18 April 2021
Freeing precious stones from their straitjacket, consigning to oblivion the rigid corsets constraining diamonds: such was the mantra that seemed an entirely natural choice in the context of 1976. It also marked the start of a veritable revolution that would overturn existing jewellery and watchmaking codes.
It all began in the workshops of the Maison, where the idea took shape of a watch adorned with diamonds that would no longer be set in place, but instead free to dance.
This was the mid-1970s, when changing moral codes and women's emancipation were the order of the day and Chopard was exclusively known for its watches. At the helm of the family business, Karl and Karin Scheufele – parents of current Co-Presidents Karl-Friedrich and Caroline – immediately seized this innovative concept reflecting the underlying societal trends.
It was Karin who perfectly summed up the dancing diamond manifesto and repeatedly shared with her daughter the now legendary statement: "Diamonds are happier when they are free". You don't lock that which is precious, be it diamonds or women…
Free to imagine, to create, to dream; in short, to be. This thirst for freedom and fulfillment gave rise to the first dancing diamond watch in 1976, featuring a striking contrast between the deep black dial and the fiery sparkle of the surrounding diamonds.
It made a sensational stage entry due to its entirely novel and indeed unprecedented dancing diamond concept that immediately reached beyond the watchmaking world to captivate designers and jewellery lovers alike. This first such creation to bear what would become the iconic signature of the Maison was honoured in the very year of its release by the Golden Rose of Baden-Baden, the highest distinction in the field of jewellery.
Over and above such distinctions, dancing diamonds became Happy Diamonds, an evocative name entirely appropriate for the Maison’s iconic collection. They represented discreet yet tangible symbols of the 20th century feminine and feminist revolution that continues today, with each generation of women bringing new codes and new sources of inspiration.
First and foremost, independent-minded and free-spirited Caroline, now Co-President of the Maison, has been instilling this spirit into all her creations for decades. After watches came Happy Diamonds jewellery creations, and it was she who a few years later had the intuitive spark that led to staging a choreography of time by creating the Happy Sport watches. But that is the topic of another chapter in the captivating history of our Maison.