Chopard has injected a wave of colour into its Happy Sport collection with the new Happy Ocean – a dive watch bejewelled with the brand’s familiar floating “happy” diamonds
By Lisa Paul
Since its introduction in 1993, the Happy Sport has welcomed a myriad of playful creations, including the brightly bejewelled Happy Fish spin-off in 2002. As its name suggests, the new-for-2017 Happy Ocean also borrows its design from the ocean’s depths, and combines elegance with an array of technical diver’s features. That’s right: this watch sits at the not overly large intersection between whimsical, playful decoration and earnest tool watches. For that reason alone, it’s worth a closer look.
Taking cues from coral reefs, the generous 40mm steel case has a unidirectional rotating bezel in vivid two-tone blue and turquoise or two-tone blue and raspberry, with a wave-shape design around the edge for easy use underwater. The deep blue dial is neatly offset by a white hour hand and hour markers filled with blue luminescence, and either a turquoise or raspberry minutes hand (corresponding to the bezel colour) that glows green in the dark. Chopard is calling this colourful jewellery watch a ‘nautical adventure’ and it certainly brings to mind fun summer days spent at the beach or out at sea.
Of course, the watch wouldn’t be a Happy Sport without any free-floating diamonds – and the Happy Ocean has five dazzling moving diamonds that swim between the dial and a glare-proofed sapphire crystal. A delicate wave motif is engraved on the solid case back and the crown is embossed with a ‘C’.
Inside ticks Chopard’s self-winding 01.01-C movement that’s been entirely developed and produced in the brand’s Fleurier Ebauches workshops. It powers a date function, seen between 4 and 5 o’clock, and packs a 60-hour power reserve. The watch is water resistant to 300m and features a practical blue NATO strap – a first for a Chopard ladies’ watch – two attributes that put the watch closer to “shouldn’t-work-but-does” territory.
Caroline Scheufele first came up with the Happy Sport in 1993 as a way of combining steel and diamonds, and it’s now a cornerstone of Chopard’s ladies’ collection. Surprisingly, however, its predecessor was a 1976 piece for men. The story goes that Ronald Kurowski – Chopard’s then designer – was mesmerised by a waterfall he’d spotted in the Black Forest and its thousands of water droplets, each catching the sunlight. He had the idea to ‘free’ the diamonds from their setting, a vision that led to the original cushion-shaped Happy Diamonds. The line went that diamonds were ‘happiest when they are free’, and so the ‘Happy’ name was born. There is an excellent short history of Happy Diamonds here at PuristsPro – it was clearly a more innocent age…
This year’s Happy Ocean is a sporty addition to the ever-playful Happy Sport series and is priced at £6,130. You can read more about the history of Chopard’s L.U.C fine watchmaking here.