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CHOPARD - Legendary Passion for Superlative Jewellery
In 1963 Scheufele bought up the Chopard Company and set the tone for one of the most influential jewellery companies in the world...
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Aug 23 2006 12:00AM
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In 1963 Scheufele bought up the Chopard Company and set the tone for one of the most influential jewellery companies in the world. With more than 70 boutiques worldwide now in 2006 the company is still growing significantly with his children Caroline and Karl as the pillars of the whole organisation.

Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele shares the co-presidency with her brother Karl-Friedrich, forming a perfect tandem, where the meticulous approach of one and the creativity of the other contribute to making Chopard, the family business, into a modern, dynamic company that is flying on the wings of success. “We now have more than 1,100 people working for us. But the family atmosphere is still maintained. My parents, my brother and my sister-in-law all work here,” states Caroline.

Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele - born in Germany to a family specialised in watch making and jewellery, the tastes, talent and temperament of Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele naturally destined her to a life revolving around fashioning gemstones and precious metals into superb watches and jewellery.

A Globe Girdler :
It is undoubtedly when she is on the move that her artistic skills find their free expression. Her cosmopolitan background – she speaks five languages – gives her the sensitivity and flexibility that are indispensable to appreciating cultural nuances. She regularly criss-crosses the globe, visiting existing Chopard boutiques and discovering more sites for establishing new ones. “I love all that is glamorous and grandiose and I’m always proud as a peacock when a new Chopard Boutique opens,” says Caroline with a charming smile. These various trips enable her to keep in close touch with market demands.

Multifaceted Contribution :
She currently serves as Co-President of the company, as well as Artistic Director and as Head of the Creation and Design departments, where nothing thrills her more than the weekly meeting with the teams where the major creative guidelines are discussed. “Inspiration may stem from the widest possible range of circumstances. The ‘Casmir’ collection was inspired by the Paisley design my father wore during a trip. The ‘Happy Sport’ is a perfect illustration of my very personal interpretation of the “Happy Diamonds” concept for which Chopard has become famous,” says Caroline. The ‘Golden Diamonds’ collection, reflects the thousand and one facets of Caroline’s personality – femininity, sparkle, dynamism and innovation, all of which are aspects that find a ready echo in women around the world who are wild about Chopard.

“Sharon Stone and Uma Thurman also buy our jewellery and that makes me very proud,” she states. “And there are another couple of celebrities who I would love to see buying our designs; Julia Roberts for instance is so beautiful, so pure, and I think our jewellery would suit her type of beauty very well.”

Question : Are there any hard & fast rules to jewellery wearing?
Caroline : “Not at all. The jewellery should reflect the personality of the wearer. As long as the one adorned with the jewels feel comfortable and confident, it appearance will look beautiful no matter how it is worn or matched,” explains Caroline. “The beauty of it is to be able to freely express one’s individual style without any rules.”

Support to Charity :
However, the creativity of Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele does not stop there. With characteristic generosity, she has conceived prestigious partnerships and designed wonderful watches for charitable foundations. “I have had the pleasure of developing friendly relations with the Prince of Wales and Sir Elton John, whom I met by chance at various dinners? We realised that we shared a concern for bettering the environment and helping the underprivileged and the sick,” states Caroline. These watches are sold on behalf of these foundations and the funds thus raised enable them to support medical research. “Our family has enjoyed longstanding ties of friendship with José Carreras, whom we have consistently supported in his struggle against leukaemia? In parallel, my father is also President of the Swiss Foundation and Vice-President of the German Foundation.”

Q.: How do you balance your professional and private lives?
Caroline : “This is often a problem in today’s world, especially for women. As for myself, I am very fortunate to be able to work in the same company with my family and to share my passions for jewellery and design with my husband. Thus, my personal and professional lives are very much intertwined and I can easily reconcile both sides,” says Caroline. Her husband, Fawaz Grousi, is the owner and creator of De Grisogono brand of beautiful jewellery and watches.

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
Born in 1958, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele and schooled in Pforzheim, he left Germany aged 15 to continue studies at the Geneva International School. After which, he served an apprenticeship with a Geneva jeweller. He then joined the family company, learning “from the bottom up” by spending successive periods in all departments. Today, Karl-Friedrich is chiefly responsible for marketing, advertising and communication, while also participating in the development of new watch models.

Dearest Speciality :
A man of discerning tastes, he says, “Patiently built up over the years, my personal collection of mechanical clocks and watches comprises pieces of both historical and technical interest, retracing the evolution of the House of Chopard.” Mechanical watches are indeed one of the Chopard specialities dearest to Karl-Friedrich’s heart. In 1996, he was thus the instigator of the brand’s return to crafting extremely complex traditional mechanical watches, an art that is fully expressed in models such as the perpetual calendar chronograph. “We cater to a multitude of clients and therefore we offer different styles – from understated to exuberant,” he analyses. The opening of the Chopard Museum, located at the very heart of the Geneva-based company, also owes much to this attachment to the roots of a longstanding watchmaking tradition.

Despite an extremely busy schedule which takes him around the world, visiting Chopard agents, representatives and attending prestigious events, Karl-Friedrich is not at all the kind of superficial businessman entirely absorbed by the social whirl. Jealously safeguarding his private life, he attaches importance to his well-being, participates in several sports and likes nothing better than to relax with a good book or a sketch pad.

While mainly devoted to his work, Karl-Friedrich succeeds admirably in combining his personal interests with his professional commitments. For example, his passion for classic and vintage cars has found expression through sponsorship of an event such as the “Mille Miglia” car rally in which he takes part personally. “Collecting fine cars is similar to collecting exceptional timepieces. In both cases, the combination of technical prowess and aesthetic perfection are the products of human invention and fine craftsmanship,” he explains with ardor.

