Louis-Ulysse Chopard went into business making high-precision watches in 1860, at the age of 24. He set up his workshop in Sonvilier, Switzerland, and specialized in pocket-watches and chronometers. His timepieces quickly gained a solid reputation, due to their precision and reliability. In 1937 his son, Paul Louis, relocated the company headquarters to Geneva, which is the capical of fine watchmaking. The company was sold to Karl Scheufele III in 1963, by the founder's grandson, when he was 80 years old. Since then, the company has experienced lasting success and is renowned for it's technology, creativity, and excellent craftsmanship. It is now one of the leading names in the high-end watch and jewelry industry.
The Chopard Mille Miglia watches are part of the Classic Racing collection, which honors classic racing cars and is designed in the spirit of racing - building a bridge between automotive engineering and mechanical watch-making. Therefore, racing is, of course, the prominent theme in the Mille Miglia (or "Thousand Mile" series) - which has power reserve indicators that look like a fuel gage. Certain models are also available with a rubber strap designed as racecar tire treads. This versatile collection is available in stainless steel or gold, with a men’s and women’s version.
The chronograph was invented for use in tracking astronomical objects, in 1816, by Louis Moinet. A chronograph is, essentially, a specific type of timepiece with both timekeeping and stopwatch functions. There are digital and analog chronographs, and are available as basic models or as highly complicated. A basic chronograph has an independent sweep second hand - it can be started, stopped, and returned to zero, simply by pressing the stem. Those that are less simple can have several, independent hands to measure seconds, minutes, hours, and even tenths of a second. These use additional complications. Many modern chronographs also use moveable bezels as tachymeters for speed and distance calculations. In addition to use in watches, chronographs are also used in piloting airplanes, car racing, and diving.
The Chopard Mille Miglia Zagato Chronograph timepiece is the product of a collaboration between Chopard and Andrea Zagato - a legend of Italian automobile design, for the 25th anniversary of Chopard being the official timekeeper and sponsor of the Mille Miglia race. This limited series is defined by both the Grand Tourismo style of Zagato and the timekeeping discipline of Chopard. The end result is a limited edition watch that is a fine example of Italian passion and Swiss know-how being bound together by the love of classic motorsports.