Chopard loves them some car races. The company has been supporting Mille Miglias for a number of years and each year the release a few special pieces to honor this 1,000 mile endurance race. Originally created to test the limits of Italian jalopies back in the 1920s, the race is now an excuse for rich people to ride around in fancy little cars.
Chopard, for its part, often sends cars and watches to the races including a MM in California. Their latest pieces pay homage to the timepieces of yore.
First up is the crazy nice Race Edition chronograph with big pushers and a bold leather driving strap. Quoth Chopard:
In both options, the Mille Miglia 2019 Race Edition watch is first and foremost a watch designed for racing, a veritable horological speed machine. Alongside its obvious robustness and durability, it features a generous 44-mm case with a screw-in back and water resistance guaranteed to 100 metres. The case-back is also engraved with the Mille Miglia logo on a black PVD-treated checkerboard pattern reminiscent of the race commissioner’s flag. This efficient high-performance model is powered by a self-winding chronograph movement whose accuracy is certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) and with a full two-day power reserve. Operating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, this distinctive ‘engine’ ensures eighth-of-a-second measurement of short times, perfectly adapted to old-timers’ road-going exploits. For those accustomed to eating up the miles the tachymeter scale engraved on the blackened aluminium insert of the bezel serves to calculate the average speed during the race. An essential piece of information for drivers, given that an endurance event such as the Mille Miglia race is won by regularity.
Next you’ve got the GTS Power Control, a three-hander with a power reserve dial that looks straight off an old Porsche.
Finally you have my absolute favorite, this red-dialed Chronograph Zagato 100th Anniversary Edition. The face is candy apple red and looks good enough to eat. It comes on one of those big Smokey and the Bandit-style wrist straps that Hunter S Thompson would have worn drinking.
Chopard and Zagato first crossed paths during Mille Miglia rallies and there was bound to be a perfect understanding between the watchmaker and the Italian car design signature. A love of fine mechanics, a passion for design, respect for tradition, and an attraction to racing and performance are all common denominators now resulting in Chopard’s tribute to the 100thanniversary of its racing partner and friend. A mechanical tribute, naturally, with the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Zagato 100thAnniversary Edition watch, crafted by Chopard in a 100-piece limited edition. Combining a dial enhanced with Zagato’s emblematic Z pattern and red-lacquered colour, a beautifully curved 42mm steel case and a leather bund strap evoking the car designer’s upholstery, this new timepiece bears a striking resemblance to its racing-car inspiration. An aesthetically and technically sophisticated watch beating to the rhythm of a mechanical movement with automatic winding certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
I’m definitely not a huge car guy but these pieces are truly exquisite. No prices on these babies just yet but if you’re riding in a MM in an Alfa Romeo Spider made in 1967 then you probably have a pretty big budget for watches. Anyway, I encourage you to stare and drool.