90 years of automobile passion and Italian-style racing spirit
The Mille Miglia race turns 90 in 2017! In its role as historical partner of “la corsa più bella del mondo”, Chopard is celebrating the event by issuing a 90-piece Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition. Attired in a rose gold case, this sporty and elegant collector’s model pays tribute to the spirit of this vintage race that has endured for 90 years. Its unmistakable presence on the wrist, its L.U.C chronograph movement and its wealth of details make it the most prestigious Mille Miglia watch ever introduced by Chopard.
90 years of automobile passion and dolce vita
Born in 1927, the Mille Miglia has over the years become the ultimate classic rally and doubtless the most prestigious and coveted of them all. After starting out as a speed trial in which some of the greatest ever drivers distinguished themselves by their accomplishments, the Mille Miglia became a regularity race while maintaining its 1,000-mile (1,600 km) route from Brescia in Lombardy to Rome and back.
Drivers appreciate the unique and passionate spirit that has always pervaded the race, featuring a profusion of shimmering colours, gleaming bodywork and throbbing engines with their uniquely fascinating sounds. Spectacularly enhanced by the scenery it runs through, the race has earned an ever greater place in the heart of the Italians lining the roads to admire once again these legendary speed machines roaring past.
This gathering of gentlemen drivers is a unique event in which Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele is personally involved.
The personal passion of this driver, collector and devotee of racing cars gave rise to the association between Chopard and the Mille Miglia in 1988. Since then, the rally and the Geneva-based Maison have nurtured close ties. This shared love of fine mechanical engineering and sports performance has inspired a much sought-after collection. With their unique design and their high-precision mechanism, Mille Miglia watches epitomise the spirit of the legendary Italian competition – a perfect blend of elegance and technical accomplishments. The race Enzo Ferrari called “la corsa più bella del mondo” by Enzo Ferrari sees more than 430 teams vie with each annually.
In 2017, Chopard is celebrating 90 years of the Mille Miglia by introducing the Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition, a watch designed as an authentic style instrument, synonymous with dolce vita and Italian-style prestige.
The elegance of the Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary recalls that of the legendary cars that have competed in this fabled race. The curved design of a Ferrari 250 GTO, the taut lines of an Alfa Romeo 6C, the sensuality of an Aston Martin, the construction quality of a Porsche 550 RS: all the ingredients of sophisticated, masculine and opulent style converge in this chronograph exuding a casual chic aura. Its vintage calfskin strap has been given a special treatment that will ensure it ages gracefully while acquiring a pleasing patina. It is a tip of the hat to the bonnet straps on the finest vintage cars.
This tribute extends far beyond mere design inspiration. The Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition is the most exclusive watch of the Mille Miglia collection. Its gleaming ‘bodywork’ is a generous yet perfectly proportioned 46 mm-diameter, 13 mm-thick rose gold case. The softness of its polished bezel and the precision of its virile curves demonstrate the extreme care devoted to details, as confirmed by the short dipping lugs that ensure an ideal fit on any wrist.
The piston-inspired chronograph pushers are a must-have vintage detail, as is the large notched dial reminiscent of petrol tank caps and ensuring easy handling even with leather driver’s gloves.
The pristine porcelain-like white dial is punctuated by Arabic numerals and snailed counters such as were typically seen on vintage dashboards. It is surrounded by a tachymetric scale that plays a key role in the driver’s activity. It can be used at any time to measure real speed as well as average speed – a key piece of data when it comes to regularity trials.
An exceptional engine block
The legend of the great classic cars is not based exclusively on their outer beauty, but is above all a matter of mechanics. Chopard reflects this reality by equipping the Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition with L.U.C Calibre 03.07-L. This hand-wound flyback chronograph entirely designed, developed and produced in the Chopard workshops, has been borrowed for this tribute piece from Chopard’s haute horlogerie L.U.C collection. It features extremely refined finishing and is made of nickel silver, an alloy enabling precision machining and exceptional chamfering. The lowermost parts of the movement have been circular-grained and gilded, while the uppermost parts driving the chronograph are in steel or rhodium-plated. This play on colours echoes that of the finest racing cars that also harbour an abundance of mechanical treasures.
The architecture and shapes of a movement comply with certain functional and aesthetic rules, like the lines of a car’s bodywork. L.U.C Calibre 03.07-L obeys the laws of high-precision Haute Horlogerie and its standards of beauty. This approach is also expressed through the top-level precision that Chopard masters to perfection and indeed, for the very first time, a Mille Miglia watch has been awarded the Poinçon de Genève.
Certificate of excellence
This two-fold aesthetic and technical certification is approved by an independent authority and governed by a law promulgated by the Canton of Geneva. It dictates the peerless criteria of excellence pertaining to the case and the movement, its structure, its appearance, its precision, as well as the omnipresence of finely crafted surface finishing.
During the Mille Miglia, a vehicle is judged by its results and its regularity. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has applied the same logic to Chopard watchmaking. The movement of each of the 90 timepieces composing the Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition has successfully undergone the tests conducted by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, the COSC, which certifies its precision.
The Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition will therefore delight all devotees of cars and of certified haute horlogerie who appreciate the classic racing spirit perpetuated for 90 years by drivers who compete with true style.