Leaving No Stone Unturned: Introducing The New Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch 2021
Editor’s note: For nearly a decade now we have curiously anticipated the Only Watch Auction. The 2021 edition doesn’t disappoint! While watches earlier this year had a green theme, this year’s Auction watches seem to have an orange theme. Following the releases from Watches & Wonders 2021, today we present the new Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch 2021. Here’s our preview and the Gut Reaction Review (Grr…). For our standard detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
Chopard’s Alpine Eagle first landed in 2019, making waves and soaring high. Then last year saw the release of the Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono. This year, while Chopard didn’t make any changes to this collection at Watches &. Wonders, they have just dropped a new piece unique version of the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono, and they have left no stone unturned.
Bringing to the auction the best of what the brand currently offers, the new Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch 2021 is one of the most striking releases from this auction’s 53-watches catalogue, featuring a harmonious balance of traditional watchmaking with contemporary twists.
Besides being a piece unique, there are a few elements that make this watch even rarer: the use of bead-blasted Lucent Steel A223, the use of (three patents) in-house COSC-certified calibre, the use of Swiss granite stone from the Graubünden region, and (perhaps most importantly) the inclusion of a black calfskin strap with black bridle stitching and bead-blasted titanium inlay.
According to the brand, the subtle use of blue and green evokes the beauty of the Alpine forests and lakes as seen from the sky by an eagle.
And as impressive as this is, I lay emphasis on the strap because personally, I am not a steel bracket person, and ever since the Alpine Eagle collection has taken off, I have been wanting to procure one but the inclusion of the integrated bracelet has been an issue. So for me, the calf leather strap is an added plus.
I also like the incorporation of contrasting black sub-counters with concentric circles, the inclusion of a black date wheel, and the blue-tipped chronograph hands.
The watch itself is a 44mm diameter and 13.15mm thick timepiece that is also thankfully water-resistant to 100m.
In regards to the charity, 54 brands are participating this year for the 9th edition — the first one was in 2005 — of the biennial charity auction Only Watch, whose aim is to raise funds for research against Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This auction has raised more than 70 million Euros — the 2019 edition raised CHF 38’593’000 — so far and has enabled scientists to continue their research.
The lots will go on a small world tour — unfortunately, and surprise surprise, Australia is not a part of it — and then auctioned in collaboration with Christie’s on 6 November 2021, at 2pm (Geneva time), at the Four Seasons Hôtel des Bergues.
The ref. 298609-3005 features the movement we saw released in October last year with the regular production Alpine Eagle XL Chrono. The calibre Chopard 03.05-C is an automatic winding, in-house, COSC-certified movement with a pretty good 60-hour power reserve.
The 28.8mm diameter and 7.6mm thick movement comprises 45 jewels and 310 components, beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28,800 Vph), offers flyback function with stop-seconds function thanks to three pivoting hammers with elastic arms facilitating zero-setting of the counters, and makes use of the Variner® balance with balance-spring featuring a flat terminal curve that ensures that the rate of the movement is stable by compensating for its variations in inertia throughout the watch’s lifetime, and an open-worked tungsten alloy rotor.
While impressively three patents have been filed for this, the calibre Chopard 03.05-C which uses the calibre Chopard 03.05-M as its base is not a new movement for the brand, having been used previously in other watches such as the ref. 168580-3001, the 2016 Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition.
That’s All Folks!
There is a quote that I like and I reckon works well in the context of this release: “We can choose to throw stones, to stumble on them, to climb over them, or to build with them”.
With the new Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch 2021, Chopard chooses to build with them, creating an impressive chronometer-certified timepiece with a beautiful dial made from a natural Swiss stone.
If you look at what’s in demand, there is definitely a market gap and need for Swiss-made integrated bracelet sports-luxury watch. Chopard presents us with an option that not only fills that void but also goes against the grain: nature and man-made are always at odds; but the new Alpine Eagle rises, defying that norm by combining natural stone with mechanical art.
If only there weren’t just one of them.
To find out more about the new Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono Only Watch 2021 and other auction timepieces, please head to the ONLY WATCH 2021 collection website here. All images unless otherwise specified are © Chopard, All rights reserved. All basic information Copyright © Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies. Make sure to check out our reviews of Watches & Wonders 2021 releases here.