The History of Chopard
The story of Chopard begins in the year 1860 in the Swiss village of Sonvilier. That year, 24-year-old Louis Ulysse Chopard, a farmer’s son, opened a workshop where he manufactured mechanical movements for watches. As time went on, it became apparent to Chopard that there was substantially more money in fully finished watches rather than just their parts, and with that, he established L.U.C manufacturing company and began crafting watches.
Chopard’s ultra-thin watches rapidly won popularity due to their fine craftsmanship, and it wasn't long before Chopard was selling his wares across Scandinavia. Customers investing in watches were interested in reliability, quality, and precision, and Chopard's chronometers and pocket watches delivered these qualities in spades.
Early milestones for Chopard included becoming one of the official providers of watches for Tir Fédéral and the Swiss Railways. These were very prestigious commissions indeed and helped cement Chopard’s reputation as one of the best watchmakers of his time.
Louis Ulysse Chopard died in 1915, and his son Paul-Louis and grandson Paul-Andre took the company reins. In 1921, the company moved to the town of Chaux-de-Fonds.
The company relocated to Geneva in 1937. At the time the company employed 150 people. The reason for the move was that the only way to get the coveted Geneva Seal certification, the watches would need to be actually crafted in Geneva. From then on, the pocket watches and ladies’ wristwatches that time a company of 150 employees, the company relocated to Geneva.
This enabled the movements made by the company to be certified with the Geneva Seal, a mark applied only to watch movements made in the Canton of Geneva. Paul-André took over the company in 1943. The company was taken over by his son Paul-Louis and grandson Paul-André. The company specialized in making pocket watches and ladies’ wristwatches we granted the Geneva Seal, considered the gold standard of movement certifications.
Paul-André Chopard sold the business in 1963 to German watchmaker/goldsmith Karl Scheufele III. Under Scheufele’s direction, the Chopard factory moved to Meyrin-Geneva. It was there, in 1976, that the company began crafting watches featuring its now famous design of a free-floating diamond behind sapphire glass. It wasn't until 80’s that the company began offering diamond jewelry for ladies and sports watches for men. and in 1976 the company started making watches that contained its signature free-floating diamond behind sapphire glass. In the 1980s, the company expanded into making sports watches for men and diamond jewelry for women.
Chopard’s own manufacturing facility was opened in Fleurier, Neuchâtel in 1996.
By the time the company reached its 150th anniversary in 2010, the estimated sales were €550 million- nearly half of which were from watch sales. As if that time, roughly 100 Chopard stores were open around worldwide.
Partners of the brand include The Cannes Film Festival (as of 1988), The Mille Miglia car rally (1998), and The Historic Grand Prix of Monaco (as the event’s official keeper of time, as of 2002). In recognition of the 70th anniversary of Chopard’s partnership with Cannes Film Festival, Chopard released a limited edition Palme D’or, completed with ethical diamonds. These long-standing relationships prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Chopard’s company values stand the test of time - much like their products.
Ethics a big role in the philosophy of the brand. Since 1978, Chopard has implemented a closed-loop system, which results in up to 70% of their metal waste being recycled. This means the company can largely depend on their own supply as opposed to newly mined gold. Ethically mined, sustainable gold has been used in Chopard products since 2013.
Celebrities covet Chopard watches and jewelry from all corners of the world. A few noteworthy examples of this are;
Elton John, who wore Chopard at the 21st annual Elton John Aids foundation academy awards viewing party. This event was co-sponsored by Chopard and raised $6 million for the cause.
Matthew McConaughey, who donned a Chopard L.U.C. xP in white gold at the 86th academy awards.
Bradley Cooper, who wore a Chopard L.U.C.1937 classic at the same event.
Further examples of A-listers who have been known to adorn themselves with Chopard jewelry include Rihanna (who partnered with a Chopard in 2017 to develop her own jewelry mine within the brand), Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet,
Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Cara Delevingne, and Julianne Moore, among countless others.
Also of note is the Chopard Diamond Award, which is bestowed on recording artists who have sold over 100 million albums. The prestigious award is given out at the World Music Awards by the Prince of Monaco. Past recipients include Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, and Michael Jackson.
Presently, the brand enjoys global success with their high-end jewelry and watches. The Chopard jewelry product range includes rings, pendants, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and a special engagement section. The brand has even expanded to include accessories such as leather goods, sunglasses, and fragrance.
Still revered for their watches, Chopard offers dozens of watch styles crafted in the highest quality materials. From automatic to manual, quartz to diamond, casual to opulent, Chopard is without a doubt a brand well known and adored for their watch craftsmanship.
With a comprehensive and compelling website and boutique locations from Las Vegas to Prague, New York to Vancouver, and of course, Switzerland, among dozens of other locations worldwide, Chopard maintains its reputation as one of the leading watch and jewelry brands across the globe.