March 29, 2022
When it comes to complications, few (if any) carry the same weight and wow factor in the enthusiast community as the flying tourbillon. Likewise, there is arguably no more desirable watch style among enthusiasts than the white-hot integrated bracelet steel sports watch segment. With that in mind, when these two desirable traits collide, the results are often explosive. Chopard is the latest brand to produce an integrated bracelet flying tourbillon model as part of its Watches and Wonders 2022 novelties, and this latest iteration of its Alpine Eagle series delivers a sense of refined spectacle. The new Chopard Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon further cements the Alpine Eagle as a compelling dark horse in the ongoing integrated-bracelet arms race, with impeccable finishing and the coveted Poinçon de Genève hallmark of quality.
Model: Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Case Material: Lucent Steel A223
Movement: Manufacture L.U.C 96.24-L (micro-rotor automatic flying tourbillon, COSC chronometer-certified, Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark)
Frequency: 25,200 bph
Power Reserve: 65 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Integrated bracelet in Lucent Steel A223
Price & Availability: $112,000, on sale now
The Chopard Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon’s 41mm case carries on the base design of the Alpine Eagle series, with its sleek and restrained interpretation of classic integrated sports watch cues. The overall form is angular in images without coming across as harsh or industrial, with distinctive double-lobed crown guards at 3 o’clock and a matching double case side flare on the 9 o’clock side. The broad brushed and polished smooth bezel lacks the geometrical drama of some of its competitors but adds a touch of its own flair with pairs of polished screws at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. The integrated lugs aim to showcase the brand’s polishing capability in images, with sharply tapering polished chamfers along the outer edges and raised, mirror polished square center links. All these polished surfaces should shine brightly on the wrist thanks to the Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon’s use of Lucent Steel A223 for its case. Lucent Steel A223 is a proprietary stainless steel alloy developed by Chopard itself, boasting 50% greater scratch resistance than standard stainless steel, hypoallergenic properties, and a brighter luster than traditional stainless steel alloys. Although the overall shape is certainly familiar, Chopard subtly alters the proportions of the Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon’s case in relation to previous iterations, with shallower crown guards and a slightly narrower bezel designed to offer a lighter appearance and direct visual attention toward the dial. This is also a remarkably slim design, measuring only 8mm-thick overall, which should lead to an elegantly refined stance on the wrist. Chopard completes the case with a sapphire display caseback and rates the Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon for a solid 100 meters of water resistance.
Chopard naturally makes the Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon’s namesake complication the centerpiece of its dial but does so with impressive subtlety in images. Rather than a complex skeleton dial design or an oversized dial cutaway, the brand instead uses the existing visual language of the series. The intricate arabesque “iris” dial texture, inspired by the detailed patterns in an eagle’s eye, has been a hallmark of the Alpine Eagle line since its introduction in 2019, and here Chopard uses this radiating texture to frame the 6 o’clock tourbillon as the focal point of the dial, centering the organic arabesque waves on the trim tourbillon display window. The window itself is tightly packaged around the flying tourbillon assembly, but large enough to showcase the escapement’s floating effect in images. Chopard’s three-armed tourbillon cage design is clean and modernist, with an open assembly to allow easy viewing of its inner workings and a small lumed wedge hand attached to allow it to function as a running seconds indicator. The rest of the dial design is classic Chopard Alpine Eagle, with the line’s signature mix of applied white gold indices and Roman numerals alongside a clean beveled baton handset. The navy blue dial color keeps this well within existing Alpine Eagle visual territory as well in images, preserving a sense of family resemblance across the line, while allowing the familiar dial components to fade into the background visually and preserve focus on the flying tourbillon.
Chopard powers the Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon with its in-house L.U.C 96.24-L automatic flying tourbillon movement. The L.U.C 96.24-L’s finishing matches the visual drama of its complication well in initial images, with an ornate mix of Côtes de Genève across the bridges and balance cock, perlage for the mainplate, anglage, polished sinks, a 22k gold engraved micro-rotor, and gold-filled engraved lettering. It’s a small engraved emblem on one of the bridges that may garner the most respect from enthusiasts, however. This shield motif depicting an eagle and a key is the prestigious Poinçon de Genève hallmark of quality, awarded by the Canton of Geneva to watchmakers that display exceptional finishing and quality. The L.U.C 96.24-L’s performance backs up its exquisite finishing, with COSC certified chronometer accuracy and a hefty 65-hour power reserve at a 25,200 bph beat rate courtesy of twin stacked mainspring barrels. The Chopard Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon’s integrated bracelet in Lucent Steel A223 is a definitive part of the watch’s character in images, with deeply faceted brushed outer links contrasted by small raised square center links with an eye-catching mirror polish.
With brilliant Poinçon de Genève-quality finishing, stunning horological work, and a refined, gentlemanly presentation, the Chopard Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon stands as a new peak for the brand’s integrated-bracelet efforts as it continues to build a legacy in a fiercely competitive field. The Chopard Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for the Chopard Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon stands at $112,000 as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.