Our History

A Family Story

Renowned for its creativity, state-of-the-art technology and the virtuosity of its artisans, Chopard has become one of the leading names in the luxury Swiss watch and jewellery industry. Discover its spectacular journey under the impetus of the Scheufele family, from 1860 to the present day.


24 year-old Louis-Ulysse Chopard (1836–1915) founds a high-precision watch manufactory, specialising in pocket-watches and chronometers, in Sonvilier, Switzerland. He rapidly realises that his clients are looking for ultra-thin and extremely accurate pocket-watches suitable for daily wear.


Chopard forges a reputation for reliable, high quality Swiss watches and becomes watch provider for “Tir Fédéral”, the Swiss Railway Company and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, amongst others.


August 6th 1877 sees the birth of Karl Scheufele I (1877-1941), a boy christened Karl Gotthilf, son of Johannes and Sophie Scheufele, in Pforzheim. His parents pass on several fundamental values including boldness, perseverance, and a love of nature, as well as an entrepreneurial spirit and appreciation for fine craftsmanship. However, his life is turned upside down by the death of his parents and he is placed in an orphanage in Pforzheim at the age of 11. The boy nonetheless finds solace joining a watchmaking apprenticeship inside the orphanage and the young Karl thus becomes a goldsmith. Having spotted his talents, the boss sends him abroad before he turns 20.


Karl Scheufele I launches his own company “Karl Scheufele” in Pforzheim, Germany, specialising in jewellery watches alongside pendants, medals, bracelets and brooches in gold, diamonds and pearls adorned with Art Nouveau-inspired floral motifs. Distributing under the brand name "Eszeha", his contacts in the Far East and Russia mean the company soon gains an international reputation.


Karl Scheufele I enjoys great commercial success with a special clip device that attaches a pocket-watch to the wrist or makes it wearable as a necklace. Patented in 1912, an innovative system at the centre of the bracelet serves to house and secure the watch firmly between two “paws“. Women are quick to adopt this new way of wearing jewellery.


The first advertisement for "La fabrique de montre L.U.C L.-U. Chopard, maison fondée en 1860" is published in 1913. Between 1914 and 1917, the son of Louis-Ulysse, Paul-Louis (1859 - 1940) gradually takes over the factory and in 1918 publishes an advertisement with the headline "La fabrique de montre L.U.C le fils de L.-U. Chopard, maison fondée en 1860" (The L.U.C watch factory, son of L.-U. Chopard, Maison founded in 1860).


Chopard relocates to the internationally renowned watchmaking centre of Geneva, where Paul-André Chopard (1898-1968), the grandson of Louis-Ulysse, continues to uphold the family legacy.


On February 23 1945, a devastating bombardment destroys Pforzheim and all the Scheufele’s worldly goods. Karl Scheufele II (1907 - 1966), who took over the company in 1941, tackles the task of rebuilding the factory in Pforzheim, which he reopens in 1947.


Karl Scheufele II retires in 1958, entrusting the factory and his 35 employees to his 20 year-old son, himself a goldsmith and a watchmaker, married to Karin Ruf a year previously.


Karl Scheufele III seeks to acquire a Swiss watch manufacturer, preferably in Geneva, to further develop his business. He travels to Geneva where he meets with Paul-André Chopard. The sale of the company is instantly sealed and he and his wife Karin develop Chopard, leading to a spectacular expansion in production and a dramatically enhanced reputation.


Chopard freshly reinvents the diamond-set watch category with Happy Diamonds. These unique floating diamond watches, comprising diamonds that can move freely between two sapphire crystals, become one of the most successful innovations in the history of the Maison.


Seeking to increase Chopard’s vertical integration, Karl Scheufele III invests in the company's own foundry workshop, enabling in-house production of its gold alloys.


Convinced that a Chopard stainless steel watch would be sure to succeed, 22-year-old Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, son of Karin and Karl Scheufele III, designs the St. Moritz Swiss watch: an elegant, luxury sports watch crafted in steel that looks equally stylish in any setting.


A sketch of a clown with a tummy full of diamonds and coloured stones propels Karin and Karl Scheufele III’s daughter, Caroline Scheufele, firmly into the world of design. The Happy Clown becomes the Maison’s mascot and marks the first jewellery collection at Chopard.


Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, who shares his father’s passion for classic sports cars, partners with the legendary 1000 Miglia race to successfully launch the eponymous luxury sports watch collection.


Caroline Scheufele designs a sporty diamond watch based on an original combination of steel and diamonds: Happy Sport. With its distinctive floating diamonds twirling across the dial between two sapphire crystals, it rapidly became an emblem of the “sporty-chic” look.


Karl-Friedrich Scheufele founds Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier, dedicated to the production of high-precision Swiss watch movements.


Chopard becomes an official partner of the Cannes International Film Festival, each year creating stunning models and events to celebrate its enduring love for cinema. It also crafts the legendary Palme d’Or and awards young talent with the Trophée Chopard.


Chopard presents a world first: the L.U.C Quattro watch, equipped with the L.U.C 1.98 calibre and fitted with four barrels (two sets of two superimposed barrels, patented as L.U.C Quattro® Technology), giving the watch an exceptional nine-day power reserve.


Chopard celebrates its 150th anniversary with the launch of an animal-themed Haute Joaillerie Animal World collection. The captivating collection features 150 stunning pieces, 15 of which are watches, and four new calibres: L.U.C EHG, L.U.C 1TRM, L.U.C 4TQE, and L.U.C 1.010.


As a family-owned Maison deeply attuned to the social and environmental challenges facing the watch and jewellery industry, in 2013 Chopard embarks on a Journey to Sustainable Luxury, an ambitious long-term commitment driven by a sense of profound humility and dedication to making a positive difference.


Karl-Friedrich Scheufele launches one of Chopard’s most complex watches: the L.U.C Full Strike, a minute repeater crafted in ethical gold and winner of the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix at the 2017 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.


As of July 2018, Chopard commits to using 100% ethical gold for the production of all its luxury watches and jewellery.


Karl-Friedrich Scheufele reinterprets the St. Moritz, his first watchmaking success, in a new collection inspired by nature: the Alpine Eagle watch.


Passionate film-lover Caroline Scheufele asks the most famous smile in the world, Julia Roberts, to become the face of the Happy Diamonds woman. As Caroline shares: “It was her and nobody else! Julia Roberts was the only person I felt could convey the spirit that I see in Happy Diamonds."


Chopard launches My Happy Hearts, a constellation of dainty hearts that can be worn stacked or alone to showcase a reinvented relationship with oneself. Together, they represent discreet symbols of freedom and the emblem of an emancipated generation.


Chopard announces that its steel watches – including bracelets and cases – will be made from Lucent Steel™, with a recycling rate of 80% by end 2023, and minimum 90% by 2025.

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