Once Chopard established their own watchmaking manufacture in 1993, they began a program to develop a calibre of their own. The company proudly launched Cal. 1.96 in 1996, re-establishing the watchmaking credentials that had once belonged to the Sonvilier company. The movement was extremely successful, an excellent combination of modern technology, and remains in production to this day.
The basic Cal. 96 movement is quite thin, measuring just 3.3 mm thick. This makes it an excellent base for complications, of which there are many. It has bi-directional micro-rotor automatic winding with two stacked barrels for a total power reserve of 65 hours. The movement can be finished to Geneva Seal standards and is typically lavishly decorated.
Chopard initially created three versions of this Calibre 1.96, 3.96, and 4.96, each differentiated only by its finish. Today, the family has been unified with a different naming system, placing the name of the movement family first, followed by the finish or options.