What started as a fun collaboration between a luxury watchmaker and a historic car race has, over the course of three decades, given birth to what many know and wear daily as a “true car lover’s watch.” Over its uninterrupted history, the Chopard Mille Miglia has developed into an extensive collection of sporty-elegant watches, dominated by chronographs, tachymeter scales and fuel gauge-inspired power reserve indicators, with the obligatory three-hander also present. What’s common among all is an array of little details, each inspired by and in celebration of Chopard’s some three dozen times participating as official timekeeper in the world’s most highly regarded classic car rally: the thousand-mile Mille Miglia. The latest timepiece to sport the 1000 Miglia red arrow on its dial is the Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition.
To understand and appreciate this four-day blast across Italy, and the watches dedicated to it, one need not have a Mille Miglia-worthy car — to be allowed to race, one has to have a vintage car that meets a range of strict criteria concerning age, condition, and race preparation. A passion for anything automotive is, in fact, what drives many to the Mille Miglia as a spectator and to the watch collection as a customer. However, for a genuine behind-the-wheel experience, read this report on what it’s like to drive, navigate, and, indeed, survive the “1000 Miglia” in an Abarth 750 Zagato — or just stick around and learn about the latest piece to join Chopard’s collection.
From 1990s-style, sub-40mm-wide timekeepers on brown leather straps — arguably inspired by the Connolly leather interiors of vintage motor vehicles by Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and others — to the modern chronographs of the 2000s matched to a Dunlop tire-pattern rubber strap, the Mille Miglia watch collection of today is a curated blend of vintage-inspired and boldly contemporary design elements. The Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition presents itself as a modern-sized watch with a diameter of 44mm, further emphasized by a thin tachymeter bezel and expansive silver dial. The arguably masculine lugs are wide, tall, and stubby, with a shape more reminiscent of bridges and architecture than cars, which is in line with Chopard’s preference for well-built, rock-solid cases, leaving more filigree exterior designs to the XPS and L.U.C ranges.
Sticking to a modern approach in design, the high-contrast dial features main hands and hour markers of confident proportions: It is rare to see such wide and long hands paired with this large a diameter. The minute hand and the center-mounted seconds hand of the chronograph reach all the way to the edge of the dial, passing over distinctly shaped and outlined hour markers in every location. No date window or subdial has been allowed to fully replace these hour markers and their important role in aiding legibility day in and out. Speaking of contrast, the main hands, as well as the markers, are filled with generous amounts of Super-LumiNova for those late-night drives or dark tunnel passes.
Vintage vibes radiate from the Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition’s more delicate details: Both chronograph pushers (start-stop above and reset below the crown) sport a so-called mushroom-style design and have a textured top surface, chequered in a way that resembles the knobs, dashboard decorations and fabrics found across innumerable classic cars built in the mid-1900s. The crown has a three-spoke steering wheel design in delicate relief, completing the connection between the watch and classic cars with this most famous rally.
Likewise, the bespoke typography of Chopard is featured not just on the dial but also on the tachymeter scale of the bezel — a handy scale that can be used together with the chronograph to determine the speed of the vehicle, should its speedometer act up at any point which, in truth, happens more often than one would expect among the hundreds of expensively race-prepared vintage car royalty participating at the Mille Miglia. The red arrow at 3 o’clock points at the date aperture, which, in turn, is rendered more legible by a cyclops magnifier installed on the underside of the sapphire crystal front — an elegant solution that helps reduce glare on the magnifier and maintain the clean aesthetic and feel of the exterior.
The caseback is secured by eight screws and sports a large Mille Miglia logo in relief, along with the famed route of Brescia, Rome, and back to Brescia again, as well as the individual number of the watch from the 1,000-piece production run. Water resistance, aided by the screw-secured caseback and the high-quality seals used around the crown and chronograph pushers ensure an impressive water resistance rating of 100 meters for peace of mind. Protected by the intricately finished stainless steel case and the glare-proof sapphire crystal is a Swiss-made self-winding chronograph movement based on the ETA 7750/Sellita SW500 architecture that operates at 4 Hertz throughout a power reserve of 48 hours while displaying the time, the date, and up to 12 hours on the chronograph.
The Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition is matched to a beautifully crafted strap that is a supple, perforated brown leather on the outside and, for greater wearing comfort and durability, soft-touch rubber on the inside. This part features the trademark tire pattern that was inspired by a vintage Dunlop tire and that first debuted on a Chopard Mille Miglia watch in 1994. Inseparable from the Mille Miglia range, this fan-favorite quirk has played a major role in making this collection immediately recognizable as a car lover’s watch.
The Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition is priced at $7,770 USD in steel and $11,400 USD in two-tone, and you can learn more at the brand’s website.Sponsored Posts are a form of advertising that allows sponsors to share useful news, messages, and offers to aBlogtoWatch readers in a way traditional display advertising is often not best suited to. All Sponsored Posts are subject to editorial guidelines with the intent that they offer readers useful news, promotions, or stories. The viewpoints and opinions expressed in Sponsored Posts are those of the advertiser and not necessarily those of aBlogtoWatch or its writers.