The story behind the new Alpine Eagle watch from Chopard is not just a tale of superb watchmaking. There is also a family story behind the introduction that speaks to the passion of the Scheufele family themselves and makes this new watch line very special and near to their hearts. We caught up with Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Chopard’s co-president, and his son, Karl-Fritz, to get the back story.
How familiar were you with the original St. Moritz watch that the new Alpine Eagle is based on?
Karl-Fritz: I suppose I had a general awareness of the watch growing up around the company. But my first focus on the St. Moritz was more of an a-ha! discovery moment.
Karl-Fritz: My father was sharing some of the items from our company museum and archives and he passed me an original St. Moritz done in steel. I was immediately drawn to it. It was fascinating. I asked my father, “So, when are we coming out with this?” I thought it was a prototype of a NEW watch. He quickly corrected me.
Was your father open to the idea of revisiting this watch design?
Karl-Fritz: He had his concerns, so he was reluctant. But I was committed to getting this project under way. And, my grandfather helped me behind the scenes.
Once the project started, did your father buy in fully?
Karl-Fritz: Yes, of course. In fact, once the decision was made, he really got into the process and was very excited...and ultimately delighted.
Karl-Friedrich, why were you reluctant?
Karl-Friedrich: Well, as I’ve said, re-editing an existing piece can be more involved and more difficult than the original development. Also, the idea of a whole new line is demanding and very involved. It cannot just be pulled together quickly. It must be done right.
This sporty watch is a great attractor for new Chopard customers and especially American customers, yes?
Karl-Friedrich: Let’s just say that we are opening a few more doors for people to enter the Chopard world through. We believe this watch will draw in new customers. But there are also fans of the original St. Moritz watch that have expressed interest, as well.
Ultimately, was your son’s passion and insistence on the Alpine Eagle a kind of “gift” to you?
Karl-Friedrich: In a way, yes, you can absolutely say that.
Chopard Alpine Eagle in steel, $12,900, chopard.com