As I have already noted about four months ago, Chopard intends to revitalize its old Imperiale model range. To make the product even more appealing to the general public that doesn’t give much about the beauty of mechanical calibers, they will also introduce the Imperiale Two Tone model, a version powered by a cheaper quartz movement.
As the rest of the range, the Imperiale Two-Tone features a two-part dial. Its center is made of signature chased mother-of-pearl that is made to look like a quilt pattern, and the rim is done in silvered steel.
Together with applied gilt hour markers, bold Roman numerals, and huge dagger-shaped hour and minute hands (all of those details done in rose gold), the watch leaves a kind of ambiguous impression.
From where I stay, it looks like a half-witted monarch wearing gold and diamonds and purple velvet. Or in other words, it looks rather silly, yet expensive.
Personal preferences aside (I’m trying to make this brief review as unbiased as possible,) I must say that the promotional photos that Chopard usually accompanies its press release with don’t do their timekeepers (at least, the smaller ones) any justice. When put on the wrist, the trinket looks surprisingly well-proportioned with its compact case lying nicely on a normal wrist (and if your wrist is tiny, you can always get yourself a 36 mm model instead of the “base” 40 mm version) and are just thick enough for you to feel confident that this is a solid thing, not some fragile trinket.
According to the Swiss company, the watch will arrive in a choice of two cases 36 and 40 millimeters in diameter. Both will feature two-tone rose gold and steel bracelets and the same shaped setting crowns adorned with amethyst cabochons. The crown, by the way, too, sports surprisingly good ergonomics: as tiny as it is, it’s shaped to make it easy to operate: it is easy to pull when pulling is needed, and is easy to turn when you finally have to adjust its readings.
There is still no info on the model’s price, but expect it to start at around $7000*.
* UPDATE ON PRICE: Oh. My. God. They have actually offered this little trinket with a recommended minimum price of $8700. Although I am fairly confident that people working at Chopard’s marketing department know what they are doing, I still think the watch is terribly overpriced even for such a well-advertised fashion brand.
The Imperiale Two-Tone looks nice, no doubt about that, but paying close to nine thousand dollars for a piece, which is powered by an inexpensive, mass-produced quartz movement that probably retails for less than it costs to make the black leather-clad presentation box this watch is sold in, is beyond my imagination.
Chopard Imperiale Two-Tone specification
Price: $8700 (MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case Material: Stainless steel
Case size: 40.00 mm / 36.00 mm (ref. 388532-6002)
Lug width: 18.00 mm
Case height: 9.00 mm
Dial: Silvered and Natural mother-of-pearl
Numerals: Roman, rose gold, applied
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Rose gold and steel bracelet with folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective