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History of Chopard
Louis-Ulysse Chopard, a hereditary watchmaker, opened the first Chopard watchmaking workshop in 1860 (at the age of 24) in a small town of Sonvilier located in the Swiss Jura Mountains. Having maintained his family horological traditions, Louis-Ulysse concentrated on developing precise pocket watches and chronometers based upon innovative ideas.
In the 1960-s the Chopard Company was headed by Paul-Andre Chopard. Paul-Andre was the last master watchmaker who maintained the horological roots of the family . His sons followed another career and refused to manage the business. Paul-Andre agreed to sell the business to Karl Scheufele. Mr. Scheufele inherited his family's jewelry business in Pforzheim, Germany. The new head of the company gained significant experience in both watch and jewelry making. He contributed to modernization of the company and added the jewelry segment into the Chopard watch production.
In 1975 the Chopard factory moved from the center of Geneva to Meyrin-Geneva. It marked a new stage for the company as it started producing ladies' and jewelry timepieces. In 1976 Chopard introduced the Happy Diamonds collection. Watches from the collection featured mobile diamonds that floated freely between two transparent sapphire crystals.
In 1980 the Chopard Company debuted with sports watches on leather straps. The range of Happy Diamonds watches was enlarged by jewelry pieces. The first Chopard boutiques were opened in Hong Kong, Geneva and Vienna in the 1980-s.
In 1988 Chopard established the cooperation with the Mille Miglia, an annual Italian rally where vintage and classic cars take part. To mark the partnership, Chopard has maintained the tradition of developing a new special edition Mille Miglia timepiece every year.
The Chopard Happy Sport collection appeared in 1993. In 1996, the Chopard Company opened its independent movement factory in Fleurier. The first Chopard in-house movement was named L.U.C. It served as a base for other Chopard independently produced movements.
In 1998 the Company partnered with the annual Cannes International Film Festival. In 2000 the beginning of the new millennium was marked by the introduction of the Chopard L.U.C Quattro watch, powered by a technically advanced caliber with four barrels - an innovation that provided 9-day power reserve.
In 2001 the horology world was joined by the Chopard L.U.C Tonneau watch powered by the first-ever tonneau-shaped self-winding movement with off-centered micro-rotor. In 2002 Chopard new Golden Diamonds concept enlarged the jewelry range.
In 2003 the Chopard Tourbillon watch enlarged the Manufacture's L.U.C. range and the Happy Spirit collection was born. In 2004 the Company unveiled the L.U.C. Regulateur watch and the Butterfly jewelry pieces collection. In 2005 ,Chopard presented the Copacabana and Golden Diamonds collections and introduced the L.U.C. Lunar 1. The brand became a part of the sailing world, having initiated the Grand Prix Chopard Decision 35 sailing regatta.
In 2006 the company celebrated the 30th anniversary of Happy Diamonds watch collection and the 10th anniversary of the movement factory in Fleurier.
Mr. Scheufele is still the president of the Chopard Company. He has kept the Company as a family business. In the 1990s his children joined the business. Caroline Scheufele is the head of the jewelry division, while Karl-Friedrich manages the watchmaking department.
Chopard holds three production sites located in Geneva, Fleurier in Switzerland and Pforzheim in Germany. The Company has organized its products distribution through 13 subsidiaries placed all over the world. In addition, the brand has opened over 90 brand boutiques.
The Chopard Company has developed a variety of watch collections, including quartz and mechanical timepieces, gem-set and technically complicated models, classic and sporty ones. The list of the leading Chopard collections is the following: Mille Miglia, L.U.C., Happy Diamonds, Happy Sport, Happy Spirit, Classiques, and Haute Horlogerie.
Chopard Mille Miglia watch collection comprises mechanical timepieces of sporty style. These timepieces appeared as a result of the brand's partnership with Italian car rally, the Mille Miglia. The Chopard Happy Sport ladies' collection features timepieces that unite sporty style with precious stones and bright colors. The L.U.C collection features massive sporty-styled chronometers and elegant classy men's watches