featured 08, Aug 2021 01:00am
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A Walk Down Memory: Celebrating 25 years of the Chopard Manufacture

As Chopard Manufacture completes 25 years, co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, who was instrumental in setting it up, talks to WatchTime India about the journey

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele is a man of vision. Even before he took over as co- president of Chopard, along with his sister Caroline, in 2001, he knew the direction in which he wanted to steer the 161-year-old watchmaking maison. Just as Swiss watchmaking was nding its feet after the quartz crisis, in the early 1990s, Scheufele had the foresight to understand that making in-house movements would be a game-changer. At a time when watchmakers were still sourcing parts and movements from third parties, an expertise such as this would have made all the difference to the brand in the long run.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele holding founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard’s rst pocket watch and wearing the firrst L.U.C wristwatch.

So, in 1996, he established Chopard’s rst manufacture in Fleurier, in the Swiss Jura Mountains. “It gave another dimension to the company,” recalls Scheufele. “Producing our own watch movements was important, as was independence and gaining recognition in creating products. With the manufacture, we added a technical dimension to us.”

L.U.C 1860 in yellow gold

Scheufele’s matter-of-factness belies the many achievements the manufacture has had since. Responsible for creating all of Chopard’s L.U.C movements today, the manufacture set the tone for what was to come with the very rst calibre, the 1.96, named after the year of its birth. Here was a bi-directional micro rotor, sitting recessed within the baseplate, which helped bring down the thickness of the movement. Simultaneously developed were the twin barrels, which provided more consistent torque and extended the power reserve to no less than 65 hours. The automatic movement also featured a proprietary balance wheel and the now-signature swan-neck regulator, all coming together in 3.3mm.

The Quattro Spirit 25 commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Chopard Manufacture

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