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Watches and Wonders 2023: A review on the Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS.

amanico
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I am not a super fan of these so-called " luxury sports watches ", and, among them, the Nautilus or the Royal Oak, with a preference for the Royal Oak, though. Same for the Vacheron 222. 

My favorite, till now, was the Girard Perregaux Laureato. 

As for the Chopard Alpine Eagle, I must say that it was not in my scope at all, and I don't even mention the St Moritz, which I always found too " rococo "... Then, this new Alpine Eagle came, and... 

This is funny because I was not mad about its case, the date between 4 and 5 o' clock was a no go, the bracelet was ok, just ok, and the dials were not to my taste... Till... This new Alpine Eagle 41 XPS. 

Here are the reasons which totally made me change my mind, at this point I am considering it as one of the Stars of Watches and Wonders 2023! 

1/ THE DIAL  is THE part which is driving me nuts.  

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Pink, salmon, or more poetically called Monte Rosa Pink by Chopard, The brass plate has been textured like an eagle's iris, giving a lot of character, elegance and relief. The small seconds subdial is smoother, with a circular decoration, which I find to be a good idea, as it helps reading them. 

The applied indices and III, IX and XII are in white gold, as well as the hands. Both the hands and the applied hour markers are filled with super bright superluminova. 

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The only detail I less like is the circle of metal surrounding the seconds subdial... That was not mandatory, in my opinion, but not a big deal.

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2/ THE CASE: 

It is funny to see how a dial can change the perception you may have on a case. I find it interesting, now. I would have imagined that 41 mm was too big, not at all. I thought that the case shape, almost Genta-esque, would not be to my taste... On the contrary! 

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Chopard inaugurated their new steel, called Lucent, harder, more brilliant, with this watch and the other Monte Rosa Pink, the LUC 1860. I find that the choice of this kind of steel is spot-on for a sports watch. 

The other spectacular detail about the case is its thinness, with a height of only 8mm, mainly thanks to its movement, as we'll soon see, which allows this watch to play the sport chic game with talent. What a profile!

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The crown, nicely integrated, has a generous size of 6, 65 mm. 

The bezel reminds the era the ancestor was designed, obviously, with its superbly aligned 8 screws. 

3/ THE MOVEMENT:  

Pièce de choix, lettres de noblesse... Whatever you want to call it, it is THE killing detail of this watch, the part which makes this watch belong to another category. 

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COSC Chronometer certified, Geneva hallmark, hence superbly finished and decorated with all the traditional techniques such as Côtes de Genève, perlage, anglage this yellow gold guilloché micro rotor automatic movement also has the good taste to be quite thin, with a height of only 3, 30 mm and a very good power reserve of 65 hours. One of the finest micro rotor movements I know, Girard Perregaux Tourbillon with gold bridges apart. 

4/ THE BRACELET: 

Truth to be told, I am not a huge fan of this integrated bracelet, not to the point to hate it, though. Let's say that I would have preferred it to be fully brushed, without this center link polished. Especially when the case is all brushed... As well as the bezel. 

BUT... It is super comfortable to wear. 

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So you got my point. I consider this watch to be one of the most interesting of the show. At this point I would love to get one for me... Yes, yes, I had to pinch myself to be sure I was not dreaming or that I was not drunk... I like the Alpine Eagle, now! 

There is still one point I / we will have to swallow... The price, which is 24, 400 Euros (ouch). 
But even if it is not a limited edition, I heard that it will be limited in production, annually. And, compared to some other contenders from some so-called prestigious brands, it is not ridiculous at all. Not ridiculous, but high priced... 

Looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts,

Best.

Nicolas

Comments:
mdg December 23rd, 2023-22:33
I too came around once I saw the no-date dial... 
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amanico December 23rd, 2023-22:37
;) Thanks, mdg. 
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Aquaracer1 December 23rd, 2023-22:46
Superb write up Nico! Stunning dial, this is the star of the show for me, yes, better with no date. I never noticed the circle around the sub dial until you pointed it out . Better without in my option, but not a reason to skip all together. The price is steep, if I was to mov... 
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amanico December 23rd, 2023-22:47
Yes, I hesitate a lot between this one and the 1860... For the star of the show! 
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TeutonicCarFan December 23rd, 2023-22:56
This is a killer piece I definitely am close to pulling the trigger. For me, I am waiting/hoping for a micro adjustment on the clasp. It would drive me crazy otherwise. Also, I'm not too thrilled on adding another steel bracelet watch, I'd prefer something fun like Ti..and agre... 
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amanico December 23rd, 2023-23:02
Thanks for your feedback, mon ami. Keep us posted! 
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Spangles - Tabib al-‘Attābiyya December 23rd, 2023-23:05
Tried it on, very nice. I like the LUC 1860 salmon very much.
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amanico December 23rd, 2023-23:06
Me too. I am hesitating a lot between these 2. 
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India Whiskey Charlie December 23rd, 2023-23:30
Solution: Get both...😂 
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hora12reborn December 24th, 2023-06:44
😂 
0-10-10

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amanico
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Some thoughts on the Arnold and Son Nebula.

amanico
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Warning: The Nebula is a totally under the radar and underrated masterpiece. Unveiled in 2016 first in gold with a 41, 5 mm case, it became available in 2018 with the choice between two cases, in steel or in gold. And in 2020, if my memory serves me well, the Nebula also comes in 38 mm, with a blue dial in 2022. The 38 and the 41, 5 mm have the same case height: 8, 73 mm, which gives a super harmony to the watch.


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