Chopard reinforces its watchmaking roots

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Beveller

Chopard’s transformation into fully-integrated, state-of-the-art Omega Replica watch manufacture over the past decade is often overshadowed by the company’s enviable success as a high jewelry company – something that is only reinforced by the fact that it just won the “Jewellery Watch” Prize (for the second year in a row) at Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève last month. But Chopard’s roots actually lie in watchmaking. Chopard began life in 1860 as one of Switzerland’s original Replica Watches UK manufactures in the Swiss Jura town of Sonvilier.

Like most heritage brands, the firm slowed down or stopped making mechanical movements at some point, particularly with the advent of quartz, and although it has had much success with its men’s timepiece designs over the years – including the iconic Mille Miglia collection – it wasn’t until 1996 that the company began to produce its own movements again.

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Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s vision was to establish a watchmaking operation that combines the techniques of age-old hand craftsmanship with modern technology. All in-house movements are built with Chopard-made components (everything but the screws) and finished with Chopard-made tools. All craftspeople are trained in-house to ensure consistency of workmanship and a finishing touch that represents the Chopard signature. The process is about quality, not quantity, and that has meant no cutting corners, or costs.

Complete control

“In my view, a brand can only fully exist in the field of Haute Horlogerie by achieving complete control of the making of its timepieces: design and development, production and assembly, movements and exteriors,” says Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. “Chopard has chosen to give precedence to hand craftsmanship, even when this choice involves higher production costs. It is the kind of choice only a family business could make, thanks to an entirely independent structure, unbound by the demands of immediate profit stemming from external investors unaware of the nature of fine watchmaking.”

In 1997, a year after establishing Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier, the Maison emerged with its first caliber, the 1.96, cased in the L.U.C 1860, marking the company’s foundational year. Today, Chopard produces nine distinct families of Replica Watches UK movements, with 50 movement variations, including a perpetual calendar and a tourbillon. This year, it produced 7,000 movements, up from 3,000 only two years ago, thanks also to the new facility Fleurier Ebauches. The goal is 15,000 by 2015. As production increases, the company’s reliance on outsourcing diminishes. As of next year, for example, all watches in the Mille Miglia collection will contain Chopard-made movements. The Imperiale and L.U.C collections already contain in-house movements. All Rolex Replica Watches bearing the Geneva Seal are cased in Geneva, and everything that is Geneva Seal certified falls into the L.U.C collection.

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The watches have been well received, by all accounts. For example, also shortlisted in various categories at this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie, were the L.U.C Perpetual T, Superfast Automatic, L.U.C Engine One and Mille Miglia 2013. And in 2006, the L.U.C XP won first prize in the ultra-thin category at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix.

A contrast of old and new

On a recent visit to the Chopard facilities in Fleurier and Geneva, I had the opportunity to see first-hand the processes in this fully integrated fake watches manufacture, where most of the work is done by hand. Chopard performs 25 individual crafts under its roof, including everything from making tools and components to creating its own dials and casting gold to achieve its proprietary color. There is also an in-house gemology/jewelling department, including gem cutting, sorting, polishing and setting.

The manufacture is a contrast of old and new. At Fleurier Ébauches, rows of shiny new CNC machines create the blanks – main plates and bridges – from brass plates. One of these machines, the size of a small elephant, is the 1.5-million-dollar MTR312, with an impressive nine robotic arms that churn out a new plate every four minutes (compared to every 45 minutes using a manual stamping machine). It does this to within tolerances of one micron (one-thousanth of a millimeter).

Everything else – chamfering, engraving, perlage, côtes de Genève – is done by hand, using techniques and tools that have been used by watchmakers for more than a century. During my visit, for example, I witnessed the chamfering of the plate for the special-edition Mille Miglia Zagato, launched in Milan in October. I also peeked over the shoulder of a watchmaker who carefully placed the gem-set bridge onto the carriage of a new Happy Sport Tourbillon, due for release at Baselworld 2014, coming up in March.

