Born in 1927, the Mille Miglia race turns 90 in 2017. Chopard is celebrating this event by issuing a 90-piece Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition. Attired in a rose gold case, this sporty and elegant collector’s model pays tribute to the spirit of this vintage race that has endured for 90 years. Its unmistakable presence on the wrist, its L.U.C chronograph movement and its wealth of details make it the most prestigious Mille Miglia watch ever introduced by Chopard.
The elegance of the Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary recalls that of the legendary cars that have competed in this fabled race. The curved design of a Ferrari 250 GTO, the taut lines of an Alfa Romeo 6C, the sensuality of an Aston Martin, the construction quality of a Porsche 550 RS: all the ingredients of sophisticated, masculine and opulent style converge in this chronograph exuding a casual chic aura. Its vintage calfskin strap has been given a special treatment that will ensure it ages gracefully while acquiring a pleasing patina. It is a tip of the hat to the bonnet straps on the finest vintage cars.
This tribute extends far beyond mere design inspiration. The Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition is the most exclusive watch of the Mille Miglia collection. Its gleaming ‘bodywork’ is a generous yet perfectly proportioned 46 mm-diameter, 13 mm-thick rose gold case. The softness of its polished bezel and the precision of its virile curves demonstrate the extreme care devoted to details, as confirmed by the short dipping lugs that ensure an ideal fit on any wrist.
The piston-inspired chronograph pushers are a must-have vintage detail, as is the large notched dial reminiscent of petrol tank caps and ensuring easy handling even with leather driver’s gloves.
The pristine porcelain-like white dial is punctuated by Arabic numerals and snailed counters such as were typically seen on vintage dashboards. It is surrounded by a tachymetric scale that plays a key role in the driver’s activity. It can be used at any time to measure real speed as well as average speed – a key piece of data when it comes to regularity trials.
The legend of the great classic cars is not based exclusively on their outer beauty, but is above all a matter of mechanics. Chopard reflects this reality by equipping the Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition with L.U.C Calibre 03.07-L. This hand-wound flyback chronograph entirely designed, developed and produced in the Chopard workshops, has been borrowed for this tribute piece from Chopard’s haute horlogerie L.U.C collection. It features extremely refined finishing and is made of nickel silver, an alloy enabling precision machining and exceptional chamfering. The lowermost parts of the movement have been circular-grained and gilded, while the uppermost parts driving the chronograph are in steel or rhodium-plated. This play on colours echoes that of the finest racing cars that also harbour an abundance of mechanical treasures.
The architecture and shapes of a movement comply with certain functional and aesthetic rules, like the lines of a car’s bodywork. L.U.C Calibre 03.07-L obeys the laws of high-precision Haute Horlogerie and its standards of beauty. This approach is also expressed through the top-level precision that Chopard masters to perfection and indeed, for the very first time, a Mille Miglia watch has been awarded the Poinçon de Genève.
This two-fold aesthetic and technical certification is approved by an independent authority and governed by a law promulgated by the Canton of Geneva. It dictates the peerless criteria of excellence pertaining to the case and the movement, its structure, its appearance, its precision, as well as the omnipresence of finely crafted surface finishing.
During the Mille Miglia, a vehicle is judged by its results and its regularity. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has applied the same logic to Chopard watchmaking. The movement of each of the 90 timepieces composing the Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition has successfully undergone the tests conducted by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, the COSC, which certifies its precision.
Model: Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition
Ref. 161299-5001 – in 18-carat rose gold – 90-piece limited edition
18-carat rose gold
Total diameter: 46.00 mm
Thickness: 13.12 mm
Water resistance: 50 metres
18-carat rose gold crown: 8.50 mm
18-carat rose gold pushers
Glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Exhibition case-back with engraved Mille Miglia logo
Hand-wound movement L.U.C 03.07-L
Number of components: 300
Total diameter: 28.60 mm
Number of jewels: 38
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: approx. 60 hours
Nickel silver bridges, adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif
Chronometer certified (COSC)
Poinçon de Genève
Porcelain-like white dial bearing Arabic numerals painted with Superluminova
Black transferred minute track and tachymeter scale
Red Mille Miglia logo
Finely snailed white chronograph counters
Superluminova-gilded and painted Dauphine-type hands
Triangular-shaped gilded counter pointers
Red-tipped gilded central sweep-seconds hand
Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph
Hours and minutes counters at 9 and 3 o’clock respectively, seconds by a central sweep-seconds hand
Brown Barenia calfskin strap, vintage treatment acquiring a patina over time
Polished 18-carat rose gold folding clasp