It's a remarkably detailed process befitting the car's exclusive price tag.
When you spend several million dollars on a vehicle, like a 2021 Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport, you expect every component to be made from the finest materials in the world. No expense should be spared on everything from the engine to the leather inside. Even the seemingly straightforward Bugatti Macaron emblem on the front, which may end up killing a bug at over 300 mph, is a work of art, and one that takes a full 10 hours to produce.
"The importance that the Bugatti Macaron still has for our brand today is shown by its unrivaled quality, the loving attention to detail, and also the weight," says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. "It is one of the very few components on our vehicles where weight does not play a role."
He goes on to detail the badge's make-up: "The solid badge made of 970 sterling silver has a very high-quality design due to its size, and this is more important to us than a lightweight component. The deep-red and unmistakable oval on the vehicle has transported the famous name 'Bugatti' out into the world ever since the company began, and embodies the symbolic power of our brand myth."
The idea for an oval shape with white lettering on a red background came from Ettore Bugatti himself when he attached the enameled metal onto the radiator grille of the Bugatti Type 13, the first official Bugatti car. In addition to clearly displaying the Bugatti name, the badge also includes the letters EB for Ettore Bugatti with 60 red dots forming a border. Those 60 dots symbolize pearls or threads and create a connection to the car's reliability and durability. As for the colors, red stands for power and passion, white for elegance and nobility, and black for excellence and courage. Very few vehicles, like the Chiron Super Sport 300+, receive a black Bugatti Macaron.
The badge itself is made from 150 grams of sterling silver and features a high-gloss enamel with a 3D effect. It weighs 159 grams (0.35 pounds), which is pretty heavy for a tiny car emblem, and takes 20 skilled workers a total of around 10 hours to make each one because of the specific enameling process. For more than 15 years, a company called Poellath in Bavaria has hand-produced the emblems for every Bugatti, which are later installed into the cars in France. Poellath was founded back in 1778 and is world-renowned for its embossing technique. "No machine is capable of doing this due to the different curvatures and the surfaces located at the back. The individual dots are also enameled and processed by hand," says Thomas Demel. CEO of Poellath.
But while the artisans are incredibly talented, the enamel and silver mean that every badge is subtly different. Pores in the badge illustrate the uniqueness of the enamel process and make each Bugatti emblem a one-off. Still, the enamel process is a must for an exclusive marque like Bugatti. "Enamel ensures the highest-quality colors on metal. It remains color-fast and brilliant for decades, if not centuries," says Demel.