THE IMMORTALS – The Chopard Alpine Eagle is a luxurious remix of an ’80s classicD.C. Hannay
Integrated-bracelet luxury sports watches aren’t going anywhere, and more high-end manufacturers are getting into the game. Or getting back into it, as is the case with Chopard. Their modern-day classic, the Chopard Alpine Eagle, launched in 2019, has proven to be their biggest hit in recent memory, and it’s easy to see why.
Based on their ‘80s back-catalogue classic, the St. Moritz, it’s got all the ingredients that make up the definitive integrated sports-watch recipe. The Alpine Eagle’s prominent brushed bezel, luxuriously sculpted bracelet, and captivating dial are all hallmarks of icons like AP’s Royal Oak, Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato, and Patek’s Nautilus, but the Chopard features its own distinctive visual twists.
And Chopard has introduced some unique plotlines of their own. The brand has gone deep into sustainability, with models available in their proprietary A223 Lucent Steel, which, besides being harder and more wear-resistant than ordinary stainless, also happens to be 70% recycled, with the remaining 30% listed as sustainable. It even looks more luxurious, with an ineffable quality that evokes white gold. And the line has expanded to include other metals, including titanium, and what Chopard calls Ethical Gold, which is responsibly sourced utilising a transparent supply chain. Gem-set models also include ethically sourced diamonds and other precious stones, so it seems Chopard is serious about their commitment to “responsible luxury”.
The striking dial is also a unique Chopard proposition, and doubtless the most eye-catching feature of the watch. Its “killer app”, if you will. It features a galvanic treatment that creates a depth like few other watches, a psychedelic whirlwind that catches the light in myriad ways, revealing something new at every glance.
The “eagle’s iris” texture shows a subtle gradient, and looks fantastic in whichever colour you prefer, including Bernina Grey, Aletsch Blue, and now, Pine Green, as well as others for the precious metal models. Tasteful rhodium-applied indices and a colour-matched date wheel deport themselves well, while not distracting from the glorious maelstrom that is the dial.
Not just a pretty face, the 41mm model’s in-house 01.01-C movement is COSC-certified, exquisitely manufactured, and tastefully decorated, with a 60-hour power reserve and a trim profile that keeps the case to a svelte 9.7mm thick, even with the display caseback. You can never be too rich or too thin when it comes to luxury timepieces.
Given the popularity of the 41mm and 36mm models, the brand has, unsurprisingly, greatly expanded the Alpine Eagle lineup. Chopard now has a full range of case sizes, including 33 and 44mm models, to fit pretty much any wrist. Gem-set bezel versions are also on offer, and they’ve even introduced some over-the-top fully gem-set models featuring paved bracelets, including variants with rainbow bezels for the full influencer effect.
They’ve also expanded the line from three-handers, with a baller 44mm flyback chronograph on bracelet or rubber strap, and even a flying tourbillon model. And given the success of the Alpine Eagle line, I wouldn’t be surprised if more variants were in the model’s future. Is it the hypestorm that FOMO-inducing models like the Nautilus and Royal Oak are? No (at least not at the moment), but it’s easily their equal as a timepiece. In fact, the Alpine Eagle is potentially one Instagram post away from becoming the Next Big Thing. But why wait for some celebrity’s stamp of approval? Whatever version strikes your fancy, the Alpine Eagle is easily as legitimate a contender as any other integrated sports watch I can think of, and a perfect companion for skiing into a 4-star restaurant after a day on the slopes of Gstaad.