Chopard’s independence has guided its development strategy since its founding: an approach made possible by a family shareholding structure. This is expressed through the watch industry’s highest level of vertical integration. Everything sold by Chopard is made in one of its three production sites: a unique phenomenon within the profession.
This policy goes hand in hand with a culture of craftsmanship. Today more than fifty skills are mastered within the workshops of the Maison including some of the rarest and the most complex. They enable a freer and more innovative creative expression combined with a constant quest for excellence.. thereby guaranteeing the highest standard of quality.
For Chopard genuine luxury is synonymous with Ethics as well as with environmental and social responsibility at all levels of its activity and with regard to its employees, its suppliers, its customers and indeed the planet itself. The Maison adopts an ethical approach to its activities that involves controlling the origin of the raw materials it uses as well as production methods – all of which is achievable because of its complete independence and vertical integration.
In Sonvilier, the hometown of Chopard founder Louis-Ulysse, it was a custom for local farmers to pad their meagre winter income by assembling watches across small independent and specialised units. The components would then be collected by a master watchmaker to be assembled and fine-tuned into the finished product. The story of Louis-Ulysse Chopard is quite inspiring — the son of a farmer from Sonvilier, he grew up as an artisan watchmaker who in 1860 established L.U.C. manufacturing company, having observed it was more commercially viable to market the finished watch than manufacture mechanical movements. The handcrafted, slim and precise pocket watches were sold throughout Europe, including the court of Tsar Nicholas II, Russia Tir Fédéral and Swiss Railway Company. It was now a worldwide phenomenon.
Following the death of Louis-Ulysse in 1915, the company was helmed by his son Paul-Louis and grandson Paul-André who specialised in pocket watches and ladies wristwatches. In 1921, Paul-Louis relocated operations to Chaux-de-Fonds and again in 1937, to Geneva. This enabled movements made by the company to be certified with The Geneva Seal. Paul-André took the reins of company in 1943. In two decades, with no children wishing to enter this business, he sold it to German goldsmith and watchmaker Karl Scheufele III. In 1957, Karl married Karin Ruf. Her father, Fritz Ruf was a spirited entrepreneur and motivated Karl to build an empire.
Chopard is one of the last family-run watchmaking and jewellery companies. Since the Eighties, the duo’s children Caroline and Karl-Friedrich played an active role as co-presidents. Caroline Scheufele developed Haute Joaillerie while Karl-Friedric developed sports watches and Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier, which produces L.U.C movements. Together they built one of the most formidable luxury brands and remained independent. In 2010, the company celebrated its 150th anniversary. At the time, its revenue was reported €550 million. In 2014, Chopard reportedly recorded sales of US$915m and is a member of Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
Chopard is now bridging the gap between jewellery and watches handcrafted with ethical gold and responsibly sourced gemstones be it diamonds, emeralds, Paraiba tourmalines or black opals and the highest level of precision in watchmaking. Titled Green Carpet collection, it has been widely appreciated and sought after by the A-list. The project, Journey to Sustainable Luxury, would undoubtedly lead the brand down a path to success. The latest collection uses ethically sourced diamonds and gold to create contemporary jewellery with designs that evoke the look and feel of fine antique lace.
In more recent news Julia Roberts is the face of Chopard Happy Sport floating diamonds watch for woman when launching new versions of this watch that has also become an icon. Charmed by the boldness of the Happy Sport diamond watches creations, Julia Roberts pointed out in a company statement: “I am honoured to be collaborating with Chopard on the Happy Sport watch, one of the most iconic and desirable models in the industry.”
As a family-owned luxury watch and jewellery manufacturer with a worldwide presence, we are honoured to interact with our community and nurture the art of excellence and innovation with the highest respect for tradition.
Passed on from one generation to the next since the Maison was founded.. Chopard’s vision has been forged over time and with the contribution of every member of the family who oversee it. Nowadays it is this unique Family Spirit that differentiates Chopard in the world of High Jewellery and High Watchmaking. It is evident in every step the Maison takes along with its hallmarks of emotion and generosity.
Chopard’s Independence allows it to support crafts with a glorious past that are a source of great pride today. Together with the impetus provided by the Scheufele family.. this support of its artisans also drives a boundless creative daring that sets the maison apart. A daring that has led Chopard to pave the way for a new vision of ethical luxury.
Marc Hruschka: President and CEO
Caroline Scheufele: Artistic Director
High watchmaking and fine jewellery
Founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in Sonvilier, Switzerland, Chopard has been owned by the Scheufele family of Germany since 1963. & Cie S.A. Chopard is best known for making high-quality Swiss watches and jewellery and its clients have included Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.