The Swiss watchmaking brand Chopard will soon revitalize its long-abandoned, but not forgotten line of Imperiale wristwatches. The new collection features a number of models, but the most visually appealing among them is the oversized Chopard Imperiale Chronograph 40 mm (Ref. 384211-5002) ladies watch that comes in a 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 a wrist of a Rubenesque woman.
While some other members of the resurrected 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 to deep here.
What amazes me most about the latest of ladies 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 actually puts the timepiece on her wrist, it may well appear that the watch looks quite good even on a skinny hand.
There are two reasons for that.
The first is, of course, the metal used to craft the watch: rose gold never, if polished right, 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 watch 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 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) automatic ladies watch 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 material: Rose gold
Bezel material: Rose gold
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case 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
Case back: Sapphire