Everyone remembers where they were during the great integrated stainless-steel sports watches deluge of 2019, so torrential was the output from Switzerland.
While many modern pretenders to the mantle of Genta have long-since been forgotten in these troubled times, Chopard’s Alpine Eagle soars majestically above the rest and has a better chance than most of standing on its own two feet and being remembered in its own right somewhere down the line. Perhaps that’s because the Alpine Eagle has genuine heritage, being loosely based on Chopard’s 80’s hit, the St. Moritz, but I like to think it’s down to the fearlessness of the design, one of Chopard’s glorious stamped dials and one of the best bracelets in living memory.
On launch the Alpine Eagle (apparently St. Moritz is not as classy as it once was) was revealed in two case sizes (36mm and 41mm) and came in Chopard’s ethically sourced Fairmined gold or an entirely new, scratch-resistant stainless-steel alloy, Lucent A223, or a combination of both in the bi-metal models, making a total of ten references.
Now the Alpine Eagle gets its first complication, a new dial colour and a third case size.
The Alpine Eagle XL Chrono adds a flyback chronograph courtesy of Chopard’s entirely inhouse 03.05-C COSC-certified automatic column wheel chronograph movement, which boasts a 60-hour power reserve and has already proven itself within Chopard’s sport Mille Miglia chronographs.
The XL Chrono uses a 44mm version of the Alpine Eagle case with chronograph pushers above and below the crown guards which, although flat and subtle, do nudge the case’s carefully crafted silhouette to the point of asymmetry. Chronograph minute and hour registers sit at the nine o’clock and three o’clock positions respectively with a small seconds at the six o’clock. The central chronograph seconds hand features a feather-shaped counterweight, another reference to the eagle.
Chopard is also adding Pitch Black as a dial option alongside its striking Aletsch Blue, which means the Bernina Grey dials are restricted to the smaller time and date models. The brand really extracts maximum effect from its dials here, which are supposed to reflect the iris of an eagle. The pattern is first stamped into the metal dial blank before it undergoes a galvanic treatment, that may sound simple but, much like the stunning pépite dials from its earlier L.U.C XPS Fairmined and XPS Twist QF Fairmined watches on which they are based, it packs a real visual punch.
The new steel alloy, Lucent A223, also adds something beyond the merely technical to the Alpine Eagle package as a whole. Yes, it undergoes a re-smelting process to add hardness meaning it should resist those irritating scratches for longer but the technique results in a lighter shade than traditional stainless steel too, looking more like platinum.
A total of three new references join the collection with two full Lucent A223 steel examples, with Pitch Black and Aletsch Blue dials and one bi-metal example, where the crown, bezel and central link of the bracelet is picked out in ethical 18ct rose gold which uses the Pitch-Black dial colour.
Price & Specs:
Model: Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono
Ref: 298609-3001 (Lucent Steel A223 with Alesch Blue dial)
298609-3002 (Lucent Steel A223 with Pitch Black dial)
298609-6001 (Lucent Steel A223 and 18-carat ethical rose gold with Pitch Black dial)
Case/Dial: 44mm diameter x 13.5mm, Lucent Steel A223 (steel and black/blue dial) and Lucent Steel A223 and 18-carat ethical rose gold (steel and rose gold)
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Chopard calibre 03.05-C, in house, automatic, 45 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60h
Functions: Central hours, minutes, chronograph seconds, date, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock, small seconds at 6 o’clock
Strap: Lucent Steel A223 bracelet with satin-bushed sides (steel and black/blue dial) and Lucent Steel A223 and 18-carat ethical rose gold bracelet (steel and rose gold)
Price/availability: £16,800 (steel and black/blue dial) and £23,400 (steel and rose gold)
More details at Chopard.