Introducing: The New Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS — A Sleek Upgrade With A Touch Of Pink
The intricate nature of the Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 charmed me the day it was released and was one of the first subjects of my now-defunct YouTube channel Wristwatchism. It was actually the first time I had a €10,000 watch as a house guest for a weekend, and it made an indelible impression on me. Chopard has made the Alpine Eagle one of its most successful ranges in recent years, and the new XPS is a sleeker, even more distinct take on the ‘80s-inspired sports watch.
We can start by dissecting the term “sports watch,” as this is a richly endowed take on the genre and a distinct blend of formality and tough steel. Steel, I might add, that has an indefinable sheen and is somehow more lustrous than its 316L and 904L counterparts. Chopard’s proprietary alloy Lucent Steel A223 is an ultra-resistant, hard-to-machine alloy made from 85% recycled materials, and it looks different. Married to an enigmatic vortex dial, the new Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS is not understated but still speaks a confident language of formal chic.
First impressions of a refined Alpine Eagle
The charmingly busy design of the Alpine Eagle takes its inspiration from the 1980s St. Moritz, but it’s tougher. The brushed elements are bold in their striations, with glints of reflections from sharp bevels on the case and the chunky bracelet. I have worn the standard 41mm version and can profess to the brighter sheen of the 85% recycled Lucent Steel. The design boasts the ever-hot integrated bracelet, but unlike Genta octagonality, this language is pure Chopard.
It’s a distinct case shape with side protrusions, one of which is the de facto crown guard. Square ingots of polished steel create a vibrancy of motion in the bracelet, but the big difference here is the thickness. It may look like chunky sports luxe but is a sliver-thin 8mm, skinny compared to the OG’s 9.7mm. This is only one of the three Chopard trump cards that push the Alpine Eagle up the grail chart.
An enigmatic dial with new poise
When I first laid eyes on press shots of the 2019 Alpine Eagle, my initial thoughts were of too much goodness. Even a maximalist overload. But the original blue-dialed version surprised me with a compact wrist feel and intense dial architecture. This time, the gorgeous vortex of a dial is a studied shade of “Monte Rosa” salmon pink. And without the date window at four-thirty, the balance is better. I’m a big fan of small seconds dials, and sharp print with a circular-engraved center adds to the formality.
It’s a dial that, if you described it, would sound too busy, but it comes across as cohesive. The sub-dial at 6 o’clock is poised to rival the brash Roman numerals at the cardinal points for attention. It’s a dressy sort but a practical sports watch nonetheless, which makes the solid portions of Super-LumiNova very welcome. There’s even a cheeky stripe of lume on the seconds pointer, making for a legibly dressy dial. Yes, I do enjoy the depths of eagle-eye iris blue (hence the name) of the original. However, the bright Lucent Steel is a perfect contrast to the satin sheen of this coppery pink.
A chronometer movement in a slimmer case
What should seem like a busier dial with the added small seconds comes across as balanced in reality. Thankfully, the look is here to stay too since the non-limited Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS is joining the standard range. This is impressive when we look under the hood.
The final ace in the XPS deck is the new caliber. It’s a chronometer-certified L.U.C 96.40-L movement with a strong 65 hours of power reserve. The in-house movement is chronometer-certified and a mere 3.30mm thick with a solid gold micro-rotor. The power reserve is ensured through the Chopard Twin tech. This has twin stacked barrels, and all movement components are finished to the standards of the Poinçon de Genève seal. It will wear wider than the original, as the bezel and case sides have been trimmed for a wider dial. But the “Monte Rosa” dial deserves every extra half-millimeter of dial theater. The new Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS will be available for $22,500.
In an era marking the return of salmon-pink dials, does the new Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS have the grail characteristics you crave, Fratelli? Let us know in the comments below.
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