Get Happy: Chopard Launches Two New Happy Sports And A Partnership With Julia Roberts
The Academy Award-winning actress introduces a pair of updated icons – Happy Sport The First and Happy Sport 33mm.
There are stars, and then there are legends. When it comes to celebrities, there are few actors as iconic as Julia Roberts. And when it comes to luxury jewelry watches, Chopard’s Happy Diamond Sport has got to be one of the top three most emblematic.
When Chopard announced Julia Roberts as the new ambassador for its Happy Diamond Sport collection last week, it seemed like the most natural pairing in the world. Both made it big in the 1990s, both changed the role of women in their respective industries, and both exude pure joy.
Fans of Roberts and Happy Diamonds are also excited about what Chopard and the new Happy Sport The First and Happy Sport 33mm are proposing for the future.
Chopard is known as a jewelry maker that also happens to make exceptional timepieces. And when the original Happy Diamonds timepiece debuted in the mid-1970s, it disrupted the codes of watchmaking and jewelry.
It was meant to celebrate the societal changes of an era marked by the new freedoms for women and society as a whole. And for almost two decades, Chopard enjoyed the success of the Happy Diamonds collection, which included a watch with diamonds that appeared to be floating across the dial. But with its release in 1993, the Happy Sport gained legendary status for the barriers it broke.
Chopard had, once again, upset the order of the haute horology industry when the Happy Sport became the first watch to combine diamonds with a stainless-steel case.
The timepiece was the brainchild of Chopard Co-President and then-Artistic Director Caroline Scheufele, who envisioned a sportier version of the original for the 1990s woman. And with Oscar-nominated performances in Steel Magnolias (1989) and Pretty Woman (1990), no one exemplified that free-spirited '90s woman like Julia Roberts.
The Happy Sport, with its stainless-steel case, was sophisticated but not dainty. Like it was Roberts’ megawatt smile made into crystals: the Happy Sport soon became an icon for both the maison and women's watches.
Roberts has starred in some unforgettable movies, including her Oscar-winning role in Erin Brockovich (2000), but her achievements are no less impressive. As the highest-paid actor in the world throughout most of the 1990s and much of the 2000s, Roberts broke gender barriers by bringing in as much if not more in ticket sales as Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, and Arnold Schwarzenegger – the other big money-makers of the day.
Caroline Scheufele is also a trailblazer. In her role at the family-run luxury house, she is instrumental in the development and the design aesthetic of Chopard’s distinctive creations. And as the head of the women’s collections and fine jewelry range, Scheufele has made it her mission to use ethically sourced and mined materials. And when she wanted to challenge some of the notions about gender in watch collecting, she conceived of the Happy Sport as a watch for women who bought their own damn watches and jewelry!
As Caroline Scheufele explained in 1993, "I wanted a watch that I could wear all day long: at the gym, in the office, or for a dinner in town.”
The two new Happy Sport The First pay homage to the original 1993 model with its legendary floating diamonds and pebble-link bracelet. More than that, these new models recognize that more women are into watches and expect more than just smaller versions of men’s watches dusted with diamonds, dressed up with mother-of-pearl dials, and powered by quartz movements.
Not that there’s anything wrong with diamonds and mother-of-pearl, but many female enthusiasts appreciate inner beauty just as much as outer beauty. And that means movements that are as well-considered as the case.
Happy Sport The First is all about harmony. Inspired by the principles of the golden ratio, it features an updated 33mm diameter case made of 70 percent recycled Lucent Steel A223 and the Chopard 09.01-C automatic movement. The Lucent Steel of the round case complements the coolness of silver-toned dial, shimmery blue Roman numeral hour-markers, and five cabochon-cut sapphires set on the lugs and crown of the watch.
It sits comfortably on the wrist, making the Happy Sport The First an easy, everyday wear despite its precious jewels.
Happy Sport The First, ref. 278610-3001, is a 1,993-piece limited edition, available for $9,900. The second variation, ref. 278610-3002, is a limited edition of 788 pieces, features a diamond-set bezel and a textured mother-of-pearl dial, and is priced at $17,400.
The comfy 33mm, golden ratio-inspired case of The First is also the center of 12 new references in the Happy Sport collection. And, like the Happy Sport The First limited editions, the Happy Sport 33mm models dance to the rhythm of the Chopard 09.01-C automatic movement.
The Happy Sport 33mm is crafted from steel, 18-karat ethical rose gold, or mixed-material variations. And they are available on a leather strap or matching metal bracelet and come framed in either a polished or diamond-set bezel. There is also a deluxe version made of 18-karat ethical white gold and entirely set with diamonds on the case, bezel, crown, and bracelet.
As we’ve seen in 2021 watch releases across the board, enthusiasts are looking for less bulky, more versatile timepieces. And even though the Happy Sport occupies its own unique space in the watch world, this small shift in size is a big acknowledgment of how tastes and lifestyles are evolving. But the one thing that is permanent is the joie de vivre that both Roberts and Happy Sport embody. They both know how to light up a room!