Chopard IMPERIALE Joaillerie

Press Release

Chopard IMPERIALE Joaillerie

For this season’s ravishingly refined addition to the wardrobe of noble and bejewelled IMPERIALE timepieces, inspired by great Empires of the past, Chopard has re-imagined the gold thread embroidery and intricate, gold wire-work ‘cannetille’ jewels of the Napoleonic era. As always pushing boundaries of creative and technical possibilities, the Maison has used an advanced high-tech process to ‘embroider’ the shimmering, iridescent deep blue mother-of-pearl dial with an exquisite pattern composed of breathtakingly fine, highly polished, high-carat gold threads.

The striking combination of shimmering gold and royal blue is instantly evocative of imperial splendour, conjuring up images of richly embroidered robes and draperies, emblazoned with insignia and emblems of power, so much part of imperial ritual, might and majesty.

The lilting, linear golden web-like design at the heart of the dial is a rendition of the quatrefoil motif, emblem of the IMPERIALE collection, drawn from the glorious arts, architecture and jewel-like embroideries of Byzantium. The woven gold design is encircled in diamonds, so meticulously set that the metal disappears, allowing the stones to scintillate seductively. Below, the original emblematic quatrefoil is finely traced in diamonds on the small seconds subdial, while the dial itself is finished with diamond-set indices, and the rose gold bezel, lugs and crown are also immaculately set with diamonds, thus intensifying the sense of preciousness. Matching the dial, the alligator strap is in deep blue, with a pearlised matt finish.

A Chopard première - the wondrous wizardry of woven Fil d’Ange

The sophisticated gold wirework technique applied to the new IMPERIALE Joaillerie model is often referred to as “Fil d’Ange” (Angel Hair). It is adapted from the bonding technology used in advanced electronics and requires consummate skill as well as astonishing precision. It involves the painstaking plotting and positioning of 22-carat gold wires of which each silk thread-like strand is four times thinner than a single human hair. They are then woven together, one strand at a time, and mechanically bonded to the mother-of-pearl dial to create the impression of a silky, golden embroidery on velvet, or a gold filigree-work jewel. In a feat of technological wizardry, akin to modern magic, however, the delicate, intricate pattern also generates a hypnotic almost holographic effect, of sculptural depth and luminosity that comes from the play of light over the reflective gold surface.

The wonder of Chopard’s pioneering woven gold-wire ornamentation and its mesmerising effect is the perfect expression of a meeting of art and science, antiquity and modernity, of art and craft, imagination and technology, and at the same time it answers today’s unstoppable quest for the ultimate in extreme craftsmanship. This exquisite, gold-clothed edition of the lyrical IMPERIALE timepiece, with its emotive echoes of imperial splendour and of the great bejewelled Empresses of history, celebrates today’s universal theme of modern female power.

Glamour and Precision – the IMPERIALE is powered by the celebrated Chopard automatic movement

The 96.12- C automatic movement that powers this IMPERIALE Joaillerie is revealed, in all its mechanical majesty, through the transparent-backed watch case. The Chopard 96.12-C calibre is a mechanical movement with automatic winding equipped with a tungsten alloy bi-directional micro-rotor. Benefiting from Chopard Twin Technology, it offers a 65-hour power reserve. Comprising 172 components, driving hours, minutes and seconds, the calibre is nonetheless very thin, at a mere 3.3 mm, making it ideal for the fabulously feminine and slender IMPERIALE.

Combining glamour and precision, in unique Chopard style, the movement’s bridges are all ornamented with the traditional “Côtes de Genève” pattern. The finesse of these details is proof of the immense pride taken by Swiss watchmakers in their specialist skills, proof of Chopard’s dedication to perfection. Finally, this movement is chronometer-certified by the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres).