April 11, 2015
by Ariel Adams
For Baselworld 2015, Chopard continues to release new sport watches with in-house made movements. The newest Mille Miglia collection watch to contain an in-house made Chopard movement is this pretty Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Power Control with the new caliber 01.08-C automatic movement. This is actually part of the larger new “Mille Miglia GTS” (GTS standard for Grand Turismo Sport) family of watches that will include the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Automatic (three-hand), Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Power Control, and the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Chronograph.
In 2012, Chopard unveiled a new line of movements from a new factory known as Chopard Fleurier Ebauches – which is a separate facility from the L.U.C manufacture location. At Fleurier Ebauches, Chopard produces more “volume” mechanical movements which debuted in the 2012 Chopard Classic Racing Super Fast collection (hands-on here). The goal, of course, for Chopard is to be more and more independent from third party movement suppliers, and ultimately, I believe the move to more and more in-house movements will benefit the consumer.
For many years, I have enjoyed the design and detailing of Chopard’s racing watches, such as those in the Classic Racing, Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, and Mille Miglia collections. The chronograph versions were the most popular, and while people enjoyed them, some collectors complained that Chopard was charging a premium price for a product that contained a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement. True enough, even though Chopard offered a superlative case and dial, the 7750 is available in much cheaper watches.
I don’t know when or if all Chopard men’s sports watch will contain in-house movements, but the general trend at the brand has been to increase the number of watches with Chopard-made movements. I am pretty sure that this year at Baselworld 2015, we will get to to see Chopard’s own replacement for the 7750 – even though in-house made Chopard chronograph movements have been available for a short time now. So let’s talk about this movement in the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Power Control.
The caliber 01.08-C automatic movement is something Chopard is so proud of they have put its name on the dial of the watch. I suppose they believe it will take such efforts to communicate to people that their new Chopard Mille Miglia GTS watches are more than just a facial refresh of what has been previously offered. The 01.08-C operates a 4Hz (28,800 bph) with a welcome 60 hours of power reserve. The movement is also COSC Chronometer certified. On the dial, you have the time, power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock, and the date. The fuel gauge-style power reserve indicator is a nice touch, and I like how Chopard designed it to be slightly recessed into the dial.
From a finishing perspective, the 01.08-C movement is a bit different than what I’ve seen before out of Fleurier Ebauches. The decoration and bridge design look less industrial and modern, with a more classic appeal, as though Chopard were trying to offer a less sophisticated and more entry-level version of their L.U.C range movements. In my opinion, that isn’t necessarily a bad idea, and the movement is visible through a sapphire crystal caseback.
I’ve been clear in the past on my appreciation for most Chopard racing-style watches. I like the bold looks, legible dials, use of color, and crisp detailing. Here, you have a slightly updated design theme for the 2015 Chopard Mille Miglia GTS collection that includes updated numerals for the 12 and 6 o’clock hour markers, as well as other tweaks. We also see a thin bezel design with minute indicators on it that offers a more retro look. While the bezel design is nice, Chopard continues to use aluminum for the insert – which many other brands at this price point have moved on to more durable materials, such as ceramic.
I can see how some people might not be totally into the design of this watch, but in my opinion, Chopard once again combined a fun racing theme with a refined style that one could feasible wear on a daily basis. The case is 43mm wide for the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Power Control and the Automatic, while the Chronograph will be 44mm wide. We finally have 100 meters of water resistance as well. The rubber strap looks to be a bit new and, in the spirit of the Chopard Mille Miglia collection, has the texture of 1960s era Dunlop tires. Price for the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Power Control watch in stainless steel on a rubber strap (Reference 168566-3001) is $6,640, in steel on steel bracelet (Ref. 158566-3001) is $8,250, while in 18k rose gold on rubber strap (Ref. 161296-5001) is $22,390. us.chopard.com