Chopard has plenty of watches in its wheelhouse this month. The Swiss watchmaker and jeweler unveiled a slew of new timepieces in tribute to the Grand Prix de Monaco, which took place last weekend, and Italy’s Mille Miglia, which begins today in Brescia. Chopard has been the official timekeeper of the Grand Prix de Monaco since 2002 and the Mille Miglia since 1988. Each year Chopard honors 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 Colors ($6,080) in five different colors, and the MM GTS Power Control Grigrio Speciale.
The first to be unveiled, just a few days ago, was the Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique chronographs, celebrating the 11th edition of the race held on the Monte Carlo circuit. Featuring a snailed dial (a design of concentric lines) in a silver tone, the timepieces come with navy blue chronograph counters with silver tone markers. The minute track mimics the spokes of a wheel, punctuated with applied arrow-shaped Super-Luminova markers. The sweep-seconds hand, marking the most precious time increments of the race, come in a sporty bright orange on the titanium and steel version, and in blue on the slightly more dressed up 18-karat rose gold timepiece.
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.
Color was key (in case you want to match your timepiece to your car) in the Mille Miglia Racing Colors Collection, which are a re-edition of a historical Chopard collection that pays tribute to the national colors of motor racing, which were first established in 1910. Colors 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.
The MM GTS Power Control Grigrio Speciale (€7,560 or $8,930 at current exchange) is limited to 1000 pieces; the Mille Miglia Racing Colors ($6,080), available in five different colors and is limited to 300 pieces per color; and the Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition is limited to 1000 in steel ($5,620) and 100 in steel and 18-karat rose gold ($7,990). The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique 2018 Race Edition is limited to 250 pieces in titanium and steel ($7,390) and 100 in 18-karat rose gold ($11,200).