Chopard is celebrated for its wristwatches and jewellery in equal measure, so it should come as no surprise that the Swiss maison’s latest release is a fine marriage of the two. The L’Heure du Diamant collection – which deftly combines expert watchmaking and impeccable gem-setting – has welcomed eight new watches influenced by 1960s Chopard designs. Naturally, the new range is very striking; like previous L’Heure du Diamant timepieces, each watch features a generous crown of diamonds complemented by rich tones and textures.
Consistent with the rest of the L’Heure du Diamant collection, the new watches have been fashioned to celebrate the diamond and showcase it to its fullest potential. While the watches differ in colour and style, the common thread that runs through them is their exuberant bezels emblazoned with diamonds. In fact, the diamonds set into the bezel alone total more than four carats. The diamond theme is carried over to the 18-carat white gold crown of each watch, which bears a delicate briolette-cut gem.
What sets the new range apart, though, is its vivid spectrum of colours and 1960s-inspired aesthetic. The collection marks the 50th anniversary of a 1969 Chopard line of jewellery watches that was somewhat progressive for its time, offering women a more functional way of expressing themselves by combining fine jewels and an immaculate timepiece. As well, the 1969 jewellery watches embraced a more contemporary and fashion-forward attitude, were radically modernist in their design, and employed organic materials like minerals, crystals and textured gold. In the spirit of the originals, the new collection has four dial options that have been carved from vibrant minerals: malachite, lapis lazuli, turquoise and opal. Each variation offers two choices of strap: coloured alligator leather that matches the respective dial, or an 18-carat white gold bracelet textured to resemble tree bark.
While the new line of watches draws significant influence from the past, there are a few features that are distinctly contemporary. The watches’ proportions have been updated to suit a modern look, their craftsmanship is more sophisticated, and an impressive in-house movement has been added – namely, an automatic 09.01-C calibre with 42-hour power reserve.
The new range also reflects Chopard’s monumental strides towards a more sustainable way of watchmaking. In July 2018, Chopard announced that all of its gold would be sourced from smaller mines participating in the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA), Fairmined and Fairtrade schemes, or the Responsible Jewellery Council Chain of Custody. In keeping with the company’s commitment, the gold used in the new L’Heure du Diamant collection is 100 per cent ethical.
Much like the 1969 models broke fresh ground, one could say the same about the newest L’Heure du Diamant collection. Chopard has again proved that a wearer really can have it all: a fine piece of jewellery, an expertly made timepiece, and, this time, a shift towards a more ethically and environmentally-friendly future for watchmaking.