Although the high-decibel roar of well-tuned engines and the pungent smell of hot tarmac flooding the starting line is a stark contrast to the atmospherically controlled rooms of watchmaking, it was fine mechanical engineering, precise time and absolute concentration that first brought Chopard and Mille Miglia together.
The world’s most beautiful race has been passionately bound with Chopard for three decades, fueling the creation of inspiring timepieces as the pair relishes in a shared love of mechanics and performance.
In May every year, more than 400 historic cars pass through more than 30 cities along the enchanting 1,000-mile return route from Brescia to Rome during the Mille Miglia, with Chopard as official time keeper since 1988.
This impressive milestone was commemorated through a selection of limited edition Swiss watches embellished with nods to the racing world.
The 42mm Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition timepiece blends passion, style and precision – a representation of a lasting union between two luxe brands – and only 1,000 are available.
Chopard created the limited, numbered and COSC-certified watches in steel, however, 100 exclusive pieces combine steel with 18-karat rose gold. The sleek collection ensures nothing is left to chance with a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and a 42-hour power reserve, promising regularity with the self-winding mechanism.
Designed with drivers in mind, the Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition displays three dashboard-inspired counters to allow the eye to follow the peripheral tachymeter scale and keep track of time.
“It’s amazing how passionate the Mille Miglia followers are. They are here for the cars and performances every year. It’s unique,” – Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
Chopard embraces race style with its perfect ergonomics, and displays an undeniable elegance that marries performance with refinement. As the Mille Miglia spans four days and often ends at night, the new timepiece features subtle Super-LumiNova-painted hands that provide a useful average speed check at a glance.
Reflecting the essence of the prestigious race is an additional line of watches in the five Mille Miglia Racing Colours.
Featuring legendary colours, which were first attributed to motor racing in the 1910s, and unique dials intended for drivers and collectors, the re-edition of the historical collection pays tribute to the heyday of motorsports.
Chopard marries fine watchmaking with vintage car racing to include five historic national team colours on the faces of each 42mm chronograph in a limited-edition 300-piece series for each tone. Historically, bright red represented Italy (the reason Ferrari is red), green for the UK (as seen vibrantly through Aston Martin), grey-white for the German ‘Silver Arrows’, yellow for Belgium, and blue for France.
The water-resistant collection ensures chronometer-worthy precision while boasting luminescent Arabic numerals for optimal legibility at night. Inspired by 1920s dashboards, slim fonts flood the faces and stand out in a silver-toned colour.
“It’s amazing how passionate the Mille Miglia followers are,” Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele says. “They are here for the cars and performances every year. It’s unique.”