Since the digital age, specifically mobile phones, has entered and seeped into our lives, there have been unceasing discussions over the added value of watches when people can simply bring out their phones to check the time, date and whatnot. However, throughout the years, even after every new technological breakthrough within and beyond the industry, watchmakers are still in business and actually thrive.
A fine example of an enduring watch manufacturing powerhouse is Chopard. Tracing its roots in the 1860s with Louis-Ulysse Chopard as the founder, Chopard is a worldwide-known Swiss maker of watches and jewelries.
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A young talent with wide reach
Louis-Ulysse, who was a son of a farmer, at the young age of 24 has been exporting his works to the court of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, among other places as far as Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and Scandinavia. He can easily be considered as one of the first Swiss watchmakers who raised the reputation of Swiss-made products, putting it on the global map of high-quality brands.
Relocating from the farming village of Sonvilier to the renowed capital of Fine Watchmaking or Haute Horlogerie, Geneva, it was Paul-Louis and Paul André, his son and grandson, respectively, who brought the business to more commercial clients. Being known for elegance and precision, the company experienced success the following years after.
Perfect match for growth
However, by 1963, none of Paul André sons wanted to take over Chopard so he sold it to German watch and jewelry maker Karl Scheufele III, who was very keen to have a Swiss brand under his company to further his business. Since the 1980s, Karl’s children have been handling the company. Caroline oversees the female and jewelry line, and Karl-Friedrich handles the men’s collection.
Chopard is one of the very few family-owned watch companies today. Its jewelry brand, Chopard Jewelry, was first introduced in 1985 with Happy Clown, a clown made from gold with a tummy of moving diamonds and precious stones. Thirteen years after in 1998, Chopard Jewelry because an official partner of the Cannes Film Festival. Also in 2002, the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique chose Chopard to be its official timekeeper.
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The “Red Carpet” Collection
Since red carpet culture started in the 90’s, a lot of brands have been lending their items to the hottest Hollywood stars to wear on the red carpet. For them, it’s a form of advertising, catapulting a designer, brand, or even just a line into worldwide recognition. Chopard has done this themselves, dressing some of the most elegant and sophisticated names in the entertainment business. Their most refined pieces have been on the pages of magazines and tabloids all over the world, all by simply lending them to A-list celebrities in many of their high-profile events. In fact, they also created a collection entitled the “Red Carpet” collection.
Chopard’s “Red Carpet” selection are some of the most show-stopping pieces in their brand’s history and roster. The explode in color, overflow with materials, and with impactful designs. One of them is the “Model Of Perfection”, a string of diamonds interspersed with Colombian emeralds for that classic yet an exotic touch of sparkle. Another is “The Riot Of Color”, a vibrant feast for the eyes with that harken back to the jewels of gypsies. For a more festive look, there’s also the “A Voyage To The Distant Land Of Khan’s And Khatum’s,” a feathered piece with a bejeweled face that can rival any museum fixture.
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Ice Cube Diamonds
As one of the hardest materials on earth, diamonds are difficult to cut. This is why some pieces from any brand have their precious stones in such peculiar shapes and forms, rarely perfect and equal. Yet, Chopard has achieved just that in their roster of jewels. Peppered among a collection of rings, bracelets, and necklaces, they feature intricately-cut and perfectly-formed diamond cubes, which they refer to as “ice cubes.” Their diamonds do look like ice cubes, in their refined shapes and cuts, framed by the most luxurious metals in the world. While they’re not as loud as their other pieces, Chopard’s Ice Cube diamonds are just the right touches of luxury to any ensemble.
Since the dawn of time, gold has been sourced through violent and irresponsible means. From the endangerment of the environment to the displacement and destruction of certain communities. The quest to find the finest material known to man has affected so many entities in such a negative way. This is why Chopard started a new line of gold jewelry that was all discovered through ethical and responsible processes. They call this “Ethical Gold” highlighting not just the pieces themselves but the history behind them. 100% of their gold comes from responsible sources, with no harm done to anyone or anything in the process.
Logomania is more featured on fashion brands and sportswear labels. It’s easy for them to embroider their logos onto their many pieces. However, Chopard has done just that with their own selection of rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Embossing the iconic Chopard logo onto their pieces, their joining in on the logomania trend that started in the 90’s and was revived in recent years. It’s a display of modernity and adaptation of the times, two of which are rarely done by premier jewelry brands like Chopard, Yet they achieved just that, and their pieces are now more popular than ever.
More than glitz and glamour
Proving its awareness to social responsibility, Chopard has been active in training and education, having received the “Best Training Company Prize” in the “Applied Arts” award from the state of Geneva in 2008. Moreover, the company launched “The Journey” which highlighted its long-term commitment to sustainable jewelry.
Owning more than 120 boutiques around the world, sponsoring prestigious events, completing red carpet looks, and heading a sustainable business line, having a luxury watch such as Chopard not only means being glamorous, but also and more importantly, praising centuries-old of tradition. In the age when owning a watch is no longer a necessity, Chopard is a testament of what it means to continuously strive for quality, creativity and innovation. After all, Chopard is all about passion for excellence.
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