2011 sees the release of the 5th version of Chopard's Classic Racing Jacky Ickx Edition watches. The former high-profile race car driver who was popular in the 1970s has a long history with timing and watch brands. Chopard is by no means the first brand to honor the driver with timepieces. Though I believe that they currently are the only brand making new Jacky Ickx themed watches.
With the 5th Edition limited production model now released I assume that that the first four editions sold pretty well. Done in a Mille Miglia style case, this Classic Racing watch is about 42.5mm wide and available in steel or 18k rose gold. While the case and overall demeanor of the watch is all "Mille Miglia," the Jacky Ickx models have separated themselves by having tri-compax oriented chronograph subdial layouts and a big date indicator under 12 o'clock. Plus, following in the foot steps of the 4th Edition Jackie Ickx Chopard watch, the hour register for the chronograph measures a full 24 hours - not just 12 hours. This of course is in honor of Jacky Ickx and the Le Mans 24 hour race.
These 5th Edition models further follow style form some of Chopard's Historique watches from the last few years. I covered some 2010 Mille Miglia models here, and I reviewed the Monaco Historique Time Attack MF here. You can see how the Classic Racing Jacky Ickx 5th Edition follows suit with a similar bezel and dial theme. The dials are quite attractive and really legible (which is often the case with Chopard sport watches). You can see how the rose gold cased model comes with a silvered dial with two black subsidiary dials, while the model with the steel case comes with a black dial (and two silvered subsidiary dials for the chronograph).
For fun the chronograph pushers look a bit like engine pistons. On the rear of the watch is Jacky Ickx signature and some limited edition graphics. For the record, I think that almost every Jacky Ickx watch (from and brand) has his signature on the dial or elsewhere on the watch. I am not sure of the exact movement inside of these pieces. According to Chopard they are built on a Swiss ETA 2892 automatic base with a chronograph and big date module. The movements have power reserves of 40 hours and are COSC Chronometer certified. In addition to the 24 hour chronograph and big date, you should know that the chronograph has a flyback function and the time is a stop seconds (which means the seconds stop when you pull out the crown).
Quality is very high thanks to Chopard's fine attention to detail. It is true that the prices of sport racing watches from Chopard are a bit high, but I can say that fit and finish, as well as the attention to detail is very impressive. The Chopard Classic Racing Jacky Ickx Edition V (5th Edition) in steel (ref. 168543-3001) will be limited to 2000 pieces with a price of $11,140. The 18k rose gold model (ref. 161286-5001) will be limited to 500 pieces with a price of $27,400. Look for these good lookers soon.