American Marketer


Chopard retraces automotive history for latest timekeeper role

July 12, 2016

Chopard, official timekeeper of the Regularity Time Trial Chopard, official timekeeper of the Regularity Time Trial; photo by Oliver Edwards


Swiss jewelry brand Chopard has been appointed as the official timekeeper of the world’s longest-running motoring event.

Chopard will serve as timekeeper for the Bonhams Veteran Car Run, supported by Hiscox. The event is not a race, but rather a historical run to celebrate the anniversary of the first “Emancipation Run” from London to Brighton held in 1896 when the Locomotives on the Highway Act went into effect to raise the speed limit from 4 to 14mph.

I wanna go fast
The Bonhams Veteran Car Run is now in its 120th year and has been organized by the Royal Automobile Club since 1930. Auction house Bonhams has been the title sponsor of the event for a number of years (see story).

Scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 6, the Run sees more than 400 three- and four-wheeled automobiles, all built before 1905, retrace the journey from London to Brighton.

In its newly appointed role, Chopard will oversee the Regularity Time Trial. Since the Run is not a typical race, the Time Trial allows participants to enjoy a competitive element by placing predictions on the average speed maintained during a timed portion of the route.

For example, the 2015 winner of the Regularity Time Trial was a 1900 Georges Richard. The participants estimated an average speed of 10mph, but the actual time was 9.99mph.

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Participants placing a bid for the Regularity Time Trial; photo by Oliver Edwards

“Chopard is deeply involved in classic motor sport as a partner of such prestigious events as the Mille Miglia and the Historic Grand Prix of Monaco,” said Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-president of Chopard, in a statement.

“To participate in the London to Brighton, an event known all over the world, is exciting and entirely fitting, not least as Chopard itself has reputable history dating back to 1860 when Louis-Ulysse Chopard first establish[ed] his workshop in Switzerland,” he said.

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Regularity Time Trial at Bonhams Veteran Car Run; photo by Oliver Edwards

Bonhams Veteran Car Run is an element of the Royal Automobile Club’s London Motor Week. The seven-day event includes an art exhibition, lectures on the heritage of motoring, forums and book awards.

London Motor Week also includes the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show. The event turns London’s premier shopping district into a automotive showcase with classic and modern makes on view.

For Chopard, its affiliation with a classic automobile event such as Bonhams Veteran Car Run is well-suited.

This year, Chopard reprised its role as the official timekeeper of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique as the race celebrated its 10th edition.

Held every two years, the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique gathers vintage car aficionados in Monaco for a racing showcase along the Formula 1 circuit, featuring models from the pre-World Wars era to 1976. Involved in the event since 2002, Chopard shared its participation with consumers through an email that doubled as a marketing push for the commemorative timepiece created for the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique (see story).