History of Chopard Watches

The humble beginnings of Chopard began back in 1860 as an exceptional innovator of elegant jewellery and watch designs. From the brand’s red carpet fame to its most iconic moving diamonds concept - this is the history of Chopard, the Swiss luxury brand.

Chopard was founded by a man named Louis-Ulysse Chopard in 1860, who started life as a skilled and experienced watchmaker. The company began by specialising in pocket watches and chronometers before realising the growing trend for ultra-thin and highly precise timepieces. In 1937, the company was handed down to Louis-Ulysse’s son, Paul, around the same time that the brand relocated its facilities from the Swiss Jura to Geneva.

When the business hit troubled water not long after, Chopard looked out for another buyer and soon, the company was handed over to Karl Scheufele, where it has remained in the hands of ever since. The Scheufele family share the company’s love for creativity and avant-garde designs. As a result, the watchmaker has been able to push forward with new and innovative ideas, while still remaining true to the foundations of the business. In his earlier life, Karl had specialised in supporting artists and jewellers and had dedicated his time to the Association of Arts and Craftsmanship in Germany. It is these values that have enabled Chopard to keep reinventing the design codes of Haute Horlogerie and, with it, an identity that is known the world over.

The revered watchmaker launched an integral part of its portfolio in 1976. The Happy Sport watch. It became a mainstay in the brand’s catalogue, forging a design language that is loved by women who seek out the finer things in life. The Happy Sports collection underpins the concept of the moving diamond, launched by Chopard, by which a singular or multiple diamonds move freely within two pieces of sapphire crystal. The sapphire pieces form a glass house for the diamonds to move fluidly within their own contained space, catching the light effortlessly as they move.

The dancing diamonds concept is also a catalyst for the brand’s Ethical High Fashion, using the company’s Lucent steel material. In 2023, Chopard produced its first watch crafted from Fairmined gold, receiving great critical acclaim in Baselworld. It now pledges to make all the gold that it uses for its elegant watches 100% ethical within the next few years.

Chopard also enjoys a huge celebrity status with many iconic figures choosing these watches as their go-to pieces for the red carpet. The esteemed Swiss watchmaker has been associated with the Cannes Film Festival since 1998, becoming its official partner. Yet, in addition to the Happy Sports watch, which has become inextricably linked with Oscar-winning American actress Julia Roberts, Chopard has also done an exceptional job of putting itself on the horological map for its robust adventure and sports watches. Tools like the Alpine Eagle watch are respected for their imperious strength. These designs are inspired by the majestic Alpine Eagle which calls the soaring Swiss Alps its home.

It’s a known fact that Karl Scheufele and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele share a passion for classic cars and the vintage rally race, Mille Miglia. The Italian rally was revived back in 1977 and has since become a meeting place for lovers of vintage cars. As a result of the Scheufele family’s love of rally car racing, Chopard has been a sponsor for the Mille Miglia race since 1988. Chopard’s Mille Miglia timepieces offer a sporty design, inspired by the beauty of the historic automobiles driven at the famous race.

Lastly, Chopard collectors consider models from the L.U.C collection fan favourites. These are some of the company’s more complex models, often sporting meticulous complications, powered by in-house movements.