the swiss watchmaker serves as the official timekeeper of both events
Chopard has plenty of watches in its wheelhouse this month. The Swiss watchmaker and jeweller unveiled a slew of new timepieces in tribute to the upcoming Grand Prix de Monaco and the recent Italy’s Mille Miglia. Chopard has been the official timekeeper of the Grand Prix de Monaco since 2002 and the Mille Miglia since 1988. Each year Chopard honours its ties to car racing with new timepieces, but this year saw more new models due to the brand’s 30-year partnership with the Mille Miglia — Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele is annual competitor in the race in his Porsche 550 Spyder RS. Chopard rolled out the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique 2018 Race Edition, the Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition, Mille Miglia Racing Colours in five different colours, and the MM GTS Power Control Grigrio Speciale.
The chronographs are topped off with pushers shaped like engine pistons and a blue bezel, with a tachymeter scale for calculating race times, rounds out the face. On the back, screws fashioned like automotive bolts secure the caseback which is stamped the Automobile Club de Monaco logo. Both versions of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique come with two interchangeable straps — a blue Barenia calfskin strap with orange stitching and a blue NATO strap with orange racing straps.
But it was full speed ahead for the Mille Miglia collection this year. Since 1988, Chopard has introduced a new timepiece to celebrate the open-road endurance race and this year’s version of the 42 mm Mille Miglia Racing Edition comes with circular-grained “wheels" on the dial, a tachymeter scale, short lugs, a crown resembling a petrol-tank cap, and engine piston-shaped pusheers. This year, the strap on the Mille Miglia racing edition is perforated in the vein of vintage racing driver bucket seats and is lined with Dunlop racing tyre tread for extra grip on the wrist.
Colour was key (in case you want to match your timepiece to your car) in the Mille Miglia Racing Colours Collection, which are a re-edition of a historical Chopard collection that pays tribute to the national colours of motor racing, which were first established in 1910. Colours were assigned so that each driver could be identified by their nationality. The colors included bright red for the Italians, green for the British, grey-white for the Germans, yellow for the Belgians, and blue for the French — a tradition that some luxury automotive makers have stuck to with Ferrari red and Aston Martin green. The 42 mm chronographs with tachymeter scales are inspired by the cars that competed in the Mille Miglia between 1927 and 1940 and the slim cursive fonts and counters are inspired by ‘20s era dashboards.
Taking its design cues from a different era, the new 43 mm Mille Miglia GTS Power Control Grigio Speciale’s oversized numerals are reminiscent of dashborads from the ‘50s. The new timepiece is the latest addition to the Mille Miglia GTS collection launched in 2015 and comes with a strap made of Cordura — a high-performance fabric used in race driver’s suits — and a power reserve indicator inspired by petrol guages. The caseback has a tinted crystal framed by a red gasket that provides a view of the Chopard movement and oscillating weight. It is inscribed with “Brescia> Roma> Brescia" in a nod to the route traveled on the Mille Miglia.