Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition
The Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition celebrates the Genevan brand’s 30-year relationship with the legendary Italian regularity race from Brescia to Rome and returning to its point of origin.
This detailed review of the Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition includes live images, specification details and pricing.
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele with Karl Scheufele
Chopard is celebrating an anniversary. In 1988, the Genevan luxury brand became the partner and official timekeeper of the Mlle Miglia. The legendary Mille Miglia has been described as ‘the most beautiful race in the world’.
The first Mille Miglia Cup took place in 1927 with the sole objective to navigate the course in the least possible time. The inaugural race saw Minoja and Morandi win the race in an OM 665 S. However, it was Stirling Moss who proved the most capable behind the wheel, negotiating the course in a mere 10 hours seven minutes, a feat which has never been surpassed.
In 1957, two years after Stirling Moss achieved greatness at the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. Alfonso de Portago crashed during the race, leading to his death and the demise of his co-driver. Furthermore, several spectators were also killed, including five children. There was an outcry from those horrified by the fatalities and numerous calls for the race to end. As a result, the Mille Miglia disappeared from view.
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele with Christine Scheufele
Some twenty years later, the Mille Miglia returned. However, the competitors were no longer judged on being the fastest. Since 1977, the Mille Miglia has been a regularity race. The route, which changes each year, covers 1000 miles, starting at Brescia, travelling to Rome and returning to its point of origin. In order to participate, competitors must drive a car produced between 1927 and 1957.
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele with Jacky Ickx
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Chopard’s co-president, has an overwhelming passion for classic cars. It is this passion which he shares with his father, Karl Scheufele and, indeed, many members of his family. In 1988, Karl-Friedrich’s enthusiasm for classic cars led to Chopard becoming a partner and the official timekeeper of the legendary Mille Miglia regularity race. However, unlike many watch companies which sponsor motor-racing from afar, Karl-Friedrich could be seen participating with his friend, Jacky Ickx in the 1000 mile event. On other occasions, Karl-Friedrich has completed the event with his father or his wife, Christine. Chopard state that ‘all members of the family have taken part or attended the Mille Miglia under the Maison Chopard flag’. The Scheufele family’s obsession with classic cars and, in particular, the Mille Miglia is manifestly clear.
Limited edition Mille Miglia watches.
During the period of association between Chopard and the iconic Mille Miglia, the Genevan brand has produced products celebrating the relationship. Often these products were reserved for participants in the race. However, in 1997, Chopard chose to offer limited edition watches for general sale. The number of limited edition watches was determined by the prevailing year, e.g. 2013 limited edition watches were produced in 2013. This limited number of watches was in addition to the timepieces reserved for competitors.
Mille Miglia 1988 Race Edition
Initially, in 1998, Chopard celebrated the partnership with the Mille Miglia by producing the aptly named, ‘Mille Miglia 1988 Race Edition’. This watch featured prominent Mille Miglia branding on the bezel, a crisp white dial and unusual arrows depicted on the main dial and lone register. Some early timepieces were fitted with quartz calibres, however, from 1997, all limited edition Mille Miglia watches featured self-winding movements. Some models also featured COSC certification and, occasionally, a GMT complication.
Mille Miglia Key Ring 1989
Mille Miglia Pocket Chronograph 1990
Mille Miglia 1993 Race Edition
Mille Miglia 1995 Race Edition
Mille Miglia 2005 Race Edition
Interstingly, there have been occasions that Chopard has chosen not to produce a limited edition Mille Miglia watch. For instance, in 1989, the Swiss firm created a key ring, while in 1992 the company released Mille Miglia branded cufflinks.
A year to celebrate
This year, Chopard has chosen to mark the 30 years of being a partner and official timekeeper of the Mille Miglia with a selection of suitably-styled models. The prestigious marque has launched the Mille Miglia Racing Colours collection, a range of chronographs presented in vibrant hues. Each shade represents the national colours used in the past. For example, British cars once featured British racing green bodywork, Italian cars were red, German cars were silver and French cars were blue.
Mille Miglia Racing Colours Collection
In addition to the release of the Mille Miglia Racing Colours collection, the Swiss watch and jewellery firm has also unveiled the Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition. It is this ‘novelty’ which has piqued my interest, courtesy of its numerous motoring-inspired design elements and, more specifically, its handsome dial.
Chopard has suffused the dial with an engine-turned motif, echoing the decoration typically found on classic car dashboards. However, in this instance, the attractive pattern is paired with a rich anthracite shade, diffusing the dial with an attractive dose of modernity.
Three snailed registers occupy the dial. A small seconds display is positioned at 3 o’clock, a 12-hour chronograph counter is located at 6 o’clock and, lastly, a 30-minute chronograph register sits at 9 o’clock. Each subdial is thoughtfully labelled with its role.
