Our visit to Chopard during the Geneva Watch Days event took us out of Geneva central to Meyrin.

There, we visited the Chopard manufacture, which is home to:

A) A really sexy Japanese garden.

B) The kind of bar I think every boozehound would kill to have in his man cave/her she lair.

C) A well-appointed and curated museum detailing the history of the brand.

The star of the show here was the Alpine Eagle collection. It was the first time I’d had the opportunity to handle these pieces myself. And, I must say, there were some very nice touches I’d not noticed before.

Aesthetically, the stand-out features of the collection are the dial and the steel itself. Firstly, the dial pattern is — and I hadn’t realized this, much to my amusement — based on the iris of an Eagle (seriously). It’s kind of obvious as soon as you know what you’re looking at but prior to this visit, I’d just thought it was a fancy, swirly pattern… Turns out I’m a twit.

Although that hardly qualifies as news…

Bigger, faster, harder, brighter…

Secondly, the steel used in the case has actually been melted down and reformed to increase its hardness, purity, and, thus, whiteness. I’m no metallurgist, but basically, when you melt steel (or anything) you collapse the bonds between the molecules. When it hardens, those structures are rebuilt with “shorter” connections. This apparently reduces the impurities, which results in a stronger, brighter-looking material.

I’m not going to pretend I would have been able to tell the difference without being told that. The steel did feel incredibly good quality and the surface finishing was excellent. I could easily imagine that is a consequence of the science that was laid before me.

But the best thing for me was the chamfer on the case middle as it meets the lug and the ensuing transition from the lug to the bracelet. The development of this polished surface creates a beautiful line from the case to the bracelet. This further integrates the two. It is a nice, considered touch, a really mature design, and the kind of detail that adds volumes to the overall wearing experience.

Unfortunately, the new pieces that led to these hot takes are under embargo for a few more weeks, so please take a look at our photos of the previously released model in the meantime, along with our extensive gallery of the brand new and very attractive L.U.C. models below.

Chopard Alpine Eagle

Get it in your hands

Hot take: Chopard’s sports watch contender impresses with a mixture of style and science, but really needs to be seen and held to be understood. It won’t be for everyone, but I certainly appreciate why it sent some people gaga when it hit the market. It’s a quality piece of work, as are the luxurious L.U.C. pieces we’re able to share with you right now.

In-depth reviews of the pieces seen during Geneva Watch Days will follow. Feel free to comment below with your initial takeaways of new releases, the event format, and anything you’d like us to focus on or explore further.

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