It all started in the 1970s, while Chopard designer Ronald Kurowski was out on a walk in the Black Forest mountain range. Chancing upon a waterfall, he found himself captivated by the glistening spray of fine water droplets, each bead catching the light and sparkling in a myriad of colours.
This image sparked a thought in the designer’s mind: What if diamonds were allowed to scintillate freely without the confines of a setting — just like these free-falling water droplets? The thought blossomed into a full concept, which eventually manifested in Chopard’s first Happy Diamonds watch in 1976.
Created with gentlemen in mind, the large cushion-shaped timepiece was forged in 18k white gold and featured a sleek black dial. Its highlight, however, were the brilliant-cut diamonds encased between the watch dial and sapphire crystal that moved freely around the face of the ticker. Within that same year, the horologe was awarded the highest honours at the prestigious Golden Rose of Baden-Baden, a jeweller’s competition organised by the Society of Friends of Precious Stones in Germany. On the back of this success, a ladies’ Happy Diamonds watch was added to the collection soon after.
Today, Happy Diamonds has become a Chopard signature. Apart from its timepieces, the notion of movable diamonds is also found in its jewellery pieces, including the brand’s necklaces, rings, earrings and pendants.
To mark the 40th anniversary of the iconic range this year, the Swiss high jeweller and watchmaker has designed two timepieces for the ladies that pay tribute to the very first Happy Diamonds watch launched in 1976.
The first is presented in the same cushion shape as the original Happy Diamonds watch and exudes a vintage charm while boasting a modern, contemporary flair. Framing the 18k white gold watch’s elegant mother-of-pearl dial is a single row of prong-set diamonds on its bezel. Displayed within the timepiece’s chassis is, of course, the collection’s iconic mobile diamonds. While the sides and bottoms of these diamonds are traditionally sheathed in gold to prevent any potential scratches on the dial and sapphire crystal, this new edition sees the mobile diamonds set with prongs for the first time. Additionally, three different sizes of diamonds are found within the watch case — previously, only diamonds in a uniform size were used.
Further adding to the sparkle of the timepiece are two concentric rings set with diamonds in the centre of the watch’s dial, framing the hour and minute display.
The second timepiece shares much of the same design elements as the first, except realised in a round case shape.