Le Petit-Fils de L.-U. Chopard & Cie S.A., commonly known as Chopard, is a Swiss manufacturer and retailer of luxury watches, jewellery and accessories. Founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in Sonvilier, Switzerland, Chopard has been owned by the Scheufele family of Germany since 1963.
|Private (société anonyme)|
|Industry||Watchmaking, luxury goods|
|75,000 watches (2016) |
75,000 jewelleries (2016)
|Revenue||More than CHF 500 million (2016)|
Chopard is best known for making high-quality Swiss watches and jewellery, and its clients have included Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. The company is headquartered in Geneva and has a site in Fleurier, Canton of Neuchâtel, that manufactures watch movements.
The company founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard, was a Swiss watchmaker who grew up in Sonvilier, a town near Bern. In 1860, he established his L.U.C. manufacturing company in Sonvilier, having observed that it was more profitable to market the finished watch than to just make the mechanical movement.
After Louis-Ulysse's death in 1915, the company was taken over by his son Paul-Louis and grandson Paul-André. The company specialised in making pocket watches and ladies’ wristwatches. In 1921, Paul-Louis moved the company operations to a larger town, Chaux-de-Fonds, in the Canton of Neuchâtel. In 1937, at that time a company of 150 employees, the company relocated to Geneva. This enabled the movements made by the company to be certified with the Geneva Seal, a mark applied only to watch movements made in the Canton of Geneva. Paul-André took over the company in 1943.
In 1963, having no children wishing to continue in the business, Paul-André Chopard sold it to Karl Scheufele III, a German goldsmith and watchmaker from Pforzheim, who was seeking a watch movement manufacturer exclusively for his own business.
In 1974, the Chopard factory moved from the center of Geneva to Meyrin-Geneva and in 1976 the company started making watches that contained its signature free-floating diamond behind sapphire glass. In the 1980s, the company expanded into making sports watches for men and diamond jewellery for women.
In 1996, the company established its own complete watch movement manufacturing facility in Fleurier, in the Swiss Canton of Neuchâtel. Prior to that time, all Chopard's movements had been assembled from third-party components. The movements made in Fleurier were intended for the high-end watches in the Chopard range.
In 2010, the company celebrated its 150th anniversary, by which time the company's estimated sales were €550 million in total (of which €250 million were from watches) with about 100 stores around the world.
In 2014, Chopard recorded sales of CHF800m (US$915m) and had roughly 2,000 employees worldwide, of whom 900 were working in Switzerland. The European Patent Office lists more than 20 references to Chopard since 2002.
A Chopard "Happy Diamond" wristwatch was sold in auction by Christie's for around US$1.67 million (CHF 1,685,000) in Geneva on November 10, 2015. The watch has quartz movement and carries a pink marquise-cut diamond, weighing approximately 2.62 carats, and a blue marquise-cut diamond, weighing approximately 1.48 carat.
In December 2018, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) released an official report giving environmental ratings for 15 major watch manufacturers and jewelers in Switzerland. Chopard, along with TAG Heuer, was given a below-average environmental rating as "Lower Midfield", suggesting that the manufacturer has only taken a few actions addressing the impact of its manufacturing activities on the environment and climate change. Since 2013, Chopard has been promoting its high-end products as using ethical and sustainable gold; implementing this practice with the company's full product line remains a long-term objective.
In jewelry and watchmaking industry, there are general concerns over the lack of transparency in manufacturing activities and the sourcing of precious raw materials such as gold, which is a major cause of environmental issues such as pollution, soil degradation and deforestation. The situation is especially serious in the developing countries which are top producers of gold, including China, Russia and South Africa. It is estimated that the watch and jewelry sector uses over 50% of world's annual gold production (over 2,000 tons), but in most cases the watch companies are not able to or are unwilling to demonstrate where their raw materials come from and if the material suppliers use eco-friendly sourcing technologies.
Chopard is a corporate partner of:
- The Mille Miglia car rally since 1988.
- The Cannes Film Festival since 1998, sponsoring the Trophée Chopard prize and making the Palme d’Or trophy. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival and the 20th anniversary of their partnership, Chopard created a special Palme D'Or adorned with 'Fairmined' diamonds.
- The Historic Grand Prix of Monaco as official timekeeper since 2002.
- Chopard – corporate information
- "Chopard - Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie". www.hautehorlogerie.org. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
- "Chopard's History | Chopard Official Website". www.chopard.com. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
- Elizabeth Doerr (11 December 2013). "Chopard Resuscitates Historical Watchmaker To Create Ferdinand Berthoud Brand". Forbes. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
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- "Brand History: Chopard". Luxos. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- Nicholas Foulkes (6 June 2014). "Profile: Caroline and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Chopard co-presidents". The Financial Times. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- Eric J. Lyman (July–December 2014). "Interview with Karl Friedrich Scheufele" (PDF). EY Exceptional. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- "History of Chopard". Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9.
- "Search result list for Chopard". European Patent Office. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
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- Doerr, Elizabeth. "The Richest People In Switzerland 2016 Include Prominent Watchmakers". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
- "Watch brands". Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
- "A UNIQUE DIAMOND AND COLOURED DIAMOND 'HAPPY DIAMOND' WRISTWATCH, BY CHOPARD". www.christies.com. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
- "Environmental rating and industry report 2018" (PDF). World Wide Fund for Nature. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
- swissinfo.ch, S. W. I.; Corporation, a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting. "Swiss luxury watches fail to meet environmental standards". SWI swissinfo.ch. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
- Alex Doak (6 June 2014). "Ethical gold: Chopard wants to start a 'Fairmined' revolution". The Financial Times. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- "Chopard's Journey to sustainable luxury moves to Cannes". Laurie Kahle. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
- Vidal, John; Guest, graphic by Pete (2015-08-15). "How developing countries are paying a high price for the global mineral boom". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
- "China needs to get to grips with its gold mining pollution crisis". www.chinadialogue.net. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
- Einhorn, Dom (2015-02-09). "Mining in Russia: An economic boost or an environmental threat?". Born2Invest. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
- "South Africa has failed to protect locals from gold mine pollution: Harvard report". MINING.com. 2016-10-12. Retrieved 2019-02-02.
- "Chopard and the 2014 Mille Miglia". Forbes. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- A Orlova, Tamara (30 May 2017). "Chopard Loves Cannes. A Unique Diamond-Set Palme D'Or to Celebrate The 70th Anniversary of The Film Festival". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
- "Photos from Monte Carlo". Forbes. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
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