Introducing Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono and Alpine Eagle FrozenBy Michael Weare
Those who know their sports watches will already be familiar with the Alpine Eagle. Introduced in 2019, it’s a direct successor to the handsome Chopard St. Moritz sports watch line which first saw the light of day in 1980.
Here we are focusing on two models; the 44mm Chrono XL and the 41mm Alpine Eagle Frozen. The Alpine Eagle collection is Karl-Fritz Scheufele’s 21st century interpretation of the St Moritz line. Karl-Fritz is the youngest member of the Chopard-owning Scheufele family.
Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono
This high precision chronometer features a bi-material case crafted from ethical gold and ceramised titanium; and, unusually for a modern sports watch, a calfskin leather strap, although of course it is also available on an integrated titanium strap.
You’re no doubt familiar with the lightweight metal that is titanium, but ceramised titanium goes one step further and adds a tough scratchproof ceramic layer onto its surface giving the titanium a glossier look and finish. Chopard hails the use of ceramised titanium and gold as a first in watchmaking.
As for the pitch black dial, there’s also a strong rationale for that. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele wanted this dark hue as a nod to the intense black of mountain nights. Night-time lighting disrupts the natural pitch black of the mountains and affects surrounding animal species.
The watch retains its familiar tri-compax dial configuration. The dial is designed to emulate the iris of an eagle, and offers Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Date, Flyback Chronograph and a sub dial for up to 30 elapsed minutes. With a date window at 4:30, the watch runs on the COSC certified Chopard 03.05-C column wheel flyback chronograph movement with 60 hours of power reserve.
Chopard Alpine Eagle Frozen
With the Alpine Eagle Frozen expect ice, a lot of ice. It’s the first entirely gem-set watch in the Alpine Eagle collection. Forged from ethical 18-carat white gold, the Alpine Eagle’s case, bezel and integrated bracelet are entirely set with diamonds, 765 of them totalling 8.28 carats. Work on each timepiece involves no less than 20 hours of meticulous work to pave the watch in ice.
Even the watch bezel, a nod to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with its eight indexed screws which preceded this collection in the 1970s, is stunningly adorned with baguette-cut precious stones or there’s an all diamond-set option.
The watch, which features hours only, runs on the 148-component Chopard 09.01-C calibre with a power reserve of 42 hours.
Just as the pitch black dial of the XL Chrono has a rationale, so too does the Alpine Eagle Frozen. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele describes it thus; “Alpine Eagle Frozen is directly inspired by Alpine glaciers and the way they brilliantly reflect the sunshine. Each diamond used on this timepiece sparkles like a snowflake that has settled on the mountain tops.”
Chopard uses ethically sourced gold in the making of its Alpine Eagle watches. It’s an important additional detail. A great deal of gold is not ethically sourced, and major gold purchasers around the world are turning, not an eagle eye, but a blind eye to it. Illegally sourced gold is ripped from the land in many third world countries. It pollutes rivers with large quantities of mercury which affects fish stocks that are later consumed by humans. Invariably the source of illegal gold is organised crime looking to launder millions of dollars in drug money. The purchasers of the illegally sourced gold, be it wittingly or unwittingly, are often highly respected names in the watch and jewelry making industries. When you look to buy a watch containing gold, inquire if it’s ethically sourced.
Movement: COSC certified Chopard 03.05-C with 60 hours power reserve
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Date, Flyback Chronograph and a sub dial for up to 30 elapsed minutes, Stop seconds
Case: 44mm; 18K ethically sourced rose gold, ceramised titanium; resistant to 100m
Dial: Brass dial stamped with a galvanic sunburst Pitch Black motif
Strap: Black calfskin leather with red bridle stitching
Price: USD 24,000
Movement: Chopard 01.03-C with 42 hours power reserve
Functions: Hours, Minutes
Case: 41mm ethical 18-carat white or rose gold set with diamonds
Dial: Ethical 18-carat white or rose gold dial set with diamonds; applied numerals and hour-markers, rhodium-plated or gilded and enhanced with Grade X1 Super-LumiNova
Strap: Ethical 18-carat white or rose gold, set with diamonds