Hands-On: Angus Davies gets hands-on with the Chopard Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition.
This detailed review of the Chopard Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition includes live pictures, specification and price.
Few brands can usurp Chopard’s legitimacy when it comes to octane-inspired timepieces. The Genevan brand is synonymous with the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, Porsche’s 919 Hybrid race car and, of course, the Mille Miglia. Moreover, few other watch companies can say their Co-President participates in the iconic 1000 mile race from Brescia to Rome and back every year. Quite simply, Chopard is a brand which embraces the passion of motorsport and, in so doing, infuses a range of watches with tasteful automotive details.
Earlier this year, Chopard released its new Mille Miglia Race Edition. This has become an annual event with eager journalists keen to see the unveiling of the current year’s model at the annual watch fair, Baselworld. The first ‘Race Edition’ was released in 1988 and with only a few exceptions a new version has been launched annually ever since.
While most journalists focussed upon the steel version of the Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition, my gaze settled upon a bi-metallic variant. It is exquisite and the gold accents confer an agreeable quotient of warmth.
Evoking memories of engine-turned dashboards, the bouchonné dial finishing brims with an air of nostalgia. The motif is similar in concept to the perlage found on many high-end watch movements.
The hour and minute hands are bold in style, aiding interpretation when momentarily looking away from the road ahead. The applied indexes echo the style of the hands and share their luminescent treatment.
Three subdials occupy the dial: a 30-minute chronograph register, a 12-hour chronograph register and a small seconds display. The latter subdial occupies less dial space than its aforementioned neighbours. Each subdial is snailed, according contrast with the previously mentioned bouchonné finishing.
The red ‘1000 Miglia’ logo guides the wearer’s eyes to the date aperture positioned at 3 o’clock. The black text on a white date disc proves highly legible while sitting easily against the engine-turned dial canvas.
The dial of the Chopard Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition is highly functional and stylish. The layout of the dial, together with the shrewdly chosen finishes, makes interpreting time a simple, non-taxing task.
Measuring 44mm in diameter, with a case thickness of 13.79mm, this watch has impressive wrist presence which is particularly surprising considering its modest asking price. The majority of the case is formed in steel, save for the 18-carat bezel, crown and chronograph push-pieces. These latter details, presented in noble metal, heighten the perception of luxury.
The bezel is equipped with a tachymeter scale, proving ideal for calculating speeds over a fixed distance.
The flat sapphire crystal is treated on both sides, mitigating glare and granting a clear unhindered view of the dial.
At first glance the pattern adorning the vertical flank of the crown appears to resemble a steering wheel, however, this was not the intention. Indeed, Chopard state the crown was designed to replicate the ‘filler cap and hub caps’ found on vintage cars. The pronounced grip on the circumference of the crown aids manipulation.
The case-back is stamped with the Mille Miglia logo and the unique case number from the limited series of 100 pieces. I must confess that I would have preferred to have seen an exhibition case-back revealing the ‘engine’ in all of its throbbing glory, however, I concede this is a matter of personal taste and may not be a viewpoint shared by everyone.
When Chopard’s design team penned the case of the Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition, they deliberately made the lugs short and ensured they tapered down sharply. This prudent decision makes the watch ideal for wearers with small wrists.
The case is executed to a high standard, with no sharpness or annoying rough edges, exhibiting a palpable sense of quality.
As stated earlier, the movement is hidden from view, frustrating my critical eyes from assessing the finissage.
The frequency of the balance is 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 25 jewels. The power reserve is approximately 48 hours and the movement is COSC certified.
The Chopard Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition is a handsome timepiece with a fascinating dial. Indeed, the ‘bouchonné’ finishing which graces the dial confers an unusual and highly attractive face to this motor-inspired timepiece.
In the heat of fuelled competition, it is essential that the wristwatch imparts information succinctly, ensuring rapid interpretation of time. The Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition ably fulfils this remit.
Despite its modest asking price of CHF 9,900 (RRP as at 26.9.2016) this watch exudes an air of excellence. The case is smooth to touch and suffused with beautiful episodes of great design e.g. the motif gracing the crown. Moreover, the watch is capable of being worn by wearers with slender wrists thanks to the sharply tapering lugs.
For some readers, motorsport may not enliven their souls but they should not dismiss this watch as it is blessed with a myriad of attributes. Conversely, those would-be wearers whose interest is piqued by this review and share my passion for motorsport will find much to like with this watch andwill be able to readily discern the motoring symbolism employed.
Once again, Chopard has delivered an interesting Mille Miglia model, no doubt whetting the appetite of those horological petrol-heads who appreciate a fine timepiece. I now look forward to 2018 and wait with bated breath for the next instalment of Chopard’s Mille Miglia collection.
Case: Stainless steel; diameter 44 mm; height 13.79mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back; water resistance 10 ATM (100 metres)
Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; chronograph; tachymeter scale
Movement: Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve approximately 48 hours; COSC certified chronometer
Strap: Black calfskin strap with folding clasp.
Price: CHF 9,900 (RRP as at 26.9.2017 inc. taxes)
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.