COM­ING OF AGE

Dis­missed by the in­dus­try in its early days, the Chopard Happy Sport has grown from strength to strength to bloom into the icon it is to­day

Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Contents - Text Ter­ence Lim

Cel­e­brat­ing mile­stones with Chopard’s Happy Sport

Most would agree that the Happy Di­a­monds and Happy Sport are key pil­lars—for both brand­ing and business—in the Chopard world, es­pe­cially for its fem­i­nine seg­ment. Karin Scheufele, the mother of cur­rent co­pres­i­dents Karl-fred­erich and Caro­line, spear­headed the cre­ation of the Happy Di­a­monds in 1976. “Di­a­monds are hap­pier when they are free!” she had fa­mously pro­nounced. The fem­i­nine watch with free-mov­ing di­a­monds be­tween two sap­phire crys­tals cap­tured the lib­eral zeit­geist then and proved an in­stant hit.

But in 1993, Caro­line, also the cur­rent artis­tic di­rec­tor of Chopard, made a bold call to in­ject Happy Di­a­monds’ freespir­ited con­cept into a sporty, ver­sa­tile steel watch. While Happy Di­a­monds fared well in terms of sales, the rel­a­tively pre­mium prod­uct appealed only to the top-tier cus­tomers. But Caro­line wanted to ex­pand Chopard’s reach and speak to more con­sumers. Her de­ci­sion to cre­ate the Happy Sport was dis­missed by naysay­ers, deem­ing it as a lofty idea that would not suc­ceed.

On the con­trary, the Happy Sport caught on like wild fire. It al­lowed con­sumers to wear di­a­monds to both work and play, and not just to for­mal oc­ca­sions only. Mo­bile di­a­monds in a watch also meant that it was not full-on bling but merely a touch of so­phis­ti­ca­tion on a time-telling tool.

The past 25 years has seen the Happy Sport un­dergo var­i­ous in­car­na­tions as Chopard in­fuses its own flavour into it (See side­bar). Whether every ver­sion hits the right spots is sub­jec­tive. But the Happy Sport does un­der­score how cre­ative and aes­thet­i­cally adept the mai­son is.

To cel­e­brate the 25th an­niver­sary of the Happy Sport, Chopard en­riches the col­lec­tion with an in-house self-wind­ing move­ment, cal­i­bre 09.01 C. It is spe­cially de­vel­oped to fit the 30mm-wide Happy Sport, beats at 3.5 Hz and has a power re­serve of 42 hours. To demon­strate the prow­ess of the Chopard Man­u­fac­ture, the cal­i­bre 09.01 C also boasts cir­cu­lar grain­ing dec­o­ra­tion on the main plate and Côtes de Genève stripes on the ro­tor and bridges—some­thing not typ­i­cally found on a ba­sic au­to­matic move­ment.

With the new move­ment, Chopard also rolls out new Happy Sport it­er­a­tions. The ro­man­tic-at-hearts will like the trio of tick­ers which fea­tures tex­tured mother-of-pearl di­als in pas­tel shades, while mod­ern women will ap­pre­ci­ate the Happy Sport Oval Au­to­matic, a play­ful take on the orig­i­nal round case. Chopard also flexes its artis­tic mus­cles with lim­ited-edi­tion ver­sions of its three iconic Happy Sport mod­els: Happy Fish, Happy Palm (pic­tured) and Happy Snowflakes. Only 25 pieces of each ver­sion will be pro­duced.

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