Established by Poland based company Błonie, luxury watch brand Chopin pays tribute to the legendary composer and poet Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849). Produced in strict limited editions, Chopin watches are designed by Antoine Tschumi, founder and Artistic Director of Swiss design studio NeoDesis. The brand’s manufacturing partner is Schwarz Etienne, an over 100-year-old, family-owned luxury watch manufacturer from La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland.
Their very first model, Chopin Op. 10 No. 12, which combines the best of both the composer’s genius and contemporary horological design, was first shown at the Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw on April 26th in 2019.
Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin was born on 01 March 1810 in the village of Żelazowa Wola in the district of Sochaczew in Poland.
In his relatively short life, Fryderyk Chopin made an impact with his musical compositions which has remained remarkably appealing for well over 200 years. His unique creativity, unrivalled during the era is known for its universalism and beauty, an inspiration for successive generation of artists. The continued adoration for Chopin among musicians, painters, sculptors and designers is a testament of the artist’s gentility and intellect. Unsurprisingly, his spirit continues to live in the works of artists worldwide.
The Chopin brand was inspired by the many dimensions of the composer’s work and life. By combining the history of Chopin’s achievements with the passion for watchmaking, the brand elegantly represents the composer’s genius and depth. Under the guidance of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, the brand carefully works to represent the composer’s heritage.
The brand was granted an exclusive license to use the composer’s name and produce a total of 56 watches annually. The limitations cultivated an important sense of duty within the brand for ensuring the highest quality of work at all stages of the watchmaking process.
With his timeless achievements, Fryderyk Chopin became not only a symbol of Romanticism in Europe and around the world, but also one of the most recognizable artists of all time. He symbolizes patriotism, a theme greatly captured by his music. Chopin’s love for his homeland is most perceptible in one of his greatest works – Étude in C minor Op. 10 No. 12, otherwise known as the “Revolutionary Étude”. Chopin composed the work in 1831 after learning of the capture of Warsaw and the demise of the November Uprising in Poland.
Étude in C minor Op. 10 No. 12 is the leitmotif of the Chopin brand’s first model, with the mechanism featuring an engravement of an excerpt from Chopin’s diary to highlight the personal, emotional tone of his work.
In order to commemorate Fryderyk’s rich biography, Chopin brand has also decided to choose the most important dates from the artist’s life – those which had the greatest impact on his artistic achievements. These dates are engraved on the mechanism’s second barrel and can be seen from the watch back.
References to the artistic achievements of the great composer, including the Revolutionary Étude, are also included on the watch dial. The watch hands have been oxidized to attain their blue hue and designed to mimic styles popular during Chopin’s time. The indexes are placed on a multilevel staff, emphasizing the extraordinary depth of the artist’s music.
Numerical indices are placed at the hours 10 and 12 as a tribute to Étude in C minor Op. 10 No. 12. Finally, the left side of the watch face features a power reserve indicator resembling a piano keyboard.
Chopin’s spirit is uniquely captured on the watch face. A red rim made of a precious stone – carnelian – surrounds the sub dial located at 6 o’clock. The volcanic stone’s deep, red color is not only a direct reference to the Revolution and Chopin’s incredible sensitivity, but also symbolizes the composer’s heart, which was embedded in a pillar of the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw on the 96th anniversary of his death, as per Fryderyk’s final will. The urn with Chopin’s heart remains there today, while his body rests in a grave in the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris.
Fryderyk Chopin’s prodigious ability and devotion to his work made him an object of admiration and praise all around the world. He was a brilliant composer, but also a devoted patriot who expressed his emotions and care for the fate of his homeland by composing his mazurkas and polonaises. One of the most important elements of the mechanism – the balance wheel – captures the symbolism of the heart, which Chopin valued dearly. The deep, red color excellently represents the essence of the composer’s heart.
Specialists at Schwarz Etienne spent a number of months developing a way to create a balance wheel with a deep, red color. The task proved extremely difficult, with every adjustment evoking changes in other elements of the watch. A balance wheel was eventually created, perfected to work seamlessly with the MSE 111 mechanism. The red balance wheel is a distinguishing feature of Chopin brand watches – timepieces which capture the emotions expressed by Chopin in his work.
Chopin Op. 10 No. 12 can be purchased via a dedicated website: www.chopinwatches.com or through selected partners. Its retail price has been set at 14 500 CHF (12 750 EUR).
In-house from Schwarz-Etienne exclusively for Chopin Watch Cal. MSE210, manual winding
Two barrels coupled in parallel, power reserve of 96 hours
197 components, including 37 rubies – produced and assembled by Manufacture
Schwarz-Etienne in La Chaux-de-Fonds
Frequency 3 Hz (21’600 Alt/h)
Hours, minutes (central position)
Small second at 6 o’clock
Power reserve indication at 9 o’clock
Stainless steel 316L
43 mm diameter
50 m water resistance
Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflection treatment
Full skin black alligator
Stainless steel butterfly clasp