Eaux gracieuses: Hands-on Review Of The New Chopard Happy Ocean
Editor’s note: The watch we are reviewing today is one of the three new Chopard Ladies Watches For 2021 we recently went hands-on with, and this new Chopard Happy Ocean has been photographed with the grateful assistance of J Farren-Price Sydney and Chopard Australia. For our other detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
The New Chopard Happy Ocean
My personal favourite out of the three new Chopard Ladies watches for 2021 is this diver style evening soiree timepiece, the new Chopard Happy Ocean. Released recently at Watches & Wonders Shanghai 2021, the new Happy Ocean ref. 278587-6001 in steel and 18-carat rose gold is part of a new collection for the brand and will be a regular production model.
There are also two other new watches — Happy Sport Green Mother-of-Pearl and Imperiale Green Mother-of-Pearl — that we like, but the Happy Ocean is the one time that I reckon a sports watch meets a cocktail watch ever so effortlessly.
On a hot summer evening, there’s a soiree you must attend. Soothing music, scrumptious food, elegant attires will flow like wine, the atmosphere occasionally flavoured by a hint of snobbery. It will be an evening to remember. You will of course desire some bling. An attention-demanding timepiece perhaps.
You want to turn heads there, get that rare feeling of fierté, but would also like to spend the day out on the open waters taking in the warmth of the weather.
But taking a jewellery timepiece to waters is as mismatched as wearing jeans and a t-shirt to the Met Gala.
Enter the new Chopard Happy Ocean.
The day passes. It’s a moonlight night, stars twinkling in the distance. Dressed to the nines, people dance merrily. There is magic in the air. You stand on the balcony, gazing onto the horizon, soaking in the sweet summer scent. The blues of the sky have gone dark, the streets ablaze with neon lights. Your graceful gown drapes ever so elegantly. Touching the floor, its svelte fit commands attention.
Champagne and hors d’oeuvre do the rounds. Backless dresses and haute joaillerie are everywhere. You turn around and a glint off the chandelier reflects off the shiny diamonds on your wrist. The glint begins to dance as the five diamonds in your watch move about.
You are a vision of feminine beauty, one your peers think perhaps spent the better part of the day indoors getting dressed.
Envious of your perfect tan, no one knows you spent the day lounging on your yacht, skinny dipping once in a while, enjoying the coolness of the water, and the absence of everything except a trustworthy diver on you.
The new Chopard Happy Ocean is one such timepiece; dignified enough to power a sophisticated evening out, and solid enough to take the depths of the oceans in its stride.
How It Sits On The Wrist
Coming in at 95g, the new Chopard Happy Ocean is not too heavy, weighing in around the same mark as the new Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight 925 that comes in at 91g. Given the new Chopard Happy Ocean sits exactly in between the Tudor BB58 925’s 39mm and Tudor BB Ceramic’s 41mm, it’s a watch that manages to transcend gender.
On my nearly 16cm wrist, the 40mm watch — 39.6mm to be very precise with 43.6mm including the crown — sits nicely thanks to its decent 47.2mm lug to lug distance, which is the same as that of the BB58 925. Like a true diver that is 300m water-resistant, it’s also got a closed case-back.
In terms of the thickness, it comes in at 14.21mm, which is again in between BB58 925’s 13.2mm and BB Ceramic’s 15.6mm.
I am stating these comparisons because the majority of the readers would be more familiar with Tudor’s dive watches rather than Chopard’s, and this way we get a feel for the timepiece’s wrist presence.
In short, whether you are a lady looking for a distinctive sports watch, or a guy whose ego doesn’t crumble under the weight of five diamonds, the new Chopard Happy Ocean features proportions that will suit anyone (with slimmer wrists) perfectly.
Both the Chopard and BB 58 divers have the same 20mm inter-horn lug spacing as well, which is quite welcome given aftermarket straps would be easy to source.
When it comes to the bezel of the new Chopard Happy Ocean, it’s thicker — 5mm compared to 4mm — than the Black Bay 925, and this 1mm difference ends up making the actual dial smaller at 30mm. Even the thickness of the bezel is slightly more than Tudor offerings coming in at 2mm.