As one might expect, his collector’s instinct and his preference for objects of extremely high quality are reflected in the personal style of Karl-Friedrich. He admits, “I treat myself to the luxury of tailor-made clothes and accessories, whenever I can.” This attention devoted to even the smallest details is characteristic both of his own personality and of the philosophy pervading Chopard as a whole.

Chopard Trophy for Film Stars :
One might also speak of artistic patronage such as Chopard’s commitment to the film world with the creation of the Trophée Chopard in Cannes, which is awarded yearly to young up-and-coming actors and actresses.

At the recent 59th Cannes Film Festival held from May 17 to 28, 2006, diamond jewellery by Chopard set the red carpet ablaze in “style”. Caroline comments, “Style is more something you have inside you, your style may be the way you dress, the manner in which your walk or move, or even the charisma you emanate when you are doing something.”

Like most women today Caroline has many roles to play in a day - that of a wife, daughter, the company director, a designer, then the friend of stars and a media figure. This has left her in a constant whirlwind that one may hate or love. “I love it,” she says. “This tourbillon is also the reflection of Chopard, its new launches, its shapes and its colors, which may be admired each year adorning stars at the Cannes Film Festival.”

Indian Dazzler in Chopard Jewellery :
The second day of the latest Cannes festival pushed Indian cinema in the spotlight. The spirit and magic of this country of a thousand colors was well represented by Bollywood star Preity Zinta. Chopard’s love for cinema is the reason, the Geneva based company follows the activities of the worldwide sensation of Indian cinema. Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, Chopard’s co-president; Eva Herzigova, Chopard’s ambassadress; Bollywood film director Karan Johar; Rashmi Mehta, distributor of Chopard in India and owner of Gembel Diamond Group and numerous other fans who looked on admiringly at Preity Zinta, the star of the day who appeared in a black dress wearing dazzling Chopard earrings made of pear shaped diamonds, during a luncheon that took place at Nikki BeaChopard in Cannes.

Hollywood Hots Up :
A longstanding friend of Caroline, Elizabeth Hurley, internationally renowned actress and top model, chose Chopard and the Cannes Film Festival, with its incredible atmosphere as the setting in which to present her recently launched own line of beachwear, under the name ‘Elizabeth Hurley Beach’.

“Cannes concerns movies but is also intrinsically associated with glamorous women. Starlets used to parade on the beach in bikinis and so, for me, it is the perfect place to show my Beachwear Collection,” says Elizabeth. Models strutted the collection which consists of bikinis, one-pieces, hot pants, kaftans, Capri pants, beach bags and hats and some sexy Apres Beach tops. Followed by a cocktail party, this event sent the temperatures and the mood soaring with jewellery and sunglasses from Chopard.

‘When people think of Chopard they tend to think of huge rocks!’ jokes Elizabeth ‘but actually they also make some fun jewellery that look great with casual clothes too. I really enjoyed picking out the pieces to use for the Show.’

Diamond Design Trend Setting :
“Although it might sound conceited, Chopard has been setting the trends for many years, and that means lots of attention, and lots of big clients. The colored diamond, for instance, is something we’ve developed ourselves,” says Caroline.

Q.: In Chopard’s opinion, will colored diamonds ever become as popular as the whites ? Why are colored diamonds so desired?
Caroline : “In the past, when customers started on their collection of jewels, the first gemstone they bought was a white diamond, as this always remains a classic. Subsequently, they will look at colored gemstones - sapphires, rubies and emeralds. Once they have acquire these, colored diamonds become the next highly desirable stone. For collectors, these are exceptionally beautiful gems.

Colored Diamonds Popular :
Today, we see increasing popular trend towards colored diamonds and most women who own jewellery want to have these, sometimes even before they have a white diamond!”

Q.: Will colored diamonds ever get more affordable?
Caroline : “Because colored diamonds are so exquisite and rare, their prices are very high and will never be really affordable.”

Q.: Will diamonds ever be the same again?
Caroline : “Chopard is constantly setting new trends in jewellery and with the latest “Golden Diamonds” collection, it proves that the concept of diamonds will never be the same again! With this new idea of gold taking centrestage as a brilliant, multi-faceted stone, big “diamonds” can be worn anytime, anywhere. It is more fun and unusual yet still luxurious!”

Signature Classics in High Jewellery :

Q.: Does Chopard have any spectacular example of pieces featuring colored diamonds?
Caroline : “When Chopard launched its “La Vie en Rose” (Pink Diamonds) and black diamonds collection subsequently, these were revolutionary ideas at that time and soon became trend setters for the industry. These collections are still signature classics for Chopard in High Jewellery and jewelled timepieces.”

Gift Jewellery A Joy for Ever !

Q.: Will there be life for humble designs hereafter?
Caroline : “Sure. For most people, the meaning behind the piece of jewellery weighs more than the jewellery itself, regardless of current trend. When a piece is given as a gift, the idea is to mark and remember a particular day or event. So even if it is a simple design that is not the most fashionable at that time, it will always bring memories of the happy day. An example is the Duchess of Windsor who has the most extraordinary collection of jewellery but one of her favourites is a simple charmed bracelet with a cross that reminds her of her traveling days with the Duke.”

The diamond is the preferred gemstone of Caroline and that’s what shines the most on the stars et al this year. “I love diamonds because they are not only exceptionally beautiful, they are also the toughest and most resilient ones,” she concludes with a twinkle in her eyes.

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nelson logato filho
(rio de janeiro)
boa tarde ! Sou um profissional com 36 anos de experiência como diamond setter, já tendo trabalhado na H.STERN (22 anos na matriz), NEW YORK E AFRICA DO SUL , queria uma oportunidade de mostrar meu trabalho ,que consta em meu currículo. atenciosamente: Nelson Logato filho
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