As it has since 1988, when it partnered with the world-famous Mille Miglia classic car rally as official timekeeper, Chopard is launching a special limited-edition Mille Miglia watch with distinctive automobile-inspired details. Here’s the scoop on the Chopard Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition, launched during Baselworld.
This year’s watch — limited to 1,000 pieces, is notable for its engine-turned dial finish, chronograph counters inspired by vintage car dashboards, chrono pushers influenced by car engines, and large, fluted crown resembling a fuel cap. Like all Mille Miglia special editions since 2015, when the collection was reinvented by Chopard as Mille Miglia GTS (Gran Turismo Sport), it contains a COSC-certified chronometer movement and bears vintage style elements drawn from a specific automotive era, namely that of the cars that competed in the famous rally — which Enzo Ferrari once called “the world’s most beautiful race” — between 1940 and 1957.
The steel case is 44 mm in diameter, 13.79 mm thick, and water-resistant to 100 meters. In addition to the aforementioned automotive details on the pushers, crown, and dial, the watch features a tachymeter bezel with an aluminum insert — the tachymeter scale being a useful indication for rally car drivers in measuring their average speed at a glance, and a detail also popular even with non-racecar-driving chronograph fans. This silver-toned dial — its traditional engine-turned motif composed of tiny overlapping circles and evoking the look of a classic car dashboard — hosts broad, baton-type hour and minute hands and applied hour-markers treated with Super-LumiNova. The font on the galvanic-treated, snailed counters brings to mind those on dashboard instruments of the golden age of racing. Bright red accents — the Mille Milgia logo, the central sweep-seconds hand, and the chronograph hand — contrast appealingly with the dial.
Every rally car — and every watch — needs a good engine, and the one inside the Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition is a chronometer-certified, self-winding mechanical movement with a 28,800-vph balance frequency, 25 jewels, and a 48-hour power reserve. This high-performance mechanism is secured behind a solid steel caseback, fastened by eight screws and engraved with a rendering of the famous checkered flag that is waved when a car crosses the finishing line, along with the arrow-shaped Mille Miglia logo and the inscription “Mille Miglia 1927-2017” and the watch’s limited edition number.
The case’s short, streamlined lugs integrate snugly with the black rubber strap, which, in a final stylistic nod to classic car racing, is enhanced with a 1960s Dunlop racing tire-tread motif. The watch, which will be priced at $6,840, is secured to the wrist by a steel folding clasp.