The Chopard Mille Miglia watch is an icon. There have been dozens of them and in a sense, these are like the first Hublot Big Bang watches. What do I mean? Hublot popularized the Big Bang collection by starting with a cool sporty chronograph and offering a range of different versions that all fell under the same product family umbrella. Chopard did the same thing, but started before Hublot got into the Big Bang game back in around 2004. To date, the number of Mille Miglia watches is countless, and here is one of the limited edition models for 2011.

This is the Mille Miglia Rosso Corsa limited edition of 1000 pieces watch. In this instance, the Mille Miglia comes full circle in celebrating Italy once again as the Mille Miglia itself was an Italian race. Rosso Corsa is the Italian tradition of coloring their race cars red. Different teams use different shades of red, but all you need to know is that Italian racing simply equals the color red. That should explain the bright red face of this watch. Fashion types who love red will appreciate the color without understanding the nature of Rosso Corsa.

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As a red watch this Chopard is rather red. They didn’t go nuts with the color, but few watches share such a richly red hued dial. Nevertheless, the dial isn’t just a red wash. There are white and silver tones in there as well. Chopard was able to color the large chronograph subdials with a different color, and the chapter ring outside of the hour markers is also black and white with red five minute markers. While the tachymeter scale is there, Chopard really down plays it as it is placed on the polished bezel – probably a good idea.

Legibility is really good, and there is lots of SuperLumiNova lume on the hands and hour markers. One of the main reasons I am such a fan of most Mille Miglia watches is the fact that Chopard keeps them easy to read. One element I have mixed feelings about is the placement of the 12 and 6 o’clock Arabic hour numerals on the bottom of the sapphire crystal. This is a look that I believe Chopard started in earlier Mille Miglia GTXL models. Given that this model is technically in the GTXL collection, it has them too. Basically Chopard uses thin outlined numbers over the dial. They look nice but are a tad bit distracting. At the same time they do add some depth to the dial. After wearing the watch for a while I hardly noticed them, but am not sure what value they add to the piece overall.

Over the dial is a AR coated sapphire crystal. There is a reverse mounted magnifier lens over the date – which is on a black disc actually. A cool little touch I think. While the red color is novel, this is a dial design that has more or less been around for a little while. Lovers of this watch should be mostly interested in the dial color and Rosso Corsa limited edition honor.

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At just under 44mm wide, the case wears comfortably and feels like a good size. One thing that isn’t actually easy to notice is that the case is titanium. Chopard executes an extremely good steel-like polish all over the case. You can barely notice the slight hint of gray that titanium has over steel. Really an excellent use of high-grade titanium – which of course lightens the weight of the case. The case is water resistant to 100 meters and has a mixture of polished and brushed surfaces. One thing I really like about the GTXL are the chronograph pushers. They are squared to visually integrate with the case, but are still easy to use. A lot of people have attempted this look and Chopard does it rather well.

The appearance of the dial is really one of those things that either inspires you or deters you. Some days I found that I really wanted to wear the bright red dial and other days I felt it was just too bright. It did seem like an interesting piece to have around for days when it felt right for the wrist. How often those days will come are totally up to your own personality. I do have to say that the watch does get a lot of attention. Nothing like a flashy bright red watch dial to catch a person’s gaze.

Inside the watch is predictably a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement. Chopard gets the nicer version of the 7750 possible with fancy polishes, but sadly no blued screws. Of course there is a custom Chopard movement done specifically for the Mille Miglia GTXL watches. It is true that the movement view is obstructed by the “Rosso Corsa” emblem – but at the same time it is a 7750 – and you’ve probably seen it a number of times before.

This watch doesn’t have the famous tire tread style rubber strap of many Mille Miglia watches. Here Chopard uses a quite attractive padded black leather strap with red contrast stitching to match the dial. The strap pieces are also punched with portholes to make them more racing and sport themed. The buckle is also in titanium and has an engraved Chopard logo.

Like I said, the Mille Miglia GTXL Rosso Corsa is limited to 1000 pieces (and this model I am reviewing is cool being the first one produced). It is an interesting watch fit for the right person – but the bright red color of the dial will no doubt be polarizing. If it is, then have no worry because Chopard has a lot of other Mille Miglia watch options for you. Price for the watch does feel expensive, but it doesn’t lack quality for the money. Price is $9,570.

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