There’s figurative art, and there are figurative watches. This new watch by Chopard reflects Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s passion for vintage and classic cars, and in particular for the atmosphere of the Mille Miglia rally, a race that Chopard has been deeply involved with since 1988.
The dial is great. The seconds hand has the red-white speedometer look and has a quarter-second scale all to itself, the numbers having been transferred to the bezel. The 43 mm case, 11.43 mm thick. is in black DLC-coated steel, contrasting with the brushed aluminium bezel on which the numbers are black and glossy. Big, chunky hour markers and numerals are coated with SuperLuminova luminescent paint, and likewise the hands. On the dial, the Mille Miglia logo forms a neat frame for the date window. The crown has another motorcar-type emblem. The lugs are short to make the watch comfortable for most wrist sizes. The watch has a rubber strap with vintage Dunlop tyre-tread motif and a black DLC-coated stainless steel folding clasp.
Things get even better on the back. Since 2015, the watches in the Mille Miglia collection have in-house movements. The Mille Miglia GTS Automatic Speed Black is fitted with the Calibre 01.01-M movement, self-winding, 31 jewels, running at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz), and with a generous 60-hour power reserve. It is COSC-certified, so that the movement is tested in various positions and retains a precision on average between -4 and +6 seconds deviation per day.
The resemblance with an engine is highlighted by the bridges that have been opened with a series of slots, through which you can glimpse some of the wheels below. As on the front of the watch, the black DLC is punctuated by red trim. The caseback is held on by means of functional screws, and the case has a water resistance rated at 10 bar, 100 metres.
The oscillating weight is openworked to provide a good view of what’s underneath, and it is marked with the curiously inconsistent, multi-lingual phrase “Chopard Geneve Swiss.” The caseback also provides information on the name of the watch, water resistance and the edition size.
The caseback’s sapphire glass is tinted fumé colour, so that the movement acquires a darker shade when it is in the watch. This enhances the piece’s sleek, dark character, but the movement outside the case is impressive in itself, with its brushed stainless steel surfaces and beautifully detailed engineering on the balance wheel.
Price and reference
The Mille Miglia GTS Automatic Speed Black is reference 168565-3002, and it is a 1,000-piece limited edition. Price is €6,800, 6,900 Swiss francs, US$6,900.