BY JOVAN KRSTEVSKI
Chopard brought raised the heat in the luxury sports watch market last year with the release of the Alpine Eagle. And now for 2020, the brand has expanded the Alpine eagle family with another smoking hot offering, the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono. Presented with black and blue dials, the new Alpine Eagle XL Chrono comes equipped with a flyback chronograph movement and is packed inside an extra-large 44mm Lucent steel case.
Like their three-hand cousins what immediately grabs attention on the Alpine Eagle Chrono watches are their textured dials. Inspired by the Eagle’s iris the striations on the dial, add a ton of visual character to the dial. Placed on top of the dial are applied hour indices that bring in a nice sense of depth. A combination of batons and Roman numeral at the 12 o’clock position, the hour index is filled with luminous paint which combined along with the lume plots behind the markers would ensure optimum low light visibility. Moving inwards you get a tri-compax chronograph layout with large sub-registers at 3,6 and 9 to record the chronograph minutes, running seconds, and the chronograph hours. All sub-dials are nicely recessed, crisply printed, and feature concentric circular graining. The baton-shaped hands go well with the shape of the indices and interestingly the hands for the chronograph functions feature red tips to help segregate them from normal timekeeping. There is a date window that has been neatly tucked away between 4 and 5, and completing the dial is the sloped tachymeter scale that runs on the outer periphery.
The case on the Alpine Eagle XL Chrono measures a large 44mm in diameter and like the dial has a lot in common with Alpine three-hand models. It has been crafted from Lucent Steel 223, an innovative steel alloy developed by Chopard, and offers anti-allergenic properties and more robustness compared to stainless steel. The case bears a familiar bold and distinctive angular shape and showcases exquisite craftsmanship. The entire case has been finished to a very standard with a nice mix of brushed and polished surfaces. Sitting on top of the case is a fixed bezel that is perhaps one of the signature design elements of the case. It has been vertically brushed and features two screws each at every cardinal lending the watch a unique appeal. Attached to the case is an integrated bracelet that in my opinion is another aspect that Chopard nailed. The bracelet like the case is exceptionally finished and flows seamlessly from the lugs to the clasp giving the watch a cohesive look. The case is water-resistant to 100 meters that is ensured with the help of the threaded crown at 3.
Flipping the watch over reveals the innovative Chopard 03.05-C caliber. This is a self-winding movement that has been developed in-house by Chopard. It operates at a frequency of 4 Hz and offers a power reserve of around 60 hours. The movement features a column wheel mechanism and a fly-back function. The movement is COSC certified to ensure timing accuracy between -4 to +6 seconds per day.
The all-steel variants of the new Chopard Alpine Eagle XL Chrono would retail for USD 19,200 whereas the two-tone variant would retail for USD 26,800.
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