Course d’Elegance: Meet the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph French Limited Edition from Chopard
Looking its finest in Lucent Steel, this dynamic limited edition chrono puts the wearer in the driver’s seat.
While nerves of steel and athleticism are crucial in motorsport, you can’t deny that the driver’s style plays a big role in its appeal.
The 1970s was a peak-style era in the history of racing. We can’t get enough of old press photos of personalities like Jackie Stewart, Jochen Rindt and his wife Nina, and Jacky Ickx flaunting their long hair, flares, and super cool sunglasses.
At this year’s Rétromobile – the annual classic auto show and auction held every February in Paris – ‘70s style will certainly be front of mind, not just for the cars but for the timepieces also. That is because, for the 2024 event, Chopard is reinterpreting its emblematic Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph through an exclusive edition dedicated to French “gentlemen drivers.”
Let’s take a look at it!
Start Your Engines
Chopard’s passion for motorsport is best expressed through its Mille Miglia collection. Any new addition to the family is catnip to both racing fans and watch enthusiasts. But this new, numbered 100-piece limited edition has more than just niche crossover appeal.
First, there’s the visuals. The 40.5mm-diameter case of the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph French Edition is made of Lucent Steel, Chopard’s luminous, gently reflective, and exclusive high-quality alloy made with at least 80% recycled metal. And, of course, since it’s the “French Edition,” this new model was inspired by the tricolored French flag with midnight blue, white, and red transfers on the circular satin-finished silver-toned dial.
The chronograph seconds hand is red for practical and aesthetic reasons, echoing the famous red 1000 Miglia logo applied to the dial. Meanwhile, the white-on-black minute track and tachymeter scale, essential for making speed and distance calculations, are easy to read. Then, for even more legibility, the hour markers and the hour and minute hands are coated with Grade X1 Super-LumiNova.
This chic dial is protected by a deep “glass box” sapphire crystal, which, while also giving off a groovy, retro vibe, creates a sense of depth around the dial opening, letting the light shine in from the sides and the front. Plus, a slim bezel serves to maximize the face. As a finishing touch, the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph French Edition is fitted with a blue perforated calfskin strap that recalls the styling of traditional driving gloves.
Under The Hood
The Mille Miglia collection was meant to capture the essence and spirit of what Enzo Ferrari once called ‘the most beautiful race in the world.’ But style is about more than looks. Elegance is often conveyed in how one moves. Energy and dynamism, speed and style – these are also the attributes of the famous Mille Miglia classic car race, which has been sponsored by Chopard since 1988.
Fun Fact: Chopard’s Co-President, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, has personally taken part in the race every year since, covering more than 30,000 competition miles since 1989.
The Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Edition France’s 40.5mm Lucent Steel case is the optimum ergonomic size for driving as well as post-race evening attire because not only does Lucent Steel have a unique glow, but it is also hard enough to handle the knocks, scuffs, and scrapes of life in the fast lane.
The bezels, crowns, and pushers are made with this same material with contrasting polished and satin-brushed finishes. The knurled pushers have a texture that recalls the pattern of a brake pedal. Meanwhile, the crown has notches to make for a better grip.
Finally, this French Edition is powered by the same self-winding, COSC-certified movement as the rest of the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph collection. This mighty machine is visible through a sapphire crystal caseback decorated with two crossed flags: a black and white checkered racing flag and the French tricolor.
P.S. – Just like Jacky Ickx (pictured here with Chopard’s Karl-Friedrich Scheufele at last year’s Salon Rétromobile), even though there are distinct seventies signatures, this racing watch will never go out of style.