The world of historic motor racing is as much about channeling the style and atmosphere of motor racing’s glamorous past as it is about track racing, and few such events demonstrate this principle as dramatically as the Thousand Miglia in Italy. Originally organized as a road rally on a 1,000 mile loop of public roads stretching from Brescia to Rome and through the heart of Italy from 1927 to 1957, the modern Mille Miglia is more a celebration of motoring and the Italian countryside with an annual four-day jaunt through major Italian landmarks in some of the world’s most sought-after classic automobiles. Chopard has been a part of Mille Miglia’s renewed history since 1988, and to commemorate the 2021 edition of the event which will begin on June 16, the brand has announced two new limited edition iterations of its vintage-inspired Mille Miglia chronograph. . With graphic touches inspired by vintage Italian road signs and a host of unique and intriguing finishes, both versions of the new Chopard Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition deliver a complex and charismatic retro-modern feel.
Like many iterations of the Mille Miglia, the 44mm case of the Chopard Mille Migla 2021 Race Edition appears to have a bold presence on the wrist in early images. Available in stainless steel or two-tone stainless steel and ethically-sourced 18k rose gold, this case’s narrow tachymeter bezel and considerable 13.8mm thickness contribute to a broad and imposing overall stance. That said, the short and wide lugs should help tone down that wrist size somewhat. While the overall shape is sporty and straightforward, the design of the Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition really shines in the details. The main body of the case is fully brushed, allowing the polished surfaces of the crown, wide knurled piston pushers and bezel (all in rose gold on the two-tone model) to stand out clearly. The polished black ceramic bezel insert adds a good dose of personality to the mix, with a lacquered tachymeter scale with light, rounded typography taken directly from mid-century Italian road signs. While not strictly faithful to the 1950s era, the Mille Miglia event is remembered, touches like this bathe the more modern profile of the Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition with a warm layer of nostalgic charm. . The engraved solid caseback continues this graphic style for the text “Brescia> Roma> Brescia” flanking the engraved checkered flag and the Mille Miglia logo motif. The Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition boasts a water resistance of 100 meters, which should be more than enough for the sporting rigors of the event itself.
Both versions of the Chopard Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition share the same low contrast inverted panda dial design, with the pointed applied hour markers, baton handset and red tipped chronograph hands finished in stainless steel or gold. pink depending on the model. The dial design also echoes the rounded and retro typography of the bezel, with numerals in the flange, chronograph sub-dials and the dial text showing a vintage Italian touch. However, perhaps the most interesting element of this dial design is the main surface of the dial itself. With a galvanically treated graphite gray color, this muted surface sports a radially deep brushed finish. While radial brushing has become a popular alternative to a sunburst finish in recent years, the Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition stands out from the crowd with its execution. Rather than centering the radial brushing in the middle of the dial below the main handset, the brushing instead radiates outward from the running seconds indicator at 9 o’clock. This asymmetrical look is immediately eye-catching in the pictures and cleverly continues the azure pattern of the sub-dial itself. It’s an interesting and individualistic choice, which goes against the common practice among 7750-based chronograph dials to minimize the running seconds indicator as much as possible.
Chopard does not give details on the powertrain inside the Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition, beyond stating that it is an automatic chronograph movement and that it has been COSC chronometer certified for the precision. That said, based on the sub-dial layout, likely dimensions, and beat rate, it’s more than likely that this movement is an ETA / Valjoux 7750 or one of its many derivatives. The 7750 is a true mainstay of the watch industry, fueling the chronograph designs of a myriad of brands since 1974. Despite its age, the 7750 platform is still more than capable of reliability and precision, and in this application sports a power of 48 hours. reserves at a rate of 28,800 bph. That said, some purists may be put off by the use of the movement in this price range, where many competitors use in-house chronograph movements. Chopard completes the Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition with a black calfskin rally strap with contrasting red or black stitching and a textured rubber interior lining with a pattern inspired by Dunlop racing tires from the 1950s.
By adding a unique finish, vintage-inspired graphic touches and a cool white-on-gray look to the brand’s Mille Miglia chronograph series, the limited edition Chopard Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition brings together a beautiful and evocative tribute to the one of the most elegant races. Only 1,000 copies of the Chopard Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition in stainless steel will be made, while the two-tone steel and ethical 18-karat rose gold model will be limited to 250 units. The Chopard Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition is available now from authorized dealers at an MSRP of $ 7,610 stainless steel and $ 11,000 in two-tone. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.