Moon Design GRAND LANGE 1 MOON PHASE become the focus of

The new GRAND LANGE 1 MOON PHASE of the moon phase display occupies the main table prominently disk, can accurately run 122.6 years. Moon phase disc patented coating, bringing to life the complex shape of the astronomical unit, compelling. The moon is a fascinating objects, since ancient times, the moon will teach many astronomers to indulge endless. It affects the tidal effect, climate stability and even the life of many creatures and plants of the law. For this reason, many Replica Watches UK enthusiasts are on the moon phase display a soft spot. Since Lange after victorious return, the Saxon brand launched a watch shall have no less than twelve moon phase display. However, the new GRAND LANGE1 MOON PHASE moon phase design is always the most attention. This leaves wide space astronomy display on the main dial, and linked with hour wheel, it can be close to the actual trajectory of the moon, as the moon-like constantly running. Its growth is very subtle, imperceptible to the naked eye.

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In addition, the moon phase display can reproduce the time between the two crescent precise rate of 99.9978%. The average length of the lunar month of 29 days 12 hours 44 minutes 3 seconds. For simplicity, most of the typical moon phase display this cycle will be reduced to 29.5 days, so that each lunar month to produce 44 minutes and 3 seconds of bias, and in just two and a half, will form a full day of errors. Fortunately, GRAND LANGE 1 MOON PHASE seven-gear transmission with a more accurate calculation capacity so that the deviation is less than one minute per cycle. If the Omega Replica watch has been set up correctly and running, moon phase display at 122.6 years before the need adjustment day. Assuming no longer watch on the chain, may need to be worn at any time Zheyi button (between 7-8 o’clock position) outside of the display case adjustment. Lange’s R & D staff is committed to producing solid gold moon phase disc coating, which fully reflects the spirit of the brand and strive to perfect. In describing the night sky, like really is the primary objective. After extensive research and development, brand eventually patented coating technology, showing brilliant colors.

And clear texture detail, to the highest aesthetic standards. Light wave interference effects from overlapping offset the incident sunlight all non-blue spectrum, in front of the viewer showing a blue scene. Then, the laser watchmaker will cut more than 300 pieces of different sizes, distinctive lines of stars, galaxies form a miniature world.

GRAND LANGE 1 MOON PHASE combined eccentric dial, large calendar display and watch factory made perfect movement , the characteristics of Lange’s most famous watch series collect all of them. Up to 72 hours of power reserve, mainspring alone a push to make the movement a thickness of less than 4.7 mm. Delicate case with rose gold, gold and platinum styles, diameter of 41.0 mm. Lange made L095.3-type movement brings together all the traditional features, including the classic screw balance wheel, independent research and production Lange balance spring to untreated German silver made of 3/4 plywood and hand-crafted movement components, so that the world look connoisseurs in Lange Replica Rolex Watches while to appreciate Saxon watchmaking and precision technology.

GRAND LANGE 1 MOON PHASE

Movement Lange watch factory-made L095.3-type movement, manual winding, meets the most stringent quality standards Lange, well-groomed staff and assembled; five azimuth precision adjustment; plywood and deck made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand

Movement components 446

Jewel bearings 45

Screw gold sleeve 7

Escapement Lever escapement

Oscillating system Earthquake screw balance wheel; Omega Replica watch factory-made top-balance springs, shock frequency of 21,600 times per hour, with lateral fine adjustment screw and gooseneck gossamer precision fine-tuning the system

Power reserve The full chain can be maintained 72 hours

Function Hours, minutes, seconds, the device attached to stop small seconds; power reserve display; big calendar display; moon phase display

Operating Components Concave buttons to quickly correct buttons large calendar display, the correction phase display; crown and set the time for the chain

Case Size Diameter 41.0 mm; thickness 9.5 mm

Movement Size Diameter 34.1 mm; thickness 4.7 mm

Crystal and bottom Sapphire crystal (hardness 9)

Model 139.021 139.032 139.025

Case Gold Rose Gold Platinum

Dial Solid silver, champagne Solid silver, silver and white Solid silver, silver

Pointer Gold Rose Gold Gold Rhodium

Replica Watch band Hand-sewn alligator strap, medium brown Hand-sewn alligator strap, red-brown Hand-sewn alligator leather strap, black

Clasp Lange Gold Buckle Lange rose gold buckle Lange Platinum Buckle