Chopard Introduces a High Frequency Version of the Alpine Eagle

As integrated bracelet sports watches continue to dominate the conversation throughout the watch enthusiast community, a favorite pastime has emerged among many who think about these things more often than we probably should: what’s the best alternative integrated bracelet sports watch? It’s a given these days that Patek’s Nautilus and AP’s Royal Oak are essentially unobtainable unless you’re willing to shell out several times the retail price to a gray market dealer, or have achieved VIP status through authorized channels. Royal Oak and Nautilus substitutes have become a category unto themselves, with nearly every luxury brand offering something that looks and feels like those watches that are only available at the end of a very long waitlist. It’s perhaps a little unfair, though, to dismiss them as watches you pick up when your first choice isn’t available, as there’s a lot of great design and some pretty ingenious watchmaking present in many of these watches, including the one we’ll look at today, the latest entry in Chopard’s Alpine Eagle line. 


The Alpine Eagle collection debuted in the autumn of 2019 and immediately stood out in a flurry of similar releases from top tier brands for its beautiful textured dial and immaculately finished case and bracelet. Some critics, however, were hoping for more out of the movement. Chopard is responsible for some of the best, most finely finished movements over the last few decades in Swiss watchmaking through the hand finished, micro rotor equipped Caliber 1.96 and its derivatives. The movement inside the full size Alpine Eagles at launch was the perfectly adequate but far less exciting 01.01-C, which is a more robust full rotor automatic caliber that makes sense in a sports watch, but lacks some of the drama. 

Well, at least a little bit of that drama is back with the introduction of the Alpine Eagle Cadence 8F, which features a high frequency 8 Hz escapement. That’s twice the frequency of a standard escapement, and should result in greater accuracy over longer periods of time. The Caliber 01.12-C inside the Cadence takes a unique approach to solving one of the long-standing problems with high frequency movements, namely that they’re power hungry, and suffer from shorter power reserves as a result. Chopard solves this problem with a neat watchmaking trick, by making the balance wheel smaller by about 30% when compared to the balance used in the 01.01-C. Because of its size, it requires less energy to oscillate, and according to Chopard is able to hold a full 60 hour power reserve. 

This Alpine Eagle also sets itself apart from earlier versions in that this one is made of titanium, whereas the previous iterations had been made in stainless steel (and gold). The integrated bracelet sports watch design is obviously not everyone’s cup of tea, but Chopard has landed on something in the Alpine Eagle that few brands that attempt this style of watch really achieve. This is very much Chopard’s own thing while still living within a framework that is dominated by a small handful of very well known watches that are difficult to escape. The textured dials with their swirling pattern (here in a gray that matches the titanium case and bracelet) certainly plays a role here, but the aggressive contrasts between brushed and polished finishing of the case and bracelet (on the outer links) shouldn’t go unnoticed. The intricacy of the finishing on a Royal Oak, for instance, is a huge part of what makes that watch special, and while we haven’t had a Cadence in hand to make a direct comparison, Chopard deserves credit for making an attempt at this style while working with titanium, a more challenging metal to achieve this type of effect. 

The Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence 8F is a limited edition of 250 pieces, and carries a retail price of $19,000. More information is available at Chopard’s website.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.