Chopard Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition
The Chopard Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition is the most prestigious and highly specified timepiece to bear the iconic red Mille Miglia logo on its dial.
This detailed review of the Chopard Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition includes live images, specification details and pricing.
Chopard has enjoyed a lengthy association with the Mille Miglia, arguably the most beautiful race in the world. This marriage was consummated in 1988 when the famous Swiss watch and jewellery brand created the very first Mille Miglia branded watch. The relationship between Chopard and the race organisers has endured ever since. The Mille Miglia collection of timepieces sport the iconic red 1000 mile logo on the dial.
Where the Mille Miglia collection has differed from other models within the Chopard catalogue is in terms of product positioning. Indeed, the Mille Miglia products have usually been more accessible than the ultra high-end L.U.C models. However, Chopard has recently chosen to equip one of its Mille Miglia watches with an L.U.C movement, positioning it at a much higher level than previous models.
The dial of the Chopard Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition is presented in ‘porcelain-like white’, adorned with Arabic numerals which are painted with Superluminova. The numerals are bold and more overt in nature than those found on L.U.C branded timepieces.
The tri-compax layout includes a 30-minute chronograph register adjacent the crown, a 12-hour chronograph register positioned opposite and a small seconds display at 6 o’clock. All subdials are snailed, beautifully adding texture and augmenting the appeal of the dial.
Interestingly, Chopard has chosen to omit a date and, in my opinion, this was a wise decision with the dial appearing cleaner as a result.
A red tipped central chronograph seconds hand converses with the minuterie, marked with Arabic numerals at 5-minute intervals, save for 3, 6, and 9 o’clock where tiny, crisp luminous dots feature.
Beneath noon, the Chopard name is proclaimed with the word “Chronometer”, with the red Mille Miglia logo sitting below.
Framing the periphery of the dial is a tachymeter scale which allows the wearer to ascertain the average speed of an object over a given distance. This feature will prove invaluable for wearers participating in a regulation race where constant, prescribed speeds must be observed.
The large hour and minute hands are lined with Superluminova and unambiguously converse with the wearer. This is a simple dial to read, courtesy of large elements, the use of Superluminova and the generous scale of the dial.
Chopard has a tendency to make moderately sized timepieces, hence it is somewhat surprising that this watch measures a significantly large 46mm. However, rest assured the watch proves universally appealing, courtesy of short lugs which taper sharply downwards.
While the majority of Mille Miglia watches have tended to be in steel, with only a few notable exceptions, this watch is crafted in 18-carat rose gold. The warmth of this noble metal is magnificent and imbibes the watch with a spirit of luxury.
The bezel is highly polished and this treatment extends to the majority of surfaces, save for some areas of the case-back.
The push-pieces are described as ‘piston-inspired chronograph pushers’ and deliver a glorious tactile action. Indeed, pressing the push-pieces confers a sweet, buttery feel, standing testament to the fully-integrated chronograph movement powering the watch.
Wherever the eyes choose to look, there are examples of motor-inspired styling. This includes the brown Barenia calfskin strap, featuring ‘vintage treatment’ resembling the bonnet straps found on cars of yesteryear. Another example of the octane-inspired design language relates to the crown which features a notched profile ‘reminiscent of petrol tank caps’.
The rear of the case is equipped with a pane of sapphire crystal affording spectacular views of the hand-wound movement, L.U.C 03.07-L.
The hand-wound chronograph movement is composed of 300 parts, including 38 jewels, and is beautifully appointed. The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the power reserve is approximately 60 hours. The chronograph is equipped with a flyback function.
The main-plate is gilded and decorated with perlage. The upper bridges are rhodium-plated or steel and engraved with golden text. The wheels are circular grained, while the screw and jewel sinks are highly polished.
Purists will appreciate the sight of the 8-pillar column-wheel shining resplendently. The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif and the anglage is exquisite, with gleaming bevels much in evidence. The screws feature polished slots and rims.
The balance spring is secured with a sliding stud cap with a round head and neck. Moreover, the stud cap is mirror-polished reinforcing the perception of perfection.
The Poinçon de Genève certification and COSC chronometer certification stand testament to the no-compromise creation of this remarkable movement.
The Chopard Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition is a magnificent timepiece with a glorious dial, articulating time with crisp and lucid tone. Indeed, there is no ambiguity or hindrance to interpretation.
I do find the chunky numerals a tad too large for my taste, but otherwise everything is beautifully resolved and the design language is sublime.
The watch is large by Chopard standards, measuring 46mm in diameter and 13.12mm in height, however, owing to the clever lug design, it should suit a broad cross-section of would-be wearers.
The movement is truly exquisite and is free of fault. I looked closely at its bewitching form and saw nothing to take issue with.
This watch is the ultimate Mille Miglia to date and shows the marque’s motor-inspired model has clearly ascended to new heights with few signs of compromise.
• Model: Chopard Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition
• Reference: 161299-5001
• Case: 19-carat rose gold; diameter 46mm; height 13.12mm; water resistant to 5 bar (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
• Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; flyback chronograph.
• Movement: L.U.C 03.07-L; hand-wound movement; 38 jewels; power reserve approx. 60 hours
• Strap: Brown Barenia calfskin strap with 18-carat gold folding clasp
• Price: £32,110 (RRP as at 22.5.2017)