On a sparkling day when Sydney Harbour glints jewel-blue, behold SY Chopard; the private yacht of Swiss jewellery and timepiece house Chopard. She’s not your average sailing vessel. In fact, there’s something utterly regal about her ivory silhouette and striped hull. The only one of its kind in the world, SY Chopard not only has ties with European royal families, but has hosted celebrities, VIP’s (and perhaps most of Monte Carlo) on board for soirées and sailing expeditions over the past four decades.
In its third year of a Boxing Day sailing tradition, Chopard Sydney Boutique hosted VIP clients and friends of the brand aboard for a day on the Harbour; the best seats in the house to watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Exploring the intricacies of the vessel from the inside-out suggest an experience fit for a royal; conjuring visions of Grace Kelly or Jackie Kennedy sauntering about in a silk sundress as the epitome of elegance.
Built in 1981, SY Chopard has been around the world seven times. From both a design and construction perspective, the yacht is as progressive today as it was nearly 40 years ago, conceived in close consultation with the Chopard family who had final say in everything from its teak timber furnishings to its cushion covers, and even a poker table.
Indeed, the German-built boat feels like a floating home; a feat of European design and opulence. One level above a master bedroom and multiple bathrooms is the Saloon; a plush carpeted retreat lined with curved lounges and a dining table facilitating everything from board meetings to dinner parties. Up another glistening timber staircase is the wheelhouse; the heart of the vessel. With its window-to-window teak gloss finish that catches mellow beams of afternoon sunlight, this is where you’ll find SY Chopard Captain Pete Mandin, who believes he has the best job in the world.
‘The engineering of the boat is what’s so impressive. It’s like a mini city that can do anything. The construction is aluminium, so it’s very strong; it can withstand very rough waters,’ notes Mandin, who is a three-time competitor in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race himself.
‘There’s 80 tonnes of lead beneath the deck just to keep the boat upright,’ he adds.
If your ultimate idea of luxury is perhaps the opportunity to be one with the sea and the sky, then the deck is the spot for you. As one of the highest maintenance areas of the vessel, SY Chopard employs a permanent crew to ensure it is kept at its pristine best. With the sun on your shoulders and the salted breeze whipping your hair, one can close their eyes and be anywhere in the world. Monaco perhaps? Mykonos? Somewhere off the coast of Malta?
As the only jewellery brand in Australia with its own yacht – and the biggest sailing boat out on the Harbour yesterday – a day aboard SY Chopard resonates with the power of true luxury; to inspire, to excite, to transport one into an elevated existence in which life is relished as a series of cinematic moments.
Words: Alexia Petsinis