Spring 2020 has been a strange one – and summer won’t be much different. Whether it’s a cancelled holiday or a postponed wedding, no-one’s plans have remained unchanged by the spread of the pandemic.
And, as social distancing becomes the new normal, it can start to feel like the frivolity and fun of summer has been cancelled as well. After all, what is the season without a jaunt to the South of France or a hop to Ibiza? Is summer really summer without festivals and sporting events?
Summer 2020 is a chance to reset. To slow the pace of your usually hectic social calendar and appreciate the beauty all around you.
But there is another way to look at this unprecedented time: as an opportunity. Summer 2020 is a chance to reset. To slow the pace of your usually hectic social calendar and appreciate the beauty all around you in Britain. To spend real quality time with loved ones rather than endlessly bouncing from event to event and country to country.
With this in mind, Gentleman’s Journal teamed up with renowned fine Swiss watch brand Chopard to showcase the idyllic nature of a socially distanced holiday in one of the UK’s most breathtaking locations: Cornwall. Home to enough fine dining restaurants to rival the capital, gorgeous scenery, miles of rolling countryside to explore, quaint towns and villages and, of course, some of the best surfing in the country, there’s a reason more than 4 million visitors head to Cornwall each year.
First then to Polzeath with its huge swathes of sand just calling to be traversed on motorbikes and in Land Rovers – not an opportunity you’re likely to find possible in Cannes or on the Amalfi Coast, we’d note. And the perfect watch to pair with these high adrenaline activities? The Chopard Alpine Eagle.
Introduced in 2019, this refined, sporty watch is a reinterpretation of the iconic St Moritz – a watch first designed by Chopard co-president Karl-Freidrich Scheufele in 1980. Updated for the modern man, this utterly contemporary timepiece is crafted from Chopard’s exclusive Lucent Steel A223 and boasts a cutting-edge Calibre 01.01-C movement beneath its minimalist dial. Designed, in Chopard’s own words, for ‘the aspiring men who outperform in their daily lives and whose vision inspired and elevates’, we can’t think of any more fitting timepiece for those determined to make the best of the situation we all now find ourselves in.
Having selected the 41mm rose gold and steel and 41mm steel with both grey dial models for our automotive adventures, when it came to hitting the surf, there was no better choice than Chopard’s signature deep blue dial. With all Alpine Eagle models promising water resistance to 100 metres and SuperLuminova coated numerals for increased readability, there are few finer timepieces for braving the waters of the Atlantic. Plus they look great with a wetsuit.
After a bracing dip in the ocean (we will, reluctantly, admit Europe does have the upper hand when it comes to water temperature), it was on to Port Isaac for a classic lunch of fish and chips. Restaurants may be slowly reopening but al fresco dining remains preferable and there are few meals better suited to it.
Of course, just because you’re eating from paper packets while sitting on the sea wall, doesn’t mean there isn’t cause to dress up just a little. And, if you’re going to put on a shirt and trousers, you need a great watch to go with them. Step in the Chopard L.U.C XP.
A Gentleman in Isolation
Step inside our Cornish adventure and discover the perfect Chopard timepiece for your next trip.
This clean, understated watch is the ultimate multi-tasker. Easy to dress up or down it will more than earn its place in your travel bag thanks to its lightly textured blue dial, unusual virgin wool strap and slender profile inspired by the work of Savile Row tailors. Just like a true gentleman, it also combines good looks with strong foundations, powered by Chopard’s L.U.C 96.56-L self-winding movement with an incredible 58-hour power reserve.
Alternatively, tap into your inner athlete with the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph. For many years Chopard has acted as official timekeeper for the world’s most famous classic car race and accordingly, its ode in watch form is just as sporty and retro as the cars it’s inspired by. Like many events this Summer the Mille Miglia has been postponed to later this year, despite this Chopard continue to show its support of this iconic racing event when it returns in October.
With a COSC-certified chronometer movement ticking away inside, and powering date, small seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour complications, the beauty of this timepiece is in the subtle design details car aficionados will truly appreciate. Take, for example, its rubber strap evoking 1960s Dunlop tire treads. Or its bold dial influenced by the dashboards of classic cars. This is a watch you purchase once and admire forever.
Before returning to your cosy seaside cottage, how better to round off a brilliant day by the Cornish coast than with one last stroll on the sand? Roll up your chinos and kick off your shoes. Let the surf wash away your anxieties as you take in the fresh sea air, the sound of the gulls and the peace of this moment. After all, who really needs to spend hours in airports and on planes when the great British summertime is right on your doorstep?