Caroline Scheufele Chopard Happy Sport Watch Range becomes most collected by women
In 1976, Chopard designer Ronald Kurowski was walking in the Black Forest in Germany and chanced upon a waterfall. Enchanted by the sight of droplets of water reflecting light as they flew through the air, he was hit with a moment of inspiration. Back at his desk he constructed a design that replicated this effect in jewelery, with sparkling diamonds moving freely between two sapphire crystals so that they could more easily catch the light. This design was the very beginning of Chopard’s iconic Happy Diamonds Collection, which since its inception has sparked hundreds of watches and pieces of jewellery, and even some new lines.
Caroline Scheufele, Artistic Director and Co-President of Chopard, has always been enamored of the Happy Diamonds line, and has brought it into many of her own designs over the years. In 1993, she revolutionized Chopard’s line of women’s watches, envisioning a sports watch which incorporated the Happy Diamonds design to appeal to younger, fashion-conscious women. In the 90’s young women had stopped wearing diamond watches, put off by the high-end feel of them and looking for something more casual. Her answer was the Happy Sport – steel and diamonds, modern and classic, sporty yet sophisticated.
Whilst many felt that the idea was too outlandish to work, Caroline persisted and the Happy Sport was launched in 1993. The gamble paid off – today the Happy Sport is one of Chopard’s longest-running and bestselling styles.
Evolution Of The Happy Sport
The original design for the Happy Sport was a men’s watch, but Caroline Scheufele overhauled the design to create a women’s version, with a more delicate bracelet and a casual yet elegant and feminine design. From the start, though, the watch featured those signature floating diamonds, caught between two sheets of sapphire crystal so that they could move freely.
Over the years, a number of quirky iterations have seen the light of day, typifying the sense of fun and excitement that Caroline brings to all of her designs. Happy Fish features gem-set clown fish, whilst Happy Beach had diamond-set flip-flops. Clown pendants and heart-shaped rings have also made an appearance in the collection.
Other more practical styles have included the Happy Sport Oval and the Sport XL, all designed to appeal to the women of the moment, as fashions and tastes changed. A variety of colors, shapes and sizes are still available, with the one constant being the dancing diamonds that set the collection apart from other luxury watches. Most of the Happy Sport watches are equipped with a quartz movement, but there are also models in the collection fitted with a reliable automatic movement.
There have been more than 1,000 variations of Happy Sport watches in just 25 years, a tribute to the creativity and panache of Chopard’s designers and watchmakers. Whilst the format could easily have become tired over the years, these styles have been consistently popular and, in fact, the Happy Sport watch has been found to be the watch most collected by women the world over.
So what is it about the design of the Happy Sport that women love so much?
The soft, iridescent face of the watch offers a beautiful focal point to the Happy Sport, which makes glancing at the watch throughout the day a pleasurable experience. Dotted with roman numerals in a colour which suits and contrasts with the watch face, the watch is effortlessly elegant and beautiful to the eye.
The pebble strap of the contemporary Happy Sport harks back to Chopard’s original designs, bringing to mind the sophisticated yet sporty feel of the 1993 watch and creating a comfortable piece of jewellery that sets the wearer apart from the crowd.
The Happy Sport Oval and 30mm Happy Sport watches are equipped with a self-wound mechanical movement which has been specially designed and manufactured by Chopard for their ladies’ watches. This is not just a beautiful piece of jewellery, but also an advanced piece of timekeeping equipment that will last for years to come.
One of the biggest advances for Chopard when it comes to the Happy Sport is the move towards ethical and sustainable supply and production. In 2018 Chopard announced their intention to use 100% responsibly sourced gold in all of their watches and jewellery, and as of July that year this was a reality.
This was a pioneering decision for any luxury brand, and one that set the company apart from their competition. Caroline Scheufele said, at the time: “Luxury is a choice. So on top of that, if you know that this piece has been produced in a way that you can really trace to the very beginning how that was done in the way it should be done, namely ethical, then I think that has much more value.”
As Chopard continues to partner with ethical brands, charities and organisations, such as Eco-Age for their Green Carpet Challenge, it is clear that the brand has no qualms about taking risks and setting an example for the other brands in the industry. And luxury consumers appreciate it.
Younger women tend to be more environmentally-conscious in modern times, meaning that a lot of the popularity of Chopard’s designs comes both from the beauty and originality of the styles themselves, but also in the core values of the business.