Mid-way between past and present, a new Mille Miglia hits the road this year: the Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition. With its engine-turned dial finish and its counters inspired by vintage car dashboards, this model issued in limited series of 1,000-piece in steel and 100 in steel and 18-carat rose gold honours the legendary classic car rally that Chopard has been partnering as official timekeeper since 1988. These modern and sophisticated new timepieces feature optimal legibility and COSC-certified precision, in an imposing 44 mm case water-resistant to 100 metres, enhanced with racing inspired straps.
A story of passion
It all began in 1988 when Chopard became partner and official timekeeper of the famous Mille Miglia classic car rally. This enduring union with the world of classic racing was born of the personal passion nurtured by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Chopard co-president and a keen collector’s car driver. This inseparable bond based on a shared love of fine mechanisms and sporting performance was the starting point for a much sought-after watch collection. The Mille Miglia collection was distinguished by its virile sporty watches: authentic high-precision feats of mechanical engineering imbued with inimitably chic style and embodying the spirit of the legendary Italian competition described by Enzo Ferrari as “the world’s most beautiful race”. Each spring, the prestigious endurance race sees 430 teams vie with each other along a stunning thousand mille (1,600 km) stretch from Brescia to Rome and back. An integral part of the race, Chopard, annually presents a limited series inspired by these fabled speed machines. This year, drivers and aficionados will be introduced to the Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition.
Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition: performance meets refinement
The undisputed Chopard sports icon since 1988, the Mille Miglia collection was reinvented in 2015 as the new Mille Miglia GTS (Grand Turismo Sport) collection. Composed of eminently masculine watches powered by COSC-certified ‘engines’, it asserted a unique and powerful style drawn from the design of the cars having taken part in the historical Mille Miglia between 1940 and 1957. The vintage details of the new Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition forge its singular character and make it an elegant ‘all-road’ high-performance watch. Issued in two limited series of 1,000 in steel and 100 in steel and 18-carat rose gold, this sporty chronograph water-resistant to 100 metres flaunts its imposing lines in a 44 mm-diameter case, completed with traditionally-shaped pushers inspired by car engines, a large fluted crown resembling a fuel tank cap, and a bezel with an aluminium insert bearing the tachymetric scale. The latter provides an indication useful to drivers in measuring average speed, a decisive factor in endurance racing. Readability is an essential attribute of a watch designed for competition, and this silver-toned dial with its engine-turned finish is enlivened by broad baton-type hands and applied hour-markers painted with Superluminova to ensure perfect legibility in all circumstances. The traditional engine-turned motif composed of tiny overlapping circles, as well as the font on the snailed counters, evoke a classic car dashboard, enhanced by the contrasting bright red accents of the Mille Milgia logo, the central sweep-seconds hand, and the chronograph hand.
In a further reference to the automobile world, its short streamlined lugs smoothly hugging the wrist embrace a black rubber strap with a 1960s Dunlop racing tyre-tread motif on the steel version, and a perforated Barenia calfskin strap on the two-tone counterpart, secured by a steel folding clasp. The leather strap is subtly reminiscent of the bonnet straps on the historical cars competing in the Mille Miglia.
The exclusive precision of a certified movement
The Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition hum to the tune of a high-precision watch ‘engine’ chronometer-certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Certification institute (COSC). Beating at the rate of 28,800 vibrations/hour, the mechanical self-winding chronograph movement powers the hours, minutes, chronograph, tachymeter and date functions, while ensuring 48 hours of autonomy. This high-performance mechanism is housed in a case with a solid back secured by eight screws and engraved with the famous chequered flag that is waved when a car crosses the finishing line, with the arrow-shaped Mille Miglia logo, as well as the inscription “Mille Miglia 1927-2017”.
The resolutely sporty, functional and sophisticated Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition is a limited edition that has the classic racing spirit firmly embedded in its mechanical genes.