The Chopard Happy Sport line is the crowning achievement of one of Europe’s most respected jewelry and watchmaking firms. This company can trace its roots to 1860, when Louis-Ulysse Chopard started his first watchmaking workshop in Sonvilier, Switzerland. Their fine timepieces immediately gained an international reputation, and the firm grew in prestige and success to become one of the leading names in the field. Their watches have been worn by film stars, sports heroes and countless others.
Introduced in 1993, the Happy Sport line continued the tradition with its precision in-house movement and unique design. The defining characteristic of the line is the use of several loose diamonds moving freely in the space between two crystals. In a few of the later models, the diamonds have been replaced with ornaments such as fish or stars.
Happy Sport includes oval, round and rectangular models. The bezels are wide and made of either stainless steel or rose gold. The basic design has a plain polished bezel surrounding a face with oversized Roman numerals at three, six, nine and twelve. These are uncomplicated watches with clear, open faces. The “happy” loose diamonds roam freely over the face. The bands are either stitched leather or metal link.
However, this basic design has now been taken through a fascinating array of variations offering something for all tastes. Later models have seen the introduction of intricate dial patterns, diamond-encrusted bezels and chronograph models with three sub-dials. Some models have date windows at the four o’clock position. The dial decorations are outstanding and include delicate flower designs, sunburst patterns and even Disney characters. Sport chronographs have countdown scales on the bezels for divers or racing enthusiasts.
Happy Sport is a large line with styles ranging from the austere to the opulent. The characteristic tying them all together is the presence of those glistening ornaments sliding around the face to create an ever-changing sparkle. Some designs are reduced to their most basic elements: a numberless face with three standard hands within a broad polished border. Three silver stars are the moving elements here, and the face is dark blue with tiny specks to imitate the night sky.
At the other end of the scale, some of the Happy Sport models have an aquatic theme with wildly colorful faces and gleaming fish swimming through the crystal. The bezels are round and wide in imitation of a ship’s porthole. Other variations include a rose pattern with white and pink diamonds, ornate diamond-pave faces and retro-style tonneau cases. Metal, leather and silicone bands are available.
The quality of these watches extends below the surface, since Chopard is an award-winning maker of movements as well as watch designs. This company prides itself on their careful oversight of the production process from beginning to end, so a Happy Sport watch is both a stunning style statement and a durable, serviceable timepiece. Considering the prestige of the name and the quality of the watches, their value can only increase with time.