Our History
A Family Story

Chopard has experienced spectacular development. Renowned for its creativity, its state-of-the-art technology and the virtuosity of its artisans, under the impetus of the Scheufele family, Chopard has become one of the leading names in the luxury Swiss watch and jewelry industry.



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 brand, company “Karl Scheufele” in Pforzheim, Germany, specialising in jewelry watches as well as pendants, medals, bracelets and brooches in gold, diamonds and pearls adorned with Art Nouveau-inspired floral motifs distributed under the brand name Eszeha. The contacts he has established in the Far East and in Russia lend his company an international dimension.


Karl Scheufele I scores a great commercial success with a special clip device serving to attach a pocket-watch to the wrist or to wear it as a necklace. Patented in 1912, an innovative system at the center of the bracelet serves to house and secure the watch firmly between two “paws“. Women are quick to adopt this new way of wearing jewelry.


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 Geneva, an internationally renowned watchmaking center. Paul-André Chopard (1898-1968), the grandson of Louis-Ulysse, pursues the family tradition there.


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 manufacture, 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 sealed right away 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 colored stones propels Karin and Karl Scheufele III’s daughter, Caroline Scheufele, firmly into the world of design. The Happy Clown become the Maison’s mascot and marks the first jewelry 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 caliber, fitted with four barrels (two sets of two superimposed barrels, patented as L.U.C Quattro® Technology), giving the watch a 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 keenly aware of the social and environmental challenges facing the watch and jewelry industry, in 2013, Chopard embarks on a Journey to Sustainable Luxury, an ambitious long-term commitment driven by a sense of profound humility and dedicated to making a positive difference in the luxury business.


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 watches and jewelry.


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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La maison Chopard