Here is a set of new racing watches from Chopard that I really (really) like. There is something about the Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Collection 2014 that just hits a sweet spot for me on so many levels. So, let’s take a closer look at these three new timepieces and you can decide whether or not you feel the same way about them as I do.
In March of 2014, we had the opportunity to debut one of these watches for you. Upon announcing the Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chrono I had a feeling it was going to be one of my favorite watches at Baselworld 2014. Lo and behold, it was, and we placed the Monaco Historique watch in our list of the Top 10 Watches of Baselworld 2014. So what is that makes me so fond of this racing inspired watch that is honestly unique in the sea of luxury sport watches?
Chopard is working hard to increasingly be known as a maker of fine men’s watches, in addition to their wider reputation as women’s watch and jewelry maker. The last few years have seen them avidly push their in-house made L.U.C collection timepieces and 2012 saw them begin production on their own in-house movements that debuted in these Classic Racing SuperFast collection watches. This is all on top of their larger Classic Racing collection of watches that more or less is the umbrella under which all of their race-inspired timepieces live. This category used to be just Mille Miglia timepieces but has since expanded to include SuperFast and Grand Prix de Monaco Historique collections.
The latter of which was for a while a mere ongoing set of limited editions watches. 2014 more-or-less sees the Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique collection (“Monaco Historique”) become a more permanent pillar of products in the Classic Racing family. Thus, these new models, which debut in a black and yellow color theme, don’t have special names applied to them, but are simply the Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Collection 2014 watches. They include the “Automatic” three hand model, the “Power Control” version with a power reserve indicator, and the “Chrono” that is, of course, the chronograph model.
If you’ve followed the Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique collection for a few years now, then these more-or-less fall in line with the aesthetics you’ve come to expect, and perhaps love. Having said that, upon closer inspection you’ll see that these are totally new cases and dials. The cases are a bit larger than the last time around, but they still wear very comfortably thanks to the short, highly curved lugs. At 44.5mm wide, the cases are all in titanium (versus steel) and finished with brushed, polished, and sandblasted surfaces. Further, the cases are 13.9mm thick.The lightness of titanium helps them be much more wearable, and the quality of the finishing is very impressive for titanium–which can be hard to polish properly. So, while these are larger timepieces, they are meant to be a bold show on the wrist but they are nevertheless highly enjoyable to wear.
Some of the little automotive case details are back, which include the piston-style chronograph pushers as well as the steering wheel emblem on the crown. The caseback is screwed in place with a series of hex screws that give the overall presentation an upgrade. The case is water resistant to 100 meters, which is a very welcome upgrade over the 50 meters of water resistance for the previous models. This might not seem like a big deal, but 100 meters of water resistance takes this item into true “sport watch” territory versus just being a sporty fashion watch with high-quality components.