Watch & Jewellery
HOW TO FLEX "BLUE STEEL": Chopard’s Alpine Eagle
Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of Chopard
The 'Alpine Eagle' is Chopard's modern take on a wristwatch it created in the '80s
The case and bracelet are made of Lucent Steel A223
The crown features a compass rose motif inspired by the instrument used since ancient times
The integrated bracelet parallels the one first created in 1980
Chopard's in-house 09.01-C movement

The year was 1980 when the then 22-year-old Karl- Friedrich Scheufele (the current co-president of Chopard) deigned the St. Moritz wristwatch, his first under the house. It was made out of stainless steel and was birthed in an era where the material was red hot and considered as a luxury, more so than even gold. This particular wristwatch features a seamless bracelet construction, a mix of polished and brushed finishing, and screws on the bezel – all characteristics of the most iconic luxury sports wristwatch designs of today. Unfortunately, the St. Moritz didn’t last long enough to compete and was discontinued shortly after. But here is where it gets interesting; Scheufele has relooked at the first wristwatch design nearly four decades later as stainless steel is picking up pace again in 2019. Under a new name that sounds like what the military would christen their fighter jets, the Alpine Eagle is what Scheufele hopes the 22-year-olds of today would pine for. And this handsome proposal isn’t wide off the mark: a show of strength with a reworked circular bezel with eight screws, a glacier-coloured rock-like textured dial that hints at your adventurous streak, and glow-in- the-dark hands and indexes that ensure equal performance during after dark hours. So what’s left of the original? For those who were around when Chopard launched the OG in 1980, you’d be glad to learn that the seamless bracelet construction remains the same, a balance of ergonomic design and swag. What is perhaps the talking point however is the introduction of a proprietary steel called the Lucent Steel A223, which is a result of re-smelting the steel to create an alloy that is said to be 50 per cent more resistant to abrasion than traditional stainless steel and a brilliance and brightness that is comparable to gold. Industrialising this new alloy took nearly four year to perfect and is in itself one of the reasons why steel should not be looked at as a second-rate material again.

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