Is The Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono The Perfect Chronograph?

We make the case for the Swiss watchmaker's capable luxury sports watch.

Is The Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono The Perfect Chronograph?

The Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono in Lucent Steel A223 with a rubber strap (ref. 298609-3003).

The following article was produced in partnership with Chopard.

Nothing gets watch fans’ motors humming more than a luxury sports watch with an integrated bracelet. Indeed, in 2022, the market is full of them – but not all are created equal.

The Chopard Alpine Eagle, however, is a true exemplar. First introduced in 2019 yet the spiritual successor to the immensely popular St. Moritz sports watches of the 1980s, the Alpine Eagle combines Chopard’s 162 years of watchmaking heritage with the best of modern watchmaking.

In just three short years, the Alpine Eagle collection is now one of Chopard’s most expansive and features many exciting different takes on the stylish sports watch – from the high-beat titanium Cadence 8HF to the visually stunning Flying Tourbillon and immaculately diamond-paved high jewellery models, there’s plenty of Alpine Eagles to choose from.

But for our money, the Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono is the pick of the litter – and demonstrates perhaps better than any other watch in Chopard’s extensive range why you should invest in a watch from this highly esteemed, incredibly exciting Swiss watchmaker.

First of all, let’s talk about what’s under the hood; the ‘chrono’ part of the XL Chrono: the self-winding, in-house Calibre 03.05-C. Chopard is known as one of the world’s best jewellers but they’re also responsible for some of the most impressive and refined watch movements in the industry, and this movement is no exception.

This COSC-certified movement features a column-wheel system, which is a mark of distinction in a chronograph, and a vertical coupling clutch, which allows the chrono to be activated for hours on end without loss of time – a highly desired feature in a high-end chronograph movement.

The watch also features a flyback function, a jumping minutes counter and a 60-hour power reserve. This means it’s not only highly precise and technical but also highly robust.

The Alpine Eagle XL Chrono (ref. 298609-3004) and its exhibition caseback.

It is also enhanced by several technical innovations that have earned Chopard three patents stemming from the boldness of its R&D teams. First of all, it is equipped with a unidirectional gear drive system that prevents energy losses while ensuring rapid winding, a function that’s very useful for an inherently energy-hungry chronograph.

In addition, its vertical clutch ensures accurate time measurement starts, and its flyback function – which means you can reset without having to first stop the chronograph, a highly useful feature – enables butter-smooth successive timing operations thanks to three pivoting hammers with elastic arms, which facilitate the zero-setting of the counters.

In short, it’s not your average chronograph movement. Maybe that’s why Chopard has put it on show with an exhibition caseback, so you can admire how, just like the Alpine Eagle’s dial, it features a subtle radial finish.

It’s also exceptionally easy to use. The XL Chrono’s larger 44mm case size and large chronograph counters make it exceptionally legible, and the chrono pushers, which are elegantly integrated with the Alpine Eagle’s case, are as ergonomic as they are stylish.

While you’re watching those chrono counters, you’ll also love to gaze upon the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono’s stunning dial treatment: a subtle radial texture that evokes an eagle’s iris (hence the watch’s name). It’s stunning.

That’s sort of the thesis of the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono: it’s the perfect marriage of form and function.

Speaking of form, the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono is available in a variety of materials, from 100% stainless steel (or rather Lucent Steel A223: Chopard’s innovative and lustrous steel alloy), ethical 18ct rose gold with ceramised titanium highlights or two-tone steel and rose gold.

The Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono in two-tone Lucent Steel A223 and ethical rose gold (ref. 298609-6001).

While it’s hard to look past the classic steel options, which are now available with a sporty rubber strap, we’re a big fan of the two-tone. The gold centre links on the integrated bracelet look like a little cascade of gold bars stretching down the watch… It’s a really unique and luxurious aesthetic.

As Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele – a co-designer of the Alpine Eagle alongside his son Karl-Fritz – shared with DMARGE, “chronographs are the ultimate expression of mechanical watches. They’re a real delicacy when it comes to watchmaking – like a 12-cylinder engine.”

It’s an apt analogy. Just as you only find 12-cylinder engines in only the most high-end vehicles, such an impressive chronograph like the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono can only be executed by one of the most high-end, respected watchmakers in the world: Chopard.

Sporty yet refined, technical yet approachable, and above all else, truly sumptuous, the Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono is inarguably one of the most exciting chronographs on the market today. Arguably, it’s the perfect chronograph.

For any serious collector, it’s a watch that simply has to be in contention – and for someone new to the luxury watch world looking to start off their collection properly, we can’t think of a better watch.

View the entire Alpine Eagle XL Chrono collection at Chopard’s online boutique here, and contact the Chopard Sydney Boutique to view the collection in person.