The Chopard Mille Miglia 2019 Race Edition is easily the coolest looking MM edition of the brand in a good few years – at least for me.
Last year Chopard celebrated the 30th year of their partnership with Mille Miglia, a prestigious car race that goes from Brescia to Rome and then back to Brescia covering over 1,600km in the south of Italy. If you are a watch nerd, you have probably heard the name Mille Miglia in connection with Chopard. Like this one of their, if not the, longest running partnerships, one can expect something special from Chopard in connection to Mille Miglia every year. Like they did in the past, Chopard released two models this year to celebrate the partnership; a 1000-piece limited edition in steel and a 250-piece limited edition in 18K rose gold and steel, two-tone case. In this article, we will have a closer look at both models, and I will tell you why I think they are the most excellent edition from Chopard since several years.
I’ve been visiting Chopard during Baselworld as long as I’ve been frequenting the fair. Sometimes I went alone, sometimes with other Fratello members. I was lucky enough to be invited by Chopard to the 2016 Lemans 24-Hour race as well as other events held by the brand. More often than not, the Mille Miglia watches were either on display during these functions of on the wrist of Chopard team members, other journalists perhaps even on the wrist of Chopard friend-of-the-brand and car racing legend Jacky Ickx. So, I have seen many previous Mille Miglia limited editions and based on that, I can honestly say that the Mille Miglia 2019 Race Edition is among the most beautiful timepieces of the lot. If not the nicest ever. Of course, one’s opinion about a watch is subjective, yet I think that many would agree with me. So, let’s look at the watches in details.
While I love the trend of two-tone coming back, I’m especially fond of the steel version. To start with, let’s look at the sizes; both watches are 44mm in diameter and have a thickness of 14.63mm. They both have water resistance up to 100 meters. The two-tone version has a steel crown with a steering wheel motif