2013 has been an interesting year for Chopard. On one hand they officially unveiled a new collection of Classic Racing SuperFast watches with in-house made movements, and on the other hand they have released this curious new collection of very well-priced Mille Miglia models that are purported to be a limited edition for 2013 alone. Is that the deal or is this an experiment for the future? Let's take a look at these new racing watches from Chopard.
We love Mille Miglia watches enough that we kept writing about them over the years. The actual Mille Miglia race series ended long ago, but the name lives on in some of the most handsome yet elegant men's race-themed watches around. Chopard knows how to entice automobile lovers with a collection that hints at car racing but is solidly conservative enough for daily wear (of course that depends on the specific model). What you see here is an interesting set of watches from a range that has a surprisingly sterile name for the brand. These timepieces are quite simply the Chopard Mille Miglia 2013 Limited Edition pieces and they are less expensive that standard, non-limited Mille Miglia items.
OK, so let's step back a bit. The future of the Mille Miglia collection is a bit unclear in terms of product direction. Will they go up in price with all in-house made Chopard movements or will they remain a more affordable option next to higher-end Classic Racing timepieces? Most all chronograph versions of the Mille Miglia contain decorated versions of the Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 (often Chronometer certified which is the case here in this watch of course). With ETA lowering its supply to non-Swatch Group brands it isn't clear whether or not Chopard will have as much access to ETA movements or if they will move to another supplier. A good way around that is to produce their own movements... which they are doing. But typically that means price increases.
Having said all that, this 2013 Mille Miglia appears to contain a Swiss ETA Valjoux 775o automatic movement... but with a GMT module. That's right. Everyone's favorite automatic chronograph movement is seen here with a GMT hand that offers a second time zone. The case is also quite different than most Mille Miglia watches, even though it is still 44mm wide. The case is offered in nicely polished steel (ref. 168555-3001) or 18k rose gold (ref. 161292-5001). Technically speaking these cases are a bit more simple than most other current Mille Miglia watches. The pushers are less complex and the sapphire crystal is less expensive because it has no reverse printing on it or a magnifier lens for the date.