Chopard Strike Up The Band!
Co-President of Chopard, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, talks about the groundbreaking L.U.C. Full Strike Sapphire, describes the perfect “Chopard Chime” — and drops some heavy hints about what we can expect to see next from the brand
The Full Strike Sapphire is one of the truly avant-garde pieces that you see in the L.U.C. collection from time to time, which I find very special. In the past you also had the Engine One Tourbillon, or the Tech Twist, even the 8HF, that were aesthetically expressed in a way that pushed the envelope a bit and set them apart from the rest of the L.U.C. collection. Whenever you come out with a piece like this, which is really at the apex of horological skill, wearing such a modern look, is it your intention to surprise people a bit — to challenge their ideas of what a Chopard watch is?
I think Chopard, probably more than other traditional brands, if you wish, has the luxury to do that. I don't want us to be categorised just in one field alone, or in just one style. All the same, we remain true to our philosophy of building movements in synergy between innovation and tradition. Here in the Full Strike Sapphire, we chose to show the entire movement in a way that might surprise some people, but if you ask me, there is a strong reason behind it. We’re not just taking any watch and casing it in sapphire. Here, we have a reason. It’s the logical continuation of the sapphire crystal gongs into the entire case, and there is the purpose of showing the entire movement from all sides. And yet, as you can see, the case is not outlandish — it’s not some kind of crazy sculptural shape, you know.
Co-President of Chopard, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele © Chopard
The sapphire crystal definitely works for the sound propagation and gives this openness to the case, for us to see what’s going on inside. On a metaphorical level, this transparency is like a statement about what L.U.C. has accomplished since it was established in 1998.
You could almost say it’s a bit of a showcase of what L.U.C. has been doing for the last 25 years.
I remember you shared a story about a client who had heard just a rumour of the watch, and immediately called you and said, “I want to buy it.” And this client hadn’t even seen the watch or any photos at all, just heard something about Chopard creating an extraordinary chiming watch. That’s when you know that someone really understands what you’re trying to do and the values that Chopard represents.
It’s about trust, more than anything.
L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire © Chopard
Is it true that you personally validate each chiming watch that Chopard makes before it’s allowed to leave the manufacture?
Well, yes, but keep in mind, we don’t have that many of them in a year. So each time it happens, it’s a great moment for me. I enjoy every moment. And so does the team, I think. Everyone is on the same line of thinking; there is a gentleman at the manufacture who has been doing chiming watches at Chopard since the very beginning, sometimes he comes to me saying, “I have a piece here, but I think you might not like the chime of this one so much…” And he’s usually right!
So there is definitely a “Chopard chime”. Can you describe it for us?
First of all, the cadence and the rhythm have to be perfect and perfectly regular. This, you can really hear right away, even if there's only one note that’s just a little off. Or if the intervals are too close together, you don't really manage to count the chimes easily. On the other hand, I’ve heard some other chiming watches where the intervals between the chimes are so long that you actually start to wonder, is there another one coming? This is what I mean when I say the cadence is so important. Additionally, there has to be a depth to to every chime. I’m not referring to the volume alone. If you look at high-end audio equipment, for example, a good loudspeaker is able to reproduce sound with great quality even at a low volume. The volume has very little to do with it; it’s about quality. And you recognise it when you hear it.
Suzanne Wong (clearly fishing for an exclusive reveal)
Looking at what Chopard has achieved in the field of chiming watches, to me, anyway, the logical next step is a Grand Sonnerie.
Yes. Agreed. Agreed!
Suzanne Wong (trying harder…)
That was a good answer! I say “the next step” because that’s how things naturally progress in my view, but not everyone might think the same way; some people might prefer to go a different way, that others wouldn’t expect.
Yeah, but in that case, it would be like running a marathon and not crossing the finish line.
Say no more, I think we know what we can expect to see next from 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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