An eagle eye and high-frequency watchmaking. The comfort of titanium and the strength of an elegant chronometer. Chopard combines precision, style and sportiness in the new Alpine Eagle Cadence 8 HF model. Produced as a limited edition of just 250 timepieces, this exceptional 41 mm-diameter timepiece houses one of the most advanced movements from Chopard’s workshops. Indeed, the Chopard Calibre 01.12-C featuring a high-frequency escapement reaches its cruising altitude at 57,600 vibrations per hour (8 Hz).
Since its launch in 2019, the Alpine Eagle collection has exceeded all expectations. Chopard is now enriching it with the Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF model: a 41 mm-diameter watch that is a modest 9.75 mm thick, very light, extremely robust thanks to the use of titanium and equipped with an outstanding calibre. It beats at the exceptional frequency of 8 Hertz, meaning twice as fast as a standard automatic movement.
This performance is not a mere technical detail but instead an essential attribute, as this high frequency is used to achieve maximum precision, without sacrificing any of its comfort attributes. In addition to its light weight, the Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF features a comfortable and practical 60-hour power reserve, as well as ‘Chronometer’ certification issued by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
Although it’s hard at first glance to tell the Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF model from an Alpine Eagle Large in Lucent Steel A223, there are in fact many clues. While the 41 mm-diameter already exists in the collection, the Alpine Eagle was thus far made from the Chopard-specific alloy Lucent Steel A223, or ethical gold, or a combination of both. The Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF model is all-titanium. Whereas Lucent Steel A223 is shiny, hard and particularly comfortable to touch, titanium is distinguished by its even lighter weight and darker colour.
The Alpine Eagle design codes remain present. The bezel, case middle and wide bracelet links are satin-brushed. The central cap of these links is polished, as are the case bevels while the eight screws featuring slots are set at a tangent to the bezel circle.
The dial of the Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF is marked with the so-called “eagle iris” pattern, a direct tribute to the piercing vision of the majestic birds of prey that inspired the collection. Its colour nonetheless differs from the rest of the collection because it is hand-patinated, meaning each dial has a distinctive shade. The Vals Grey colour was inspired by the village of the same name in the Swiss canton of Graubünden, known for its houses with quartzite-tiled roofs.
In addition, the minutes track has been pared down to just baton-type hour-markers and 12 o’clock in Roman numerals. Above all, the dial bears two unique inscriptions: “8 HZ Chronometer” appearing beneath the Chopard name; and a lower-positioned dynamic arrow-shaped logo, the unique signature of Chopard high-frequency watches. This exceptional property is also highlighted on the transparent sapphire crystal caseback revealing the movement beating at a rate of 57,600 vibrations per hour.
The rare performance of a high-frequency movement
High frequency improves chronometry, a theme particularly dear to Chopard’s Co-President, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. While impacts are part of the life of a watch, they nonetheless disturb the oscillations of the balance. Due to a statistical effect however, the faster it beats, the less effect each impact has on the average rate. This high frequency is also high speed, thus implying rapid recovery of the isochronous rate.
In 2012, Chopard was a pioneer in marketing an entire series of watches with a chronometer-certified high-frequency movement. Thanks to the stature of Chopard Manufacture as a veritable watchmaking laboratory, the L.U.C collection was enhanced with the L.U.C 01.06-L calibre equipping an experimental series of 100 L.U.C 8HF timepieces in titanium, a model that has become a genuine collector’s item. Since then, the calibre – whose complex construction only allows for a few limited series – has been produced as a second exclusive edition with the L.U.C 8HF Power Control black ceramic and titanium Diamond-Like-Carbon (DLC) timepiece powered by the L.U.C 01.09-L movement, before being used in a Superfast Power Control Porsche 919 HF watch edition equipped with the 01.11-M movement.
After disseminating its precision in the L.U.C Haute Horlogerie collections and the sporty Superfast lines, Chopard’s high-frequency movement has evolved into a new model that is taking its place within the Alpine Eagle collection, thanks to the Chopard 01.12-C, a mechanical self-winding movement with a central rotor. More technical and more complex to produce than a movement with a conventional escapement, it will equip the 250 numbered examples of the Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF produced by the Maison’s watchmaking workshops. Like its predecessors, its exceptional precision is certified by the COSC.
The feat and the material
Chopard uses the properties of monocrystalline silicon to make the most of this 8 Hertz frequency. This light and self-lubricating material is used for the pallet-lever, the escape-wheel and the impulse-pin: in other words, all the 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 its manufacturing technology have enabled Chopard to develop an escapement dedicated to high frequencies without resulting in increased energy consumption.
Chopard Calibre 01.12-C has a 60-hour power reserve, a remarkable degree of autonomy generally incompatible with high frequencies. The development endeavours undertaken in the Manufacture’s watchmaking workshops, several patents and the technologies employed have made it possible to reconcile apparently contractionary objectives: chronometry, autonomy and reliability. Now interpreted in the inimitable casual chic Alpine Eagle style, this high-frequency watch enters a select circle of exceptional chronometers.
The Alpine Eagle collection: reinterpreting an icon
Devised by three generations of gentlemen in the Scheufele family, the Alpine Eagle collection is a modern reinterpretation of the St. Moritz watch, the first horological creation by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele in the late 1970s. With its pure and assertive design, Alpine Eagle enriches this heritage with powerful inspiration drawn from Nature. A round case with stylised flanks; a crown engraved with a compass rose; a bezel with eight functional indexed screws; a textured dial with deep hues and luminescent indications; as well as an eagle’s feather-shaped sweep-seconds hand: Alpine Eagle embodies impeccable elegance expressed in a resolutely contemporary manner.