Thursday, March 29, 2018

Chopard CEO on the latest developments at Baselworld 2018

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-president and CEO of Chopard, talks about the strengths of the brand, which skilfully weds feminine design and inherent values

Chopard has achieved the threefold feat of establishing itself as a trendsetter in watches, in design and as a manufacture. Which focal point do the current watches reaffirm?

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele: We are celebrating the Happy Sport, a special wristwatch that started an absolute trend 25 years ago when it became the first wristwatch to wed stainless steel and diamonds, thus also uniting diverse styles. From the start, our Happy Sport successfully harmonised elegance, luxury and sportiness. This was totally new, and afterwards it evolved into a zeitgeist. The Happy Sport’s special charisma made it a design icon that is still fresh today. Its details have repeatedly undergone modifications, so the collection has always remained very versatile and cutting-edge.

To celebrate the Happy Sport’s 25th birthday, we are introducing a model that we are very proud of: the Happy Sport has been equipped for the first time with a self-winding movement from our house. Engineered and fabricated by our subsidiary company (the movement manufacturer Fleurier Ebauches), Calibre 09.01 C was specially developed to tick inside the 30-mm-diameter cases of ladies’ watches. The Happy Sport thus links the two centres of excellence of Chopard – the result of a unique combination of myriad skills and expertise contributing to the grandeur of watchmaking and jewellery.

The Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier has been the birthplace of fascinating complications ever since its founding 22 years ago. Are you also presenting something new in this discipline?

My personal favourite in the L.U.C collection is the Quattro. I like its well-balanced design and its sophisticated technology with four barrels that team up to amass a lengthy power reserve of more than eight days’ duration. We are now presenting this special watch in a new version for the modern gentleman which, like its predecessors, is as appealing in its styling as in its mechanisms. The movement’s construction with four barrels is patented and the only one on the market. A chronometer certificate awarded to this model proves how successful the Chopard Manufacture has been in this feat of engineering.

What do you expect from Baselworld 2018?

After putting two rather challenging years behind us, Chopard got off to a very good start in watch and jewellery sales in 2018. Naturally, we hope that the show will confirm this trend and that a positive reception will greet the new items that we are presenting here.

Why do you value participation at Baselworld 2018 so highly?

Despite the increasing number of digital activities we undertake, face-to-face meetings are still extremely important for us. Personal contacts are decisive in many areas and Baselworld is certainly the key trade show in our sector. You can take products in your hand and actually experience them, “touch and feel” remains essential, particularly in our industry.

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