These work in favour of the Chopard watch, lending it a more dainty appearance. And while the bezels of Black Bays are rather plain, the bezel here is more detailed: it’s two-toned, darker than the wave pattern of the dial paving visual contrast, features recessed grooves at equal distance on the sides which provide with nice gripping for a sweet-sounding bezel action, the gold detailing complements the material’s use on the hour markers, the hands, the crown and the lug bars.
Talking about lugs, these are the most distinctive design feature of this release. Bearing a rather Breguet-esque appearance, these are also short and tapered down to suit the wrist curve.
Also Worth Mentioning
A couple of things I am not a fan of are the absence of a gold pin-buckle for the strap to match the aesthetics, and the 4.30 date. The latter is a personal pet peeve of mine, but to give credit where due, the date wheel is thankfully grey-blue matching the dial aesthetics.
I also like the attention to detail with the diamonds, where their cases are gold, complementing the appliqué markers. Then there is the generous Super-LumiNova® lume, which makes its presence felt in two different colours. The minutes hand and the lume pip on the bezel are in-filled with green lume, demarcating the most dive-specific aspects.
Last but not least is the added detail to the dial, with the letters “ BE HAPPY SPORT” spelt out next along the minute track.
The presence of the galvanic-treated wave-patterned blue dial with five diamonds — 0.24 ct. — dancing to your heart’s merriment is aesthetically pleasing. But the combination of a rotating diver’s bezel, an in-house automatic movement providing an impressive 60-hour power reserve, and a two-tone case with 300m water resistance, all ensure that this is no beauty without brains.
Talking about brains, the new Chopard Happy Ocean features the 28.8mm diameter and 4.95mm thick Chopard 01.01-C movement that is comprised of 31 jewels, beats at the frequency of 4Hz, and helps display central hours, minutes and seconds, along with a date display aperture at 4.30.
This 40mm diameter and 14.21mm thick diver features a steel and 18-carat rose gold case with a glare-proofed sapphire crystal on top and an engraved steel screw-down caseback. Matching the two-tone bezel and the stylised lugs, the case features a screw-lock crown bearing a Chopard “C” in 18-carat rose gold. Framing the wave-patterned blue dial is the 18-carat rose gold unidirectional rotating bezel with blue-grey aluminium insert and dot enhanced with Super-LumiNova®, along with a luminescent marker.
Completing the look is the blue-grey calfskin leather strap on a polished steel pin buckle. The watch also comes with a blue-grey NATO strap that can be used for aquatic activities.
The ref. 278587-6001 retails for 12’300 CHF or 18’000 AUD.
What It Reminds Me Of
Besides the slight Tudor and Breguet similarities, the dial is also reminiscent of the Omega Aqua Terra 150M Ladies’ 38mm ref. 126.96.36.199.03.001 that retails for a similar 16’350 AUD. With a similar wavy pattern on the dial and two-tone case personality, the Omega offering is also Master Chronometer certified. But is NOT a dive watch.
If you think about it, the new Chopard Happy Ocean is the love child of the Omega Aqua Terra and the Tudor Black Bay, that manages to come out of the nest and soar high on its own merits.
With the recent Covid outbreak in Sydney, there may be a thing or two to worry about. But with the new Chopard Happy Ocean on your wrist, it’s time to dive your worries away, and (as tacky as it sounds) be happy.
That’s All Folks!
When it comes to simplistic ladies sports watches, this new diver takes the lead: it features a distinctive blue mother-of-pearl dial base that is topped by floating diamonds that dance to their own distinct tune.
The way one moves the wrist, the diamonds frolic as if mimicking the wavy pattern of the dial and expressing the vivacity of the wearer.
To find out more about the new Chopard Happy Ocean and other Chopard watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise specified are ©Watch Ya Gonna Do About It, All rights reserved. Make sure to check out our reviews of other Watches & Wonders 2021 releases here.