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BY RHONDA RICHE
Editor-At-Large
Chopard’s 2020 novelties are designed to resonate with collectors.

Even before we entered this unprecedented era, watchmakers were changing their course. A changing global economic market meant that brands have been trying to expand their stake in North America and with women watch collectors.

A younger market has also been wearing watches differently. A sport chic timepiece feels fully acceptable with this audience. You could even see celebrities wearing a stainless-steel chronograph on the red carpet (back in the days when red carpets still existed). And of course, collectors were also becoming more engaged with environmentally and ethically responsible practices in the manufacture of their luxury goods.
 

Chopard Happy Sport Joaillerie Happy Sport Joaillerie ©Michèle Bloch-Stuckens

While we can’t predict what the future will hold, it seems that the global pandemic may only strengthen these desires. And while Chopard planned this year’s launches before the pandemic hit, the 2020 updates of the L.U.C, Mille Miglia, and Happy Sport appeal to the emotional energy the world needs right now.

ADRENALINE INJECTION

It’s no secret that watch enthusiasts are often racing fans. There’s something about the intricacy of a horological machine and a car’s motor that sets the heart racing.

We can’t wait until motorsports return, especially Italy’s Mille Miglia event. Because this fall, Chopard is reprising its role as the main sponsor and official timekeeper of the classic car rally.

Fun Fact: Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has demonstrated his passion for automobiles by competing in the grueling 1,000-mile contest that runs roundtrip from Brescia to Rome, since 1988.
 

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono

We also need some consistency in our lives right now, so we’re pleased to report that the Maison has kept its annual tradition of presenting a new Mille Miglia watch collection. The new 2020 models are the 43mm Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control and the 44mm Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono.
 

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono
Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono

The Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control is a stainless steel automatic time and date watch, it is limited to 500 pieces and has an 18-carat rose gold crown with a power reserve indicator inspired by a racing car’s fuel gauge. The Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono in stainless steel is a 750-piece limited edition with a sub-dial layout that pays homage to the classic automotive dashboard display.
 

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control

Both models feature steely blue 'Azzurro' dials. Again, contrast is key in Chopard’s 2020 novelties, and the rich hue plays off the bright 'Mille Miglia red' used on the hands and the '1000 Miglia' arrow that frames the date window.

Chopard is describing the new Mille Miglia collection as, “A car in a watch,” which is an apt description. Both the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control and the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono feature details such as grooved sides that recall engine pistons, while the smoothly sloping lugs evoke the aerodynamic lines of the body. The chunky winding crown is inspired by a fuel cap, and the chronograph's push-pieces share the anti-slip pattern used on the control pedals of a competition car. Even the straps combine the classic perforated leather favored by drivers of the 1950s and 1960s, featuring a rubber lining that emulates the tread pattern of a Dunlop racing tire.
 

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control
Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control

Both timepieces are powered by in-house, COSC-certified calibers. The Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control features the Chopard 01.08-C movement with a 60-hour power reserve, and the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono’s chronometer-grade mechanism has 48 hours of power in the tank.

PERPETUAL EMOTION MACHINE

For the more contemplative collector, a perpetual calendar watch is the ultimate expression of the practical and the poetic. And for 2020, Chopard is unveiling two new takes on its chronometer-certified L.U.C Perpetual Twin.

These two new editions come in rose gold and stainless steel that seem to speak to the dual nature of time. That is to say, time not only marks the present, but it is also always moving forward.
 

Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin

Launched in 2016 on the 20th anniversary of the Chopard Manufacture, the L.U.C Perpetual Twin is a double agent in many ways. For example, its complication makes it a prime illustration of haute horlogerie, but it also offers practicality for an everyday wearer. After all, it is still the only chronometer-certified perpetual calendar in stainless steel currently on the market.

This year, Chopard is again presenting the L.U.C Perpetual Twin in stainless steel but with a newly refined dial in a stately shade of blue. And for the very first time in this line, it will be offered in 18-carat rose gold, with a subtle grey dial.
 

Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Twin

The sunray satin-brush finishes on both versions of the dial are meant to emphasize contrast, which in turn improves the legibility of the display. This clarity also comes across in the big date, which provides the focal point of the layout, with sub-dials for the calendar day, month, and leap year indications balancing out the face. Subtly applied hour markers also keep things from looking too busy.

Both versions are also versatile. You can dress them up with a hand-sewn blue or brown alligator leather with cognac alligator leather lining strap. Or, you can opt for a sportier stainless steel bracelet that is polished and satin-brushed.
 

L.U.C Perpetual Twin L.U.C 96.22- automatic caliber
L.U.C Perpetual Twin L.U.C 96.22- automatic caliber

Below both beautiful surfaces beats the L.U.C Perpetual Twin L.U.C 96.22- automatic caliber. This movement showcases Chopard’s finest traditions of hand-finishing and watchmaking and is chronometer-certified by the experts at the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) – a rare distinction for perpetual calendars.

This mechanism is as elegant as it is powerful, and it is built into the watch from the caliber out. A 22-carat gold micro-rotor is set into the plane of the movement resulting in a mechanism that’s just 6mm deep. Finally, Chopard’s energy-saving Twin Technology uses dual barrels to deliver an extended power reserve of 65 hours.

ODE TO JOY

The origins of the Happy Sport timepieces go back to 1993 when Caroline Scheufele, now Co-President and Artistic Director of Chopard, devised a sporty-chic ladies watch that combined steel and diamonds. There was nothing like it on the market, but it was instantly embraced by the women of its era. It has since become a horological favorite.

This year, Chopard has added two new jewelry versions called the Happy Sport Joaillerie. One version is available in ethically sourced white gold, and the second version is available in rose gold. Both versions playfully reinterpret the iconic dancing diamonds of the Happy Sport by showcasing prong-set diamonds instead of using the traditional gold capsule with a spinning-top like base. The new prong setting holds the stones in place with only five prongs, thus more fully exposing the stones to light. The radiance of the diamonds is further amplified, with an increased number of facets. The result is an even more dazzling effect as they skate between two sapphire crystals.
 

Chopard Happy Sport Joaillerie
Chopard Happy Sport Joaillerie

This brilliant new technical feat is not the only thing to get excited about. The textured mother-of-pearl dial has also been lovingly engraved with a guilloché motif, which speaks to the high level of artistry Chopard devotes to every aspect of its timepieces.

The Happy Sport family also features Chopard’s in-house automatic 96.17-C caliber movement, for mechanical as well as gem-setting excellence. This ultra-thin mechanism consists of 167 components and supplies a worry-free 65-hour power reserve, allowing it to keep good time even when left untouched for over two-and-a-half days. Both versions come on a supple alligator leather strap with a secure 18-carat white or rose gold pin buckle set with diamonds.
 

Chopard Happy Sport Joaillerie ©Michèle Bloch-Stuckens
Chopard Happy Sport Joaillerie ©Michèle Bloch-Stuckens

Finally, with a diameter of 36mm, it’s a modern size that appeals to contemporary buyers and the new generation of female enthusiasts who have come to love the Happy Sport.

The fluidity of the stones in previous iterations of the Happy Sport has always provided a personal connection between watch and wearer. But with this brilliant new setting, these two new editions also reflect who she is and what she values.
 

Chopard Happy Sport Joaillerie
Chopard Happy Sport Joaillerie

(Images provided by Chopard)

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