Chopard will soon revitalize its long-abandoned, but not forgotten Imperiale line. The resurrected collection features several models, but the most visually appealing among them is the oversized Imperiale Chronograph 40 mm Ladies (Ref. 384211-5002) that comes in an 18-karat rose gold case. As the name of the model directly warns you, it is presented in a bulky, deliberately massive body that will nevertheless look great on the wrist of a Rubenesque woman.
While some other members of the collection come dazzling with diamonds, this particular model limits the use of precious stones to its lotus-shaped crown and column-shaped lugs. These elements are decorated with tiny briolette-cut amethyst cabochons that come in deep-purple: the color that, centuries ago, was reserved exclusively to those of royal blood. I see a hint of irony here, too, but let’s go too deep here.
What amazes me most about the latest generation of watches designed for ladies is their size. When I first saw this model with its eXtra Large rose gold case, which is whole 40 mm in diameter and slightly more than 10 millimeters thick, my first thought was that this one was yet another jewelry watch for the growing crowd of metrosexuals.
Yes, the ref. 384211-5002 is big.
The dagger-shaped hands are big; the bezel is thick, the applied rose gold “XII” Roman numeral and hour indexes are massive; and the case… Well, the case is simply huge.
However, if a lady doesn’t get scared of this barrage of size-related adjectives and puts the timepiece on her wrist, it may well appear that it looks good even on a skinny hand.
There are two reasons for that.
The first is, of course, the metal used to craft the case and bracelet: if polished right, rose gold never, never disappoints.
And the second is that the brand’s industrial design branch knows a thing or two about, how to make a watch look great not just on paper (or on your screen,) but primarily on a wrist of a real human being thus shaping the case in a way that offers lots of negative curves on its sides and the bezel and makes the Imperiale Chronograph look like it was shaped of liquid fire and then put into a peculiarly-shaped stasis field.
The oversized lugs (yes, they are also big) somewhat spoil this picture drawing too much attention to themselves, but in general, the Chopard Imperiale Large Model Chronograph leaves a very good impression.
Highly recommended if the list price of $32,410 doesn’t scare you away.
Chopard Imperiale Large Model Chronograph (ref. 384211-5002) specification
Price: MSRP $32,410
Movement: Frederic Piguet FP 1150, automatic, 21,600 vph, Swiss Made
Functions: Hour, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 45 hours
Case: Rose gold
Size: 40.0 mm
Case height: 10.20 mm
Dial: White Mother of Pearl, Silvered
Numerals: Roman, applied
Hands: Rose gold, luminous
Hour markers: Rose gold, applied, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Rose gold bracelet with folding buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective