Style | Swellboy

Swellboy on… the birth of a new watch

This is how the best family-run luxury goods houses do business

Swellboy on… the birth of a new watch

Image: Brijesh Patel

August 21 2010
Nick Foulkes

One of the pleasures of being in Marbella in August is that Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele of Chopard arrives and holds court for a couple of days at the Marbella club Chiringuito – my personal recommendation for the title of best beach restaurant in Europe. But don’t for a minute think that she is taking a break. This is a working holiday, as I found when I noticed an unusual iteration of the Chopard Mille Miglia watch on her wrist; it featured a pink dial and toning pink croc strap.

I had never seen it before and she admitted that it was a prototype that she had had run up and that she was test driving (well, the Mille Miglia is a road race). As the Mille Miglia is usually targeted at men, Caroline thought it was high time the girls got a look in. I couldn’t have agreed more, snapped it on my BlackBerry, called it the Lady Miglia and emailed the pic to her brother Karl Friedrich, the horological panjandrum of Chopard. Within 30 minutes he was on the phone to his sister and they had agreed to green light the project.

That is what I like about the best family-run luxury businesses: no focus groups, no interminable middle management meetings; just a chat over lunch and an entire new range is put into production before coffee is served.