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The lady loves carats
Designer’s choice: Caroline Scheufele’s favourite watch displays two time zones and comes bedecked with rubies and diamonds.
Designer’s choice: Caroline Scheufele’s favourite watch displays two time zones and comes bedecked with rubies and diamonds.
Caroline Scheufele adorns the rich and beautiful from Cannes and Hollywood: she has made Chopard into a jet-set brand and diamond dreams come true. She skilfully puts herself and the brand in the best light while honouring her own creative side.
by Iris Wimmer-Olbort
ll eyes turn to Caroline Scheufele whenever she steps onto the red carpet alongside world-famous athletes or internationally acclaimed actors and actresses. What jewellery is she wearing? How has she combined the various pieces?

Chopard’s co-president knows that she’s always carefully scrutinised and that her jewellery and watches will surely be the focus of attention. She gladly complies with spectators’ expectations because she loves lavish necklaces, scintillating earrings and distinctive rings set with the finest gemstones in every conceivable colour that nature can offer. And Scheufele repeatedly captures the charm of time through her brilliant combinations of jewellery and watches.

Chopard celebrates this combination with uncommon proficiency, although this isn’t especially surprising when one considers that this brand was founded as a watch manufacture more than 150 years ago and has been en vogue as a jewellery brand since the 1980s. The two talents accordingly unite in unconventional and beautiful watch creations.

Caroline Scheufele is the creative head: as co-president of Chopard, she’s responsible for jewellery, jewels and ladies’ watches, while her brother and co-president Karl-Friedrich takes charge of the ledgers, the administration and the collection of men’s timepieces. He’s regarded as the introverted, thoughtful planner and strategist, while she’s seen as charming, vivacious and capricious.

This inimitable charm has helped her to successfully promote the brand in the great wide world. For example, she was instrumental in organising Chopard’s partnership with the Cannes Film Festival. Not only is the coveted Golden Palm trophy crafted in Chopard’s ateliers, the brand also makes many of the high-carat jewellery pieces that adorn the festival’s stars and other visitors. Professional contacts with celebrities often grow into personal friendships, but these are cultivated quietly and behind the scenes. Little is known about these relationships, although there are a few exceptions, such as the personal connection to Elton John, whose AIDS foundation Chopard supports, and the friendship between the brand and top model Eva Herzigova. For Scheufele, private remains precisely that: private.

Impressively strewn: white gold and diamonds unite in Chopard’s Xtravaganza watch.
Impressively strewn: white gold and diamonds unite in Chopard’s Xtravaganza watch.

“The fun of wearing a jewellery watch should be visible, as should the timepiece itself.”

Caroline Scheufele

This hasn’t always been the case: in the past, she would occasionally show outsiders her home, a palatial villa near Geneva or allow photographers to capture images of her with her many dogs. In more recent years, she’s been more likely to cherish her own space. A deeper insight can only be inferred from a press release which announced that she has relinquished the hyphenated family name that she took after her marriage to Fawaz Gruosi, the founder of the de Grisogono brand, to once again be known only by her maiden name.

Scheufele prefers to talk about jewellery and watches, about the creativity that has become an integral part of her personality and about traveling the world to collect impressions and inspirations. “I go through the world with my eyes wide open,” she says. Though she’s seldom seen without her little sketchbook, in an emergency she sometimes spontaneously reaches for a paper napkin to scribble a note or a sketch a little drawing in a restaurant.

A frequent traveler, Scheufele spends only half her time in her offi ce and ateliers in Geneva. “I think best when I’m high above the clouds and fl ying in an airplane, because I know my phone can’t ring,” the designer says. Working on jewellery watches is the part of her job that’s most fun for her. “A jewellery watch is fascinating because it’s not only a timepiece, it’s also a piece of jewellery. Its design and its noble materials occupy the foreground. Being able to read the time from the dial is a pleasant side effect too,” she says. Scheufele loves the diversity that’s possible nowadays: “In the past, jewellery watches were always studded with diamonds. But today there are no limits anymore. Any gemstone is possible.” Wristwatches have grown larger too, but it would be incorrect to talk about “trends”.

“Timeless pieces never go out of fashion,” she says, although she does have her personal favourites: “I love unconventional, fi ne gemstones. For me, a jewellery watch should sparkle, and it should be studded with top-quality gems. It also ought to have a creative design and something special.”

All of these preferences are ideally combined in her favourite model – a watch that’s shaped like an owl and studded with rubies and diamonds. The bird’s widely opened eyes are the watch’s two dials, so this timepiece can simultaneously indicate the hour in two different time zones – an ideal additional function for the cosmopolitan Scheufele.

How should a stylish lady combine an extravagant jewellery watch with other pieces? “An eye-catching piece is best combined only with a chic pair of earrings. But the fun of wearing a jewellery watch should be visible, as should the timepiece itself. Sports watches with brilliant-cut diamonds on their bezels are beautiful and practical, too, because a lady who wears one can be appropriately dressed from morning to evening. A diamond-studded sports watch is modern, harmonises with the zeitgeist and is suitable for a little dinner, but it also goes well with a pair of jeans at the disco.”

Caroline Scheufele is copresident of Chopard and the designer responsible for the brand’s jewellery, ladies’ watches and jewellery watches.

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