The Chopard Happy Sport is our number one watch line: Caroline Scheufele

The Chopard Happy Sport is our number one watch line: Caroline Scheufele

Many Happy Returns

Text: Celine Yap

When you're thinking about diamonds that move freely around your jewellery or timepiece, there can only be one brand on your mind: Chopard. Creator of the one and only Happy Diamonds concept where precious stones have been freed from their settings to swish and swirl wherever they please, Chopard celebrates 25 years of the Happy Sport collection this year. Where the Happy Diamonds radiate glamour and elegance, the Happy Sport is all about boundless creativity and joie de vivre.

Introduced in 1993, the Happy Sport was a revolution. Before it, luxury jewellers and watchmakers never combined diamonds with stainless steel. Thanks to the creative audacity of Chopard's co-president Caroline Scheufele, the steel-and-diamonds combo of the Happy Sport paved the way for this style to eventually became a staple in the luxury industry today. The Happy Sport, like the Happy Diamonds, is one of Chopard's most definitive emblems and a bulwark of feminine watchmaking. According to Scheufele, this iconic model in its numerous iterations such as the Happy Ocean and Happy Snowflakes, make up the best-selling watch collection at Chopard.

Caroline Scheufele

Playing with different materials, shapes, gemstones and colours, Scheufele has given the Happy Sport a unique character that has evolved graciously over the 25 years since its inception. Buro. Singapore caught up with the prolific artistic director when she was in town for the Happy Sport 25th anniversary party at the NCO Club.

How exactly did you get into the world of jewellery design?

I was always attracted to beautiful stones. From a young age I was always going around my mom's jewellery box trying things on. When I started, Chopard was a pure watch manufacture. My very first design was the Happy Diamonds Clown. I did it when I was 16 and still in school. The Happy Diamonds concept already existed, it's now 41 years old, and I was always intrigued by diamonds moving around. My mom was wearing one. And I always imagined this clown with diamonds in his tummy. Why a clown? I love going to the circus and in particular I love the clowns because they made people smile and laugh. My father saw my drawing and as a surprise made it for me for Christmas. That was how the jewellery side for Chopard started, with this little clown. So clearly it was very important to me and to Chopard.

What are the three most important creative milestones for you till date?

Definitely the Happy Sport. It was the first watch ever where diamonds were put into steel and not gold. Normally you would not mix diamonds with non-precious metals. For me it was a way to wear a diamond watch. As a sport watch you can go underwater or play tennis with it. It's very solid, but at the same time, it's got a twist of diamonds. It was daring at that time, and today the Happy Sport is one of our most important collections. Then maybe the Animal World for the 150th anniversary of Chopard because it was a very appropriate challenge. And of course, every year's Red Carpet collection. We introduced the Red Carpet collection 12 years ago for the 16th anniversary of the [Cannes Film] Festival. This is an ongoing challenge because every year I add one piece to the collection.

In 1993, you created the Happy Sport for young people. If it was for today instead, would you have done anything differently?

I think the Happy Sport is perfect for millennials. A lot of young girls dream of a Happy Sport. It's stayed relevant and we have adapted the design many times. Now it's got an automatic movement. We did a black version, one in ceramic, and we've got two or three new ideas coming up, which are all very cool. So by always doing capsule collections, we keep it fresh. The classical Happy Sport is as much loved today as 25 years ago, but then we also have more elaborate versions with full pave or rubies or the rainbow sapphires, so it touches a lot of age groups.

What was the mode of thinking when you made the first Happy Sport?

When I came up with the first one, I really thought we needed something edge, something fun that you can wear 24 hours a day. For mornings when you go to the gym or classes, when you go to the supermarket, take the kids to school, all the way to the night when you need to dress up. That's what I wanted. A watch that covers all these aspects.

This year you've added an in-house automatic movement to the collection. What was the motivation behind that?

It completes the Happy Sport in a way of being truly Chopard. Also we realise that the Asian markets really appreciate having an automatic in-house movement, so it becomes necessary that the Happy Sport receives one too.

Chopard manufacture Calibre 09.01-C

How will the Happy Sport continue to evolve?

It has become a classic, an icon, it's something very recognisable. Clients like to have recognisable designs. It's a watch that's liked across the world, from America to the Middle east, from Europe to Asia. I think a good product is universal. It's an unlimited source of creation. I think the Happy Sport has a lot more to offer. We can still create a lot of surprises within the line, and this is the cool thing. Remember the Happy Beach Chrono with moving flip flops? It's really cute. When you wear that watch, it intrigues people, it's a talking piece. You can have a conversation that makes you smile.