From the man to the watch brand in a few words
Discover the fascinating and tragic destiny of Louis Chevrolet, founder of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company, as well as the birth story of the Louis Chevrolet Swiss Watches brand.
The second in a family of 7 children, Louis Chevrolet was born on the 25th of December 1878 in Chaux-de-Fonds, where his father works in the watchmaking industry.
In 1880, as the economic crisis comes to an end, his father, a talented watchmaker, goes back to work in Bonfol, his village of origin. At the time, the family lives in Beurnevésin, a nearby village.
The path of an adventurer
In 1887, the family settles in Beaune, france. Louis is 8 years old. He becomes a bicycle mechanic and takes part in cycling competitions. It is during this period that he meets the billionaire Vanderbuilt, who would have offered him work in the US.
However, he continues his French odyssey at the Darracq automobile plants in Paris.
Louis eventually decides to leave, and lands on American soil in 1900, starting in quebec before ending in De Dion Bouton America, in New York.
The feats of a pilot
In 1905, Louis Chevrolet starts his career at Fiat. It is with this company that he wins his first race. The following year, he beats the mile record at the wheel of a Darracq.
William Durant, CEO of the Buick group, notices his feats and gives him the opportunity to take part in the design and driving of the Buick Bug.
In 1909, winning numerous races, he finishes second best driver of the American championship.
The Chevrolet Motor Car Company of Michigan is created on the 3rd of November 1911. The Classic Six comes out under this brand, a luxury sedan remembered by America as a marvellous innovation of its time.
Louis takes advantage of a trip to Europe to return to the land of his childhood.
Upon his return, following a disagreement, he sells his shares and his name to his associate, William Durant.
In 1914, faithful to his motto "Never give up" and under his stable fontenac, he creates his own racing car. Innovative by its power and its lightness due to aluminium, this car led to the glory and the death of his brother, Gaston, crowned American champion posthumously.
The end of a man, the beginning of a legend!
Following the death of his brother Gaston, he recovers his passion for mechanics.
In 1921, with his other brother Arthur, he founds the Chevrolet Brothers Manufacturing Company, a company developing motors for the automotive and aviation industries.
The 1929 crisis nearing, Louis leaves his company to his brother and is hired in the Chevrolet factory in Detroit.
Ravaged by disease and family losses, he passes away on the 6th of June 1941, and is buried at the Indianapolis public cemetery.
This is where can today be admired the memorial recounting the indelible marl of a man wh made American history.