Chopard is a Swiss watchmaker and jewelry house founded by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in 1860. Founded in the small Swiss village of Sonvillier, Chopard's initial focus was on precision timepieces, in the Swiss tradition. Chopard manufactures many of the watch components in-house, rather than creating watches from parts created in other factories. The company's reputation for quality and reliability spread quickly, and the founder's son, Paul Louis, opened a second branch in La Chaux de Fonds, along with the relocation of the company's headquarters, in 1921. The company moved to Geneva, then the world capital ofHaute Horlogerie("Fine Watchmaking") in 1937. Great grand-son Paul Andre Chopard took over the company in 1943. In 1963, the company sought a buyer who could continue the family's rich heritage of fine timepiece production, and the company was sold to Karl Scheufele, from a noted German watchmaking family.
Chopard experienced tremendous growth under the Scheufele family, who modernized the company and expanded its expertise into fine jewelry. The famed "Happy Diamonds" collection, whose watches featued free-moving diamonds housed between sapphire crystals, and the first Sport watches on leather straps, were all introduced under Scheufele's direction.
Scheufele has kept Chopard a family business, with daughter Caroline as the head of the fine jewelry division, and son Karl-Friedrich overseeing the watchmaking division. The company has three manufacturing sites in Switzerland and offers its products in exclusive boutiques and distribution outlets throughout the world.
Chopard partnered with the Cannes Film Festival and redesigned the award for thePalme d'Or("Golden Palm") in 1998. Chopard also sponsors the Male and Female Revelation of the Year awards at Cannes.
In 1992, Chopard partnered with L'Oreal to release fine fragrances under the esteemed Chopard brand. The company's first fragrance, sweet and popular women's fragrance Casmir, debuted in 1992 to great success, and spawned a series of flankers. The first men's scent, Heaven, was introduced in 1994. The company offers many of its fragrances in flacons that resemble a gemstone (Wish, for example, from 1999) and has introduced fragrances that coincide with a watch or jewelry collection, such as the Happy Spirit fragrances, which have a corresponding timepiece collection.