The Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition by Chopard has a lot going for it. A highly legible dial, an in-house movement, limited edition. Chopard issues a new watch celebrating the Mille Miglia race every year, and this is the largest so far, at 46 mm in diameter. The case is just over 14 mm thick, and has a 5 bar, 50-metre water resistance, which makes its OK for some rain splashes if you’re in an open-topped vintage racecar or simply on your bike. The strap is also rainproof, a big, chunky, supple slab of specially-treated calfskin leather, with a stainless steel folding clasp.
The dial has been designed so that you can tell the time easily both day and night, and use the chronograph effectively. The chronograph seconds hand extends out, across the seconds scale with its quarter-second divisions, and to the tachymeter scale on the inner bezel flange. The two subdials at the centre are labelled hours and minutes and are grey in colour, while the third subdial for continuous seconds is black. Bold and effective.
The overall effect is busy, and this is what Chopard want: a watch that evokes a racecar dashboard packed with dials. A few brands – most recently Piaget with their new Polo S chronograph – have got rid of the continuous seconds subdial. Its only purpose is the show that the watch is running. Perhaps we will see some chronograph watches with a much smaller rotating symbol to eliminate that third dial and create more space. Tutima, for example, has a tiny continuous seconds subdial on its chronographs. Personally I think that on Chopard’s Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition, the date, jammed in between the 4 and the 5, is a bit too much. Another curiosity is that the two central subdials are not on the centre line of the watch, but a couple of millimetres above.
The watch is powered by the new Chopard Calibre 03.05-C, with COSC-certified precision. It was designed and is made by Chopard, and it is a column-wheel chronograph, the most prestigious type of chronograph control because it is costlier to make, but produces a watch with smoother pusher operation. The movement has a 60-hour power reserve, 45 jewels, and runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hertz.
Prices and references
The Chopard Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition in stainless steel is a 1,000 piece limited edition, reference 168580-3001. Price €9,660, 9,800 Swiss francs, US$9,800.
The same watch in rose gold is a 100-piece limited edition, reference 161297-5001, price €23,840, 24,200 Swiss francs, US$ 24,200.
Further information from http://www.chopard.com/