May 18, 2016
by James Stacey
In concert with the 10th installment of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique racing event, Chopard has announced a 2016 Race Edition of their Grand Prix De Monaco Historique (“G.P.M.H”) chronograph. These limited edition automotive-inspired watches follow the 2014 edition Ariel reviewed here and offer a compelling mix of vintage and modern design that rather suits the classic racing series held on what is arguably the most famous racetrack in the world – Formula 1’s Circuit de Monaco.
The 2016 Chopard Grand Prix De Monaco Historique 2016 Race Edition watches are available in either steel and titanium or 18k rose gold with cases measuring 44.5mm wide. While both variants features the same detailed silver-toned snailed dial, the steel/titanium has orange accents while the rose gold model is accented in blue. Thickness is 14.1mm, with a sapphire crystal and 100m water resistance. The Chopard G.P.M.H, like their Mille Miglia line, stem from the passion that Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has for vintage cars and classic racing. Not legit enough? Chopard ambassador and living legend Jacky Ickx, as well as Porsche WEC drivers Mark Webber and Domain Dumas (also Chopard ambassadors) all drove in the biennial event which was held this past weekend in Monaco. Featuring race cars ranging from pre-war Bugatti to Formula cars from the 1970s, it’s a highlight event that pays tribute not only to early race cars, but the unforgiving and iconic Monaco street course. Unsurprisingly, the ever-excellent Petrolicious was on site and their Instagram offers some stunning sights and sounds.
From the piston-inspired chronograph pushers to the tachymeter bezel and three-register 12-hour chronograph display, the Chopard Grand Prix De Monaco Historique 2016 Race Edition watches are largely similar to the previous edition but the new colors are, to my eyes, a bit more refined than the bold yellow/black scheme used previously. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I rather like the steel/titanium version (the case and bezel being steel while the crown and pushers are titanium) with its desaturated orange accents and matching grey/white/orange nato strap.
Likewise, while the gold is less sporty, it does seem to line up nicely with a vintage race series involving some very expensive pieces of gas-powered history. Both models use a Chopard-finished ETA 7750, an automatic chronograph movement which is COSC certified, beats at 4Hz, and has a power reserve of 46 hours.
Delivered with a duo of straps perfect for pairing with your favorite leather gloves and driving helmet, the Chopard Grand Prix De Monaco Historique 2016 Race Editions include a race-style Barenia calfskin leather strap with matching accent stitching and a grey nato strap with matching accents. While the pictures speak for themselves, I’m happy to add that I think both look amazing on either strap option.
The steel/titanium is limited to 500 pieces, while only 100 units of the gold will be made, priced from $6,890 and $21,300 USD, respectively. With an attractive design that manages to fit in without playing the “new vintage” card, the Chopard G.P.M.H 2016 Race Editions are a welcome addition to Chopard’s automotive-inspired line up. chopard.com