Earlier in June, we saw the unmistakable return of one of Italy’s most famous automobile events: La Mille Miglia, otherwise known as 1000 Miglia, or 1000 miles. Once described by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful race in the world”, it is a 1,000-mile open-road race through Italy’s finest towns and cities in period classic cars. Chopard has been the world sponsor and official time keeper of this historic event for 36 years, with annual novelties being released by the brand throughout the long-standing partnership. This year was no exception as the brand unveiled two new and important chronograph models in its line-up.
Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph
Firstly, Chopard presents the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph. Sizing in at just over 40 mm, it is smaller than previous and existing models in the chronograph line-up as it is designed to better represent the aesthetics of the period cars competing in the famous race. The Classic Chronograph comes in two main offerings. Firstly, a stainless-steel only version, with rubber or calfskin strap depending on the choice of dial. Secondly a two-tone version, in stainless steel and 18-carat yellow gold, on a brown calfskin strap with a Grigio-Blu dial.
Chopard is also unveiling the Mille Miglia GTS Chronograph, which comes as a spinoff from the Classic Chronograph, and is a numbered limited-edition of 1,000 pieces for the Italian market only. Housed in a 44 mm case and full of Italian colour, the GTS Chronograph is striking in appearance.
The stainless steel used in both the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph and the GTS Chronograph is Chopard’s very own exclusive Lucent Steel, a special alloy developed by Chopard over four years, which is 50 percent harder and at a surgical grade in order to better handle lightweight wear and tear in the racing environment. It is also REACH-certified as being sourced responsibly from 80% recycled materials. The surface gives off an attractive luminous and reflective aura, as indicated by the name.
The classic chronograph is housed in a diplomatic 40.5 mm case, suiting best to the traditional segment of watch wearers. As well as representing the classic cars involved in the Mille Miglia race, it is also comfortable to wear while racing yet still elegant for evening wear. Available in either Lucent Steel or a bicolour pairing with 18-carat yellow gold, it is water resistant to a depth of 50 metres. Nestling just inside the bezel is a tachymeter, which with the chronograph hand can be used to measure average speeds between 55 and 400 km/h.
The Mille Miglia GTS Chronograph has a much larger footprint, as the case diameter comes in at a whopping 44 mm. Certainly not one for dainty wrists, the presence of this watch is unmistakable. The tachymeter on the GTS Chronograph, however, sits aboard an olive-green bezel, and can measure average speeds ranging from 60 to 400 km/h. It is available only in Lucent Steel and is water resistant to a depth of 100 metres.
Along the side of the cases on both the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph and the GTS Chronograph, you will find elegantly knurled pushers and a crown with a vintage steering wheel motif.
The Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph offers a variation of dial colours inspired by race cars, personally selected by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard. The Lucent Steel models are available with dials in Verde Chiaro (light green), Rosso Amarena (cherry red) or Nero Corsa (racing black). Meanwhile, the two-tone version comes with just one dial colour, Grigio-Blu (grey blue). Hands and hour markers are coated in Super-LumiNova, and a red tip has been added to the sweep seconds for practicality and aesthetics.
As well as the wide variety of dial colours, there are also differences in the finishing techniques used. The Nero Corsa dial showcases engine-turned finishing, while the other three are circular brushed, designed to represent a vehicles instrument display and upholstery texture respectively.
The Mille Miglia GTS Chronograph comes with just one choice, however. A beige toned dial adorned by an olive-green bezel and minute track with a splash of red racing accents, presumably to evoke the colours of the Italian flag. Designed for the utmost legibility, the large dial has matching large hands and baton styled hour markers, painted with Super-LumiNova in order to remain legible at night as well.
Both the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph and GTS Chronograph are equipped with sapphire crystal casebacks for an uninterrupted view of the “engines” that are housed within, based on the caliber Valjoux 7750. Both beat at a frequency of 4 HZ with self-winding movements with 54- and 48-hour power reserves respectively, both of which have been certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute.
Price and availability
The Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph models come with brown calf skin straps textured like racing gloves. The Nero Corsa version, however, is an exception, being paired with a black rubber strap evoking the 1960 Dunlop racing tyre tread. As far as pricing is concerned, it depends on the dial choice: the version in Nero Corsa is the least expensive and priced at EUR 9,580. Verde Chiaro and Rosso Amarena dials on the stainless steel are priced slightly higher at EUR 9,800. Lastly, the bi-material variant with Grigio-Blu dial is priced at EUR 11,600.
The Mille Miglia GTS Chronograph is available with just the light brown calf leather with an inner rubber lining, also finished in the style of 1960’s Dunlop racing tyres. Unlike the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph, however, it is equipped with a triple folding clasp. If you are looking for one of these, you may have the odds stacked against you, unless you’re willing to take a quick holiday to Italy. This is because not only is this model limited to 1,000 pieces (numbered) but Chopard has decided to limit its availability to only Italy, home of Mille Miglia. However, as consolation it has been priced modestly at EUR 8,610, making it the second least expensive of the entire line-up of new Mille Miglia chronographs. Chopard is committed to donating part of the proceeds of this model to support the victims of recent floods in the Emilia Romagna region.
|MODEL||Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph
Mille Miglia GTS Chronograph
|REFERENCE||168619-3001 (Classic Chronograph Nero Corsa)
168619-4001 (Classic Chronograph Grigio-Blue)
168619-3003 (Classic Chronograph Rosso Amarena)
168619-3004 (Classic Chronograph Verde Chiaro)
168571-3001 (GTS Chronograph)
|CASE MATERIAL||Classic Chronograph: Lucent Steel, Lucent Steel and 18-carat yellow gold
GTS Chronograph: Lucent Steel
|DIMENSIONS||Diameter (Classic Chronograph): 40.50 mm
Height (Classic Chronograph): 12.88 mm
Diameter (GTS Chronograph): 44 mm
Height (GTS Chronograph): 13.79 mm
|WATER RESISTANCE||50 m (Classic Chronograph)
100 m (GTS Chronograph)
Nero Corsa, Grigio-Blue, Rosso Amarena, Verde Chiaro (Classic Chronograph)
Beige toned with red accents with grained finish (GTS Chronograph)
Black rubber, brown calfskin with buckle (Classic Chronograph)
Brown calfskin with triple-folding clasp (GTS Chronograph)
|MOVEMENT||Based on Caliber Valjoux 7750
|MOVEMENT TYPE||Automatic, COSC-certified
|POWER RESERVE||54 hours (Classic Chronograph)
48 hours (GTS Chronograph)
Hours, minuets, small-seconds, chronograph, date
|PRICE||EUR 9.580 – 11.600 (Classic Chronograph)
EUR 8.610 (GTS Chronograph)