How Chopard builds its own products from scratch
In 2021, fake Chopard‘s manufacturing department will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Let us review the steps of this manufacturing process, which was rebuilt from a demanding and ambitious vision
In 25 years, Chopard has grown from the early sprouts of the rebirth of watchmaking to a mature all-rounder, and every function in its catalog is very complicated. This is a long and winding road. In 1992, the watchmaking industry had not yet flourished, and mechanical clocks were still at a standstill. Several brands keep large and complex watches alive, one small batch at a time, and the names of several talented watchmakers will continue to be famous, these are just the beginning. However, in the context of being far from Geely, Chopard is considering becoming its own movement manufacturer.
More precisely, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele is considering this bold move, believing that self-sufficiency in the field will prove decisive. Since 1963, his family has been the owner of Chopard, and he successfully convinced them.
The project was fully formed in 1996, requiring only one action, aptly named 1.96. There was nothing else at that time. First of all, this is internal development. The original plan provided by the talented watchmaker Michel Parmigiani was abandoned midway through the process. Chopard had to form a development team from scratch.
Secondly, this is a self-sufficient sport, but with a twist: it has a miniature rotor. This concept received widespread attention in 1960. The idea is to make a smaller rotor and set it within the height of the movement instead of covering the top, thereby making the product thinner while retaining the advantages of automatic winding. In return, it is much more difficult to finalize. But it turned out to be very slim, and since then 1.96 has remained at its original height of 3.3 mm. As a result, the first watch to use it, Chopard’s L.U.C 1860, was only 8.5 mm thick. The transparent sapphire glass always maintains the view on the back of the movement.
Finally, the movement has a date display and a 65-hour power reserve due to its two barrels, which Chopard named Twin. At that time, almost no exercise could allow more than 45 hours of autonomy. Although some are even up to 8 days long, they are all manually wound, thicker and much more complicated. Oh, 1.96 has passed the chronograph certification. Since then, all the talents of L.U.C have been guaranteed, except for a few people who do not have a second hand, which is essential for the certification process.
Chopard developed further and quickly became the main user of the Geneva logo. These parts are processed in Fleurier and then completed and assembled at Chopard’s headquarters outside Geneva. Since it is a founding member of the Fondation Qualité Fleurier Foundation, the brand continues to be the largest and most diverse officially certified user. This independent, demanding certification system has a wide range, but has been used for several years.
From the beginning, Chopard’s approach, complexity, ingenuity, and emphasis on basic principles such as watchmaking made Chopard still unique. It mastered all the complex functions time and time again: the 8-day movement, tourbillon and later flying tourbillon, integrated automatic chronograph, perpetual calendar, high-frequency silicon escapement, and several combinations of the above. Chopard’s experience continues to evolve, which has brought benefits to Chopard’s high-end watch line L.U.C. Its acronym is that of Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the founder of the brand. In fact, they have been on the road for several years. Except for L.U.C., it is hard to imagine a minute repeater movement with a Fullstrike robust sapphire clock in any other fake men watch.
The classic style of L.U.C, with its twisted design language throughout the 00s, has both symmetry and asymmetry, broad and baroque fonts, eccentric dial and crown, and complex colors. Then, sometime around 2014-15, their style gradually stabilized and became more classic. This is both the original nature of Chopard in the 1860s and the personal preference of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. Because he has always been deeply involved in the development of the series. He regarded it as his child and became the standard bearer of Chopin’s watchmaking industry.
At the same time, the L.U.C movement has become the high end of Chopard’s finishing skills, and they have gradually replaced the less traditional series such as Mille Miglia, Imperiale or Happy Sport. The reason is that Chopard created a new branch of Chopard in 2009. Its name is Fleurier Ebauches, and its mission is to use more industrial methods and greater output to manufacture movements.
On the one hand, the increasing skill level; on the other hand, the unremitting horological ambition inspired by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele (Karl-Friedrich Scheufele) gave birth to another extension of the Chopard Manufacture. It does not have such a label, but the Ferdinaind Berthoud brand has inherited a lot from them. The Chronomètre CFB 1.1 and FB-T.FC movements are absolutely unique. They are exclusive products of the brand and are completely different from Chopard’s products. The degree of finish is also higher, and the degree of finish is higher. However, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud would not be possible without the manufacturing department, development team and excellent culture of Chopard.
It is unwise to interpret this anniversary as complacency. In any case, Chopard best is not a company that can extricate itself. They did their best to launch their original movement, which is indeed an opportunity for them to remember that they started to care about automatic manufacturing and the revival of high-end watchmaking before almost everyone. Moreover, although it is still considered a jewelry brand, Chopard is definitely a legal, appropriate and capable watchmaking industry.