Chopard is a Swiss watchmaker and jewelry maker founded in 1860 in Sonvilier by Louis-Ulysse Chopard originally known for making ladies' watches and pocket watches. In 1963, Chopard was sold to Karl Scheufele, a watchmaker from Pforzheim, Germany. The Scheufele family have owned the company up to the present day. The company is headquartered in Geneva and has a site in Fleurier, Canton of Neuchâtel that manufactures watch movements.
The company founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard, was a Swiss watchmaker who grew up in Sonvilier a town near Bern. In 1860, he established his L.U.C manufacturing company in Sonvilier, having observed that it was more profitable to market the finished watch than to just make the mechanical movement.
After Louis-Ulysse's death in 1915, the company was taken over by his son Paul-Louis and grandson Paul-André. The company specialized in making pocket watches and ladies’ wristwatches. In 1921, Paul-Louis moved the company operations to a larger town Chaux-de-Fonds in the Canton of Neuchâtel. In 1937, at that time a company of 150 employees, the company relocated to Geneva. This enabled the movements made by the company to be certified with the Geneva Seal a mark only applied to watch movements made in the Canton of Geneva. Paul-André took over the company in 1943.
In 1963, having no children wishing to continue in the business, Paul-André Chopard sold it to Karl Scheufele III, a German goldsmith and watchmaker from Pforzheim, who was seeking a watch movement manufacturer exclusively for his own business.
In 1974, the Chopard factory moved from the center of Geneva to Meyrin-Geneva and in 1976 the company started making watches that contained its signature free-floating diamond behind sapphire glass. In the 1980s, the company expanded into making sports watches for men and diamond jewelry for women.
In 1996, the company established its own complete watch movement manufacturing facility in Fleurier, in the Swiss Canton of Neuchâtel. Prior to that time, all Chopard's movements had been assembled from third party components. The movements made in Fleurier were intended for the high end watches in the Chopard range.
In 2010, the company celebrated its 150th anniversary, by which time the company's estimated sales were €550 million in total (of which €250 million in watches) with about 100 stores around the world.
In 2014, Chopard had sales of CHF800m (US $91 5m) per year, 2000 employees worldwide, of whom 900 were working in Switzerland. The European Patent Office lists more than 20 references to Chopard since 2002