Swiss Chopard is no stranger to the classic racing circuit as many of their most popular models are inspired by, if not directly linked to races all over the world. This is mostly credited to Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s (Co-President of Chopard) affinity for mechanical engineering and classic designs. The most popular of them being the Mille Miglia Collection and its various renditions. One that has flown under the radar for me, was Chopard’s Grand Prix de Monaco Historique watches. Inspired by yet another race of the same name, Chopard is commemorating their partnership and involvement as the official timekeeper with two new chronographs; the Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique 2018 Race Edition watches.

The 44.5mm x 14.1mm case will come in two variations; a titanium and steel model, or a titanium and steel version with 18k rose gold accents. Of the two models, surprisingly I’m finding the rose gold model the most attractive, and I rarely vibe with rose gold. Perhaps it’s because of how it meshes well with the blue accents without clashing with the orange ones. The titanium crown features a cool steering wheel motif, and the pushers are shaped like engine pistons, adding to the racing inspiration and providing a nice contrast, especially with the rose gold. The blue bezel features a tachymeter with white indicators and orange markers, making this watch superbly legible.

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Which brings us to the dial. The chronograph uses a standard 6,9, and 12 o’clock register layout with a date… situation at 3 o’clock, which is really the only part of the watch that I don’t like. I don’t feel like the dial is cluttered or overbearing but the ‘Chopard Monaco Historique Chronometer’ wrapping around the date window with alternating silver-blue-silver colors just feels like an afterthought, especially with the opposite sub-register being a clean silver. Because it is a racing watch and that comes with the territory, I don’t think I would go so far as to say it looks bad, but it does break up the uniformity that I feel makes the watch so appealing.

That said, I don’t feel like it hurts legibility at all. The hands are thick enough to be easily identified at a glance, though the hour hand could be a hair longer, and the orange seconds hand (orange-tipped on the rose-gold model) will be easily identifiable as it sweeps. The applied indices have a nifty cutaway that displays the seconds/minutes and makes the 6, 9, and 12 indices a lot less obviously cut in half to make room for the sub-registers.

The movement is unspecified besides “Mechanical Self-Winding Chronograph Movement” but the dimensions lead me to believe it’s the same movement they’ve used in previous models, which is the ETA Valgranges A07.211 – a modified COSC-certified 7750 and a movement that’s often used in Chopard’s more affordable chronographs. It’s a utilitarian movement that beats at 28,800 vph and features a 46-hour power reserve. The screw down caseback lends the watch 100m of water resistance, and also features a cool Grand Prix de Monaco motif. Additionally, the watch will come with a racing perforated leather strap with contrast orange stitching and a matching NATO strap.

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Overall, the new Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique is a solid albeit safe addition to the collection. I’ve long appreciated how well Chopard marries modern sport chronograph DNA with classic racing inspiration to create some pretty cool timepieces that aren’t kitschy or boring, so I don’t mind the minor changes made to release something new. While these aren’t particularly groundbreaking, it’s a color scheme that I probably wouldn’t have expected to dig on paper, but comes together nicely. Price for the Stainless Steel and Titanium model is $7,390 with the rose-gold option coming in at $11,200.

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