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
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.