Chopard's Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF beats with a high-frequency heart
In 2012 Chopard played a pioneering role in commercialising the world's first chronometer-certified timepiece oscillating at a frequency of 8Hz, for achieving a higher precision.
The L.U.C 8HF model was described as a new landmark in watchmaking history by the Fondation de La Haute Horlogerie. Chopard's ingenious calibre pushed the limits to 8Hz or 57,600 vibrations per hour -- twice as fast as a standard automatic movement, which beats at a frequency of 4Hz.
The construction of such a complex calibre with a high-frequency escapement allows the production of a few limited series, and Chopard developed its expertise in the L.U.C 8HF Power Control and Superfast Power Control Porsche 919 HF.
Its high-frequency watchmaking generates a buzz again, with the launch of Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF powered by Chopard Calibre 01.12-C. Like the experimental series of L.U.C 8HF, the limited edition is presented in titanium.
The Alpine Eagle is a reinterpretation of Chopard's first sports watch, the St Moritz, created in 1980 by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, when he was 22. It was also the brand's first model made of steel in its workshops, which previously only crafted gold watches.
The sapphire crystal back reveals the Chopard Calibre 01.12-C.
Since the 1980s Karl-Friedrich and his sister Caroline have played an active part in their family-run watchmaking and jewellery business. After acquiring Chopard in 1963, their parents, Karl Scheufele III and Karin, had developed the company and expanded its international presence and reputation.
The Scheufele siblings have taken the helm as co-presidents, with Karl-Friedrich focussing on the watchmaking heritage and the men's collections while his sister is responsible for the jewellery section and the women's collections.
Since 1996 the Maison returned to its horological roots by making its own mechanical movements at the Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier in the Swiss Jura mountains. The in-house L.U.C calibre is named after Louis-Ulysse Chopard, who founded the company way back in 1860.
The Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF is available in 250 pieces, in marking the 25th anniversary of the Chopard Manufacture.
The sapphire crystal caseback reveals the Chopard Calibre 01.12-C.
The 20th anniversary models included L.U.C Full Strike -- the world's first minute repeater with sapphire gongs. Winning the Aiguille d'Or best-in-show award at the 2017 Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève, it exemplified Chopard's mastery in haute horlogerie.
In 2019, the independent watchmaker introduced the Alpine Eagle, designed by the co-president, and characterised by a round case with stylised flanks, a bezel with eight functional indexed screws, and a crown engraved with a compass rose.
Housed in a lightweight titanium case with a tapering bracelet, the 41mm Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF shares the design codes that also reference the majestic bird of prey through the textured dial evoking an eagle's iris, and the seconds hand with a counterweight shaped like a feather.
The Vals Grey colour is inspired by the village of the same name in the Swiss canton of Graubünden, known for its houses with quartzite-tiled roofs. However, each dial has a distinctive shade because it is hand-patinated.
With a date display between 4 and 5 o'clock, the dial bears two inscriptions, "8 HZ Chronometer", and a dynamic arrow-shaped logo, the signature of Chopard high-frequency watches. The latter reappears on the transparent sapphire crystal caseback revealing the automatic-winding mechanical movement beating at the rate of 57,600 vibrations per hour.
Chopard uses the properties of monocrystalline silicon to optimise this 8Hz frequency.
This light and self-lubricating material is used for components that are subject to high friction, which is thus reduced to a minimum. It thereby eliminates the need for traditional watchmaking lubricants, in turn guaranteeing the movement's longevity.
The lightness of silicon, its tribological properties and the freedom offered by manufacturing technology have enabled Chopard to develop an escapement dedicated to high frequencies without resulting in increased energy consumption.
Moreover, the Chopard Calibre 01.12-C offers a 60-hour power reserve, a remarkable degree of autonomy generally incompatible with high frequencies.
Like its predecessors, the precision of the Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF is certified by COSC, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute.
The L.U.C 8HF — the world's first chronometer-certified watch to oscillate at 8Hz.