This isn’t just any watch—it has a story. In 1976, Chopard, the now iconic Swiss luxury-watch and luxury-jewellery maker, initiated a mini-revolution in an industry anchored in tradition when it launched Happy Diamonds, a wristwatch featuring diamonds that moved attractively around the circumference of the dial in rhythm with the wearer’s movements.
Almost 20 years later, in 1993, Caroline Scheufele—daughter of Karl Scheufele, who bought the family business from Paul-André Chopard in the 1960s—introduced the Happy Sport, a chic and sporty watch that was made for movement. It included the famous mobile diamonds but with a major innovation: The gemstones were now located directly on the dial between two sapphire crystals, and they danced in a captivating choreography. The premier edition, Happy Sport the First, came in a stainless-steel case and had a “pebble” bracelet strap made of flexible links that allowed for a perfect fit. Since its inception, the watch hasn’t missed a beat: It’s had more than 1,000 variations over 28 years.
Scheufele has designed 12 new Happy Sport models, including one in Lucent Steel A223, a precious alloy made from recycled materials, one in 18-karat rose gold and one featuring gold and steel, and they all come with a leather or metal strap. Each watch face has a diameter of 33 millimetres, a size inspired by the “golden ratio”—also known as the “divine proportion”— which is a number that governs harmony in nature. And Chopard has launched two limited-edition redesigns of Happy Sport the First, also in the 33-millimetre format.
Julia Roberts, an actress who exudes the same joy and free-spiritedness as Chopard’s iconic timepiece, has been brought on as the face of the brand’s line of new designs, and talented Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has joined as artistic director. The result? A campaign that’s sublime, sparkling and casual—just like the Happy Sport watches themselves. Scheufele, now co-president and artistic director of the company, tells us more about the origin of this famous accessory and her designs.
Photography: ©Shayne Laverdière, Artistic Direction: Xavier Dolan, Stylist: Elizabeth Stewart
On the success of the Happy Sport collection
“In a way, the Happy Sport represents the DNA of Chopard: Its unique, original and ultramodern style breaks the rules. At the time [of its invention], combining diamonds and steel had never been done before.”
On the technical feat of mobile diamonds
“I decided to place the diamonds between two glass pieces above the dial, even though my chef d’atelier told me it was impossible, which only strengthened my conviction. Thanks to our talented artisans, the gamble paid off. It’s an extremely delicate task that requires patience and dexterity. Not only does each diamond need to be placed so it dances without being disturbed but you also need to be careful not to seal any dust between the glasses, as that would impede the diamonds’ [movement].”
On working with Lucent Steel A223, made from up to 70 percent recycled materials
“Responsibility and ethics have always been integral parts of our philosophy. Our goal is to have a transparent production supply chain, ensuring full traceability and fair working conditions and wages for everyone involved without negatively impacting the planet. For example, since July 2018, we’ve been using only ethical gold for all our watches and jewellery. We’re extremely proud of the new paths we’re taking to make the world a fairer and more sustainable place.”
On choosing Julia Roberts as the face of the new Happy Sport collection
“It was her or nobody! With her charisma, spontaneity, fearless- ness and support of women’s and children’s rights, she was the only person who could convey the energy of Happy Sport. Her aura is universal, making her the ultimate embodiment of a free-spirited woman.”
On the key message of the campaign
“Joie de vivre! As a child, I was extremely shy. Dance helped me discover the intense feeling of freedom you get when you move your body. It’s the same joy found in the mobile-diamonds concept: They dance in harmony with the movement of the women who wear them.”
On her childhood memories of the family brand
“I played in the ateliers, and sometimes my mother invited me to join her in the gemstone department. It was a magical place where I could see and touch the stones and feel their incredible energy. As an adolescent, I designed my first piece of jewellery: a little clown pendant with dancing diamonds in the centre. It still makes me happy when I think of it. My father secretly had it made at the workshop as a gift for me. That’s how I fell in love with jewellery and the creative process.”
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