Like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore or Hublot Big Bang, the Chopard Mille Miglia is a constant force of consistency, which little changes each year to help spice up a core collection timepiece that hopes to find a delicious new flavor to tempt you. It is like you know you enjoy ice cream, but are sick of chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. So in this case, with the Mille Miglia, Chopard offers up potentially tasty new flavors to re-enliven your interest. 2010 first sees two new limited edition models with the Chopard Mille Miglia XL GT Chrono 2010, which is limited to 2010 pieces (imagine that), and the new Chopard Mille Miglia Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chronograph 2010 – a new version of a Monaco tribute watch limited to 250 pieces in rose gold, with the steel version being a new edition to the overall collection (until they discontinue it down the line). Both watches are pleasing to the eye, fun, and fashionable.
Yes, fashionable. Like Cartier’s lower-end (still not very low end), Chopard Mille Miglia watches are fashion timepieces. That doesn’t mean they are bad, but don’t confuse them for haute horlogerie. The watches are meant to function well yes, but moreover, be beautiful and look cool. Playing with colors, materials, etc… Chopard has made the Mille Miglia collection a real men’s accessory item. Again, that isn’t at all bad in my opinion, but you don’t want to confuse these watches with the interesting Chopard L.U.C watches with in-house movements and more high-end character. Though to many, these watch at prices of about $8,000 and up for the gold versions are pretty high-end already.
My fav is the “for no reason rather than it is a new year” limited edition Mille Miglia GL XL Chrono 2010 with its pretty perlage polished metal dial and larger 44mm wide steel case. Inside both watches is a base Swiss ETA 7750 automatic chronograph movement with custom Chopard engraved rotors. The movements are both COSC Chronometer certified. Mille Miglia dials have always been relatively clear. The 2010 GL XL Chrono doesn’t stray from that too much. The perlage dial has applied hour markers (with lume), and easy to spot hands and subsidiary chronograph dials. Certainly a very masculine timepiece that few men can say without a doubt that they would not proudly wear. Though I could easily do without the “12” and “6” numerals applied to the sapphire crystal. Of course it has the typical Mille Miglia porthole leather strap (alternative is always the 1960s Dunlop tire tread rubber strap).
Then there is the more classic and retro looking new version of the Mille Miglia Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chronograph watch – in honor of the ritzy race. Maybe it needed an update. Not sure. The case is 42.5mm wide in either 18k rose gold (limited to 250 pieces) and steel. The royal blue on the gold model looks pretty sweet (don’t you love those arrow tipped chronograph hands as well?), and the dials have an enjoyable concentric circle texturing that seems to always fit. The chronograph subdials have no such texturing to aid with legibility. Chopard never lets Millie Miglia be “only for show” chronograph watches. Fans of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique race will love the emblem on the watch rotor. Overall these are pretty watches sure to keep Chopard Mille Miglia fans happy, but aren’t likely to attract too many newbies to the collection. Look for them soon at prices which are likely just a bit higher than you would guess, but as you can see the watches are genuinely well done.