Chopard‘s Mille Miglia 2020 Race Edition is a celebration of a versatile colour for all occasions.
Prized for its sporty, motorsports- derived aesthetics, the Mille Miglia collection is considered by those who are educated about Chopard to be an excellent introduction to the brand. As 1000 Miglia’s principal partner and official timekeeper since 1988, every year Chopard has produced at least one Mille Miglia watch to celebrate their enduring relationship without fail.
Organised by the Automobile CIub of Brescia, 1000 Miglia celebrates the romanticism tied to the legendary Mille Miglia 1,000-mile annual round trip endurance race between Brescia and Rome. Dubbed the most beautiful race in the world by Enzo Ferrari owing to the picturesque journey, the modern re-enactment stays faithful to the original with the entry requirement being vintage automobiles.
Be it a power reserve indicator evocative of a fuel gauge, a grooved rubber strap reminiscent of tyre treads, or engine piston-like chronograph pushers, every Mille Miglia watch is an expression of the inextricable link between the worlds of classic cars and mechanical sports watches. It is a perfect showcase of Chopard’s reputation as a watchmaker.
The inclusion of practical, easy-to-use complications such as the chronograph makes the Mille Miglia watch a wonderful everyday wearable. It demonstrates that Chopard is equally adept at producing haute horlogerie timepieces for connoisseurs with the L.U.C collection as it is at offering contemporary luxury watches with the Mille Miglia collection resonating with young suitors. It is also an observation that Chopard concurs with.
“We had our younger clients in mind when we created this year’s (2020) watch. Younger generations are increasingly interested in classic cars, and we’re seeing newly married couples as well as father-and-son tandems taking part in events such as the Mille Miglia. This year’s watch is very much intended for them,” says Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the avid automotive enthusiast who has participated in 31 Mille Miglia races.
Powered by a chronometer-certified movement, the Mille Miglia 2020 Race Edition is issued in two variants: 1,000 pieces in bead- blasted, DLC-treated stainless steel; and 250 pieces in two-tone bead-blasted, DLC-treated stainless steel and ethical 18k rose gold. Compared to previous efforts, the 2020 models are noticeably less colourful. There is a reason for it.
The watch is created based on the notion of it capable as a versatile watch that works well with casual daytime outfits and polite evening wear, which is particularly useful in a glamorous event spanning day and night such as the 1000 Miglia. Its full-black persona is a culmination of a bead-blasted, DLC-treated 42mm case, a matte black varnished dial and contrasting vintage yellow markings, all inspired by the satin black and gunmetal finishes often seen on vintage automobiles.
Though a full-black watch often sacrifices legibility for cool, Chopard circumvents this dilemma by decorating the matte black dial surface with the patinated yellow minute track and tachymeter scale to engender a strong contrast. To enhance legibility, Arabic numerals in yellow are filled with ultra-bright Super-LumiNova. So even while your foot is firmly planted on the accelerator, glancing at the watch to read the time remains a seamless process.
As a chronograph born of motorsport, the watch is endowed with large subdials, which are clearly marked to show 60 seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours. A bold date aperture is located between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions, while a hint of red on the tip of the seconds hand – together with the subtle inclusion of the red 1000 Miglia direction arrow – are the indications on the dial side that this chronograph pays tribute to the race.
Turning the watch over reveals a sapphire crystal caseback bordered by the 1000 Miglia logo and the unique edition number of each piece while the finishing touch is set by a black, perforated calf leather strap with tone-on- tone stitching and a rubber lining featuring Chopard’s signature tread pattern based on that of a 1960s Dunlop racing tyre.
(All images: Chopard)
This story first appeared on PrestigeOnline Malaysia and Prestige Malaysia’s January 2021 issue.