The Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Colours Edition watches hands-on
30 years have passed since the Mille Miglia race and Chopard crossed their destinies and decided to build one of the most long-lasting partnerships in the world of watch-making and one of the first and most credible partnerships that put together the world of (vintage) cars and fine mechanics.
A vision, or simply the impulse of passion of Karl Scheufele, who made the Mille Miglia race dramatically increase the fame of Chopard as a brand of sports watches and, vice versa, the Mille Miglia race benefit from the prestige of a prestigious partner. The Chopard Mille Miglia collection has grown over the years and has multiplied, it has undergone all the generational transitions that have made Chopard today’s manufacturing company.
The last time you heard me talk about the Chopard Mille Miglia was in 2016, when I wrote an article about the Chopard Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition - the peak of this collection, where Chopard equipped this classic three-register-chrono with a beautiful in-house built caliber and an oversized 46mm case.
The Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Colours Edition
At Baselworld 2018, the classic of classics made its return in a renewed edition and went back to its origins. Over the course of the years, the Chopard Mille Miglia has been re-edited in many versions, even in a time only one; in its original form, this timepiece is a chronograph with three counters and mushroom-type chrono buttons inserted within a symmetrical case and a strap with the pattern of a Dunlop tire from the 60s.
In general, after growing in size for years – a process that has involved all brands - the chronograph is slowly returning to more reasonable dimensions and this makes even more sense, when a classic sports chronograph features a case, whose diameter is within the standard 42mm threshold.
The case is entirely polished, the bezel is thick and rounded, the three counters "cut" the Arabic numerals filled with SuperLuminova® and the font on the registers is the same that you would find on the vintage dashboard counters that equip the cars that are driven during the Mille Miglia race.
Even the hours and minutes counters are filled with SuperLuminova® that gives a perfect brightness effect during the night phases of the race or during low light conditions that often occur during the race. The very thin central seconds hand with a red colored tip is extremely beautiful and it is a tribute to racing chronometers.
Five colors for five countries
The Mille Miglia race has always been a race for nations since its very beginning. Although the current timepiece is a historical re-enactment of the original watch, the spirit is still intact to coincide with this commemorative re-edition - blue, red, yellow, green, silver all remind us of those cars and nations that took part in the Mille Miglia race between 1927 and 1940.
Racing Red for Italy, British Racing Green for England, Speed Silver for Germany, Yellow for Belgium and, finally, Blue for Bugatti and Talbot. There are 300 copies of each of the versions, each one comes with the red Mille Miglia logo printed on the dial and on the see-through case-back.
The timepieces are not equipped with an in-house built caliber, but rather with a classic 4Hz and 42-hour-power reserve caliber that Chopard COSC certified. It does not really matter that the caliber is not in-house built, because the brand's goal is to create a commemorative collection for enthusiasts of classic races that reminds them of the original collections of the Chopard Mille Miglia watches.
The tire-weave pattern is now available on the inner side of the Rally leather strap following a fashion trend that shows a classic style on the outside, while still maintaining the comfort of the rubber material around the wrist - a must have feature if you want to wear this timepiece in the summer time too.
Which one would you choose?
As an Italian, I would say that the Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Colours Edition Rosso Corsa - as it is clearly stated on the case-back - would be the right choice, but it is not so, because, when it comes to watch-making, preferences follow a different logic, and I think that the Vintage Blue version or even the British Green version are possibly the best ones (some additional points go to the latter one for its understatement - a factor that will pay back with the passing of time).
The retail price? Each of the 300 specimens, for each color, will retail at USD 6,080 - less than EUR 6,000 at today’s exchange rate, but we are still waiting for the European retail price to be confirmed.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®