In the late 1970s, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele — who heads family-owned Chopard today, along with his sister Caroline — introduced his first watch range, the St Moritz. That luxury sports timepiece inspired the Alpine Eagle, a collection launched last year with time-and-date models. It was also Chopard’s answer to the ongoing demand for steel sports watches on integrated bracelets.
Following a familiar industry path when it comes to launching new ranges, the brand now expands the collection with the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono. There are three variations in a new 44mm case: In steel with a blue or black dial, and in steel and rose gold with a black dial. Not just any steel, mind you — Chopard uses its own Lucent steel, which is more lustrous than regular steel, and also harder and more scratch-resistant. And not just any regular blue or black dials, either — inspired by the iris of an eagle, Alpine Eagle dials feature a disinctive, highly textured sunburst pattern.
While not new, the 03.05-C flyback chronograph movement powering these 2020 additions is pretty special too. Chopard has four patents on the COSC-certified column-wheel chronograph movement, which includes features such as a unidirectional gearing system that prevents energy losses while ensuring rapid winding, and a Variner balance that helps to minimise the movement’s rate variation.
Elsewhere, expect the same fine details that were introduced with the first Alpine Eagle models. These include a seconds hand shaped like a feather, a winding crown engraved with a compass rose, and — our favourite feature of these watches — a bracelet that features satin-brushed ingot-shaped links topped by polished, raised central caps for a result that’s subtle yet striking.