As the brand’s most prominent sports watch series, the Chopard Mille Miglia has seen a wide variety of iterations over the years, interpreting and reinterpreting the distinctive style of the historic Italian road race that shares its name. 2020 brings with it a pair of new interpretations of this staple series, wearing their automotive inspirations more on the sleeve than most. The limited-edition Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control and Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono both offer handsome and sporty new iterations on the line, tethered together by the distinctive “Azzurro Blue” dial color.
Both the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control and the GTS Azzurro Chrono begin with similar sporting case designs, featuring narrow bezels, slab case sides and broad-shouldered masculine lugs. Both cases also share a slick automotive-inspired detail that both helps to capture the motoring spirit and break up the visual profile of these tall cases on the wrist — a piston ring-style groove around the outside of the bezel. From here, however, the two cases diverge. The Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control is sized at 43mm, with a two-tone stainless steel and 18k rose gold design. For the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono, Chopard opts for a 44mm all-stainless steel case. The Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control also adds a display caseback, allowing a glimpse of the automatic movement within.
Of course, the Azzurro blue dials of both models are the real centerpieces here, with a rich cobalt tone given miles of depth and dynamism thanks to a coarse circular brushed pattern. Other than this bold new color, the dial designs of both cleave quite close to previous Mille Miglia GTS iterations. The dial of the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control takes the more retro-influenced graphic approach first seen in the Mille Miglia GTS Power Control Grigio Speciale in 2018, albeit with a suitably more old-school color scheme. The bold punches of red from the seconds hand tip, the 9 o’clock power reserve indicator, and the Mille Miglia emblem at 3 o’clock add a punch of contrast against the deep blue of the dial, offering a dynamic and timeless combination that feels right at home in a classic motorsports context. The Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono, on the other hand, is functionally identical to the standard black dial Mille Miglia GTS Chrono in its mid-century graphical treatment, pointed sword hands, and large applied indices. It’s Chopard’s texturing and font design that really shine here, with a deeply snailed ring around the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock subdials that adds visual depth and a vintage dashboard gauge quality that helps these elements feel larger than they really are. The soft, crisp Arabic numerals of the subdials and the tachymeter bezel help to root the visual feel in the warm 20th-century Italian style of the Mille Miglia auto race.
Like most models in the Mille Miglia GTS collection, the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power control is driven by an in-house movement — namely, the automatic 01.08-C automatic power reserve movement. In addition to the power reserve and date complications, this decorated powerplant offers a healthy 60 hours of power reserve. The Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono, on the other hand, uses a tried and true ETA 7750 automatic chronograph movement with a 48-hour power reserve.
In keeping with the visual theme of these limited editions, both Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro models are paired with a deep blue perforated leather rally strap. What helps to set this strap above the pack, however, is the inner lining. Chopard uses a soft blue rubber lining for comfort and to help manage sweat, then adds a tire tread pattern inspired by the treads of classic Dunlop racing tires.
While not the most dramatic possible change to the Mille Miglia lineup, the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro models take some of the best elements from past iterations and add a handsome vintage blue sheen to the mix. Both are limited editions, with the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control limited to 500 pieces and the Azzurro Chrono limited to 750 units. Both are available now through authorized dealers, with MSRP set at $9,990 for the Power Control and $7,630 for the Chrono. For more information, please visit Chopard’s website.