Despite the Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition celebrating the allure of motor-racing in a bygone era, the Genevan brand has employed a modern font for the hour markers. These Arabic numerals are bold and simple to read. However, one small criticism I have is that most of the numerals, save for 11, 12 and 1 o’clock, are truncated to a greater or lesser extent.
An aperture located between 4 and 5 o’clock displays the date on a black disc. The sharp white text proves highly legible.
Both the hour and minute hands, together with the hour markers, are painted with luminescent coating. The various hands for the hour, minutes, counters and central chronograph seconds are rhodium plated and shine resplendently. The central chronograph seconds hand also features a red tip, aiding visibility and endowing the dial with a soupçon of excitement.
The dial is framed with a chapter ring, marked with ¼ second integers, consistent with the frequency of the 4Hz movement. The flange is adorned with a tachymeter scale, a useful function when partaking in a regularity rally where a constant speed is essential for those seeking podium-winning glory.
Below the brand’s nomenclature, sits the red Mille Miglia logo, enriching the dial’s appearance.
The dial of the Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition is intelligently designed. It incorporates small flourishes of motoring-inspired design without compromising legibility.
In recent years, the Genevan watch company has designed some beautiful Mille Miglia models and the Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition proves to be no exception. Indeed, it is the marriage of a visually striking dial with an understated case that distinguishes this timepiece as remarkable.
The highly polished stainless steel case measures 42mm in diameter, with a case thickness of 12.67mm. Its scale does not overwhelm the wearer’s wrist and should proffer both widespread and lasting appeal.
Consistent with the dial, the case is endowed with automotive influences. The crown features a steering wheel motif, while the chronograph push-pieces are ‘shaped like engine pistons’.
Clearly, this watch is primarily aimed at individuals with an all-consuming interest in classic cars. Indeed, Chopard understands that car enthusiasts appreciate fine watches and, likewise, watch collectors often have a love for cars. This model is equipped with an exhibition case-back, allowing the wearer to admire the movement within. In addition, the sapphire crystal features text stating, ‘Chopard & Mille Miglia 30 anni di passione’.
Chopard has expended much time and energy selecting a suitable strap for the Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition. The black calfskin strap features a perforated surface and is adorned with red stitching. The reverse of the strap is lined with rubber and said to be inspired by a 1960s Dunlop racing tread. Initially, I had concerns that the tire tread pattern would irritate the wrist, however, after placing the watch upon my wrist, I found the watch afforded an agreeable fit and I was blissfully unaware of the textured rubber lining.
The Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition is fitted with an ETA 2894-2, an automatic modular chronograph movement. The oscillating weight is adorned with Côtes de Genève motif and engraved with the Chopard name and the place of origin. Beneath the oscillating weight, surfaces are decorated with perlage and colimaçon. Numerous blued screws populate the movement, heightening the sense of luxury.
The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 37 jewels. The movement is fitted with one barrel, conferring approximately 42 hours of autonomy. The watch is a chronometer, certified by COSC.
The Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition is endowed with a personable dial. The combination of silver-toned counters adjacent an anthracite canvas proves to be an agreeable ensemble. The engine-turned motif evokes thoughts of cars from a bygone era, augmenting the allure of the dial.
Beyond the prepossessing looks of the dial, Chopard has styled a handsome case. Despite its ubiquitous polished surfaces, the case is unassuming, playing a deferential support role to the dial. Its design and proportions should appeal to a broad cross-section of society.
Chopard offers a diverse range of watches. Some of its L.U.C models stand comparison with paragons of haute horlogerie. The exacting movement specifications encompass the best finishing and, in the case of chronographs, fully integrated movements with vertical couplings. The Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition does not match the rigour of an L.U.C watch. However, its modest price makes the watch very affordable. Indeed, with a £4,540.00 (RRP as at 7.8.2018), this limited edition watch represents incredible value for money.
Over the last 30 years, Chopard has demonstrated an innate passion for creating fine watches which celebrate automotive performance. The Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition upholds the company’s reputation for producing chronographs and celebrates the passion the Genevan brand shares with the Mille Miglia, succinctly proclaimed on the case-back of this watch, ‘Chopard & Mille Miglia 30 anni di passione’.
- Model: Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition
- Case: Stainless steel case; diameter 42mm, height 12.67mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back; water resistant to 5 ATM (50 metres).
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; chronograph
- Movement: ETA 2894-2; Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 37 jewels; power reserve 42 hours.
- Strap: Black calfskin leather strap with red stitching presented with a steel pin buckle
- Price: £4,540 (RRP as at 7.8.2018)
- Limited Edition: 1000 pieces