopard sports watch with diamonds.
Happy Sport models unveiled in 2018 and powered by the calibre 09.01-C © Chopard
“I suggested making a sports watch in steel with diamonds; nobody did it then. Though I was told that we couldn’t put diamonds on steel, I questioned why it could not be done. The Happy Sport was a little bit of a breakthrough and that’s how it started,” recalls Caroline, co-president of Chopard, when she was in Singapore to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Happy Sport (1993 to 2018).
Happy Fish, Happy Palm and Happy Snowflakes © Chopard
In 2018, four versions of the Happy Sport have been equipped with the Calibre 09.01-C, an automatic movement specially made for 30mm ladies watches and there are limited edition Happy Sport Metiers d’art models, the Happy Palm, Happy Fish, Happy Snowflakes and Happy Sport Joaillerie commemorating the 25th anniversary.
The innovative streak in Caroline Scheufele is evident. In 2012, while having coffee with British actor Colin Firth’s wife, Livia, in Los Angeles, Caroline was asked where the gold Chopard used for its jewellery and watches was sourced from. At that time, diamond mining was more regulated but gold wasn’t. When Livia disclosed that she was working with a company into sustainable mining, Caroline immediately expressed her interest.
Caroline Scheufele (co-president of Chopard) and Livia Firth (creative director of Eco-Age) © Chopard
Upon her return to Switzerland, she discussed the idea of sustainable gold mining with her brother, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, and readily obtained his support. This marked the beginning of Chopard’s quest for “ethical gold”.
Ethical gold is gold acquired from responsible sources that have met international best practice environmental and social standards.
Gold from MACDESA mine © Chopard
For example, mercury is still used in gold processing for small-scale and artisanal mining and the mines that Chopard assists in obtaining Fairmined certifications recycle this element rather than dumping it into the rivers. The result is a safer and sustainable environment. “The fish aren’t poisoned and this means the kids who consume them won’t be poisoned,” explains Caroline, adding that Fairmined-certified mines have to ensure that the structural integrity of the mines are safe and the miners have fixed salaries, among other things.
The Green Carpet collection worn by French actress Marion Cotillard © Chopard
Part of the first 10kg of Fairmined-certified gold was used for the Green Carpet Collection that was launched in Cannes in 2013 and worn by French actress Marion Cottilard.
L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined © Chopard
The very first wristwatch to be made from Fairmined gold was Chopard’s L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined that was unveiled in 2014. This was followed by the L.U.C XPS Fairmined that was introduced a year later in 2015. Chopard’s first minute repeater and most complicated watch, the L.U.C Full Strike, launched in 2016, is clad in an 18K Fairmined rose gold case.
L.U.C XPS Fairmined © Chopard
Since July 2018, Chopard has been using ethical gold in the production of its jewellery and watches. This is in line with the brand’s “The Journey to Sustainable Luxury” program. With Fairmined gold, owners of Chopard jewellery and timepieces need not worry and should be happy with their luxury items.
L.U.C Full Strike Fairmined © Chopard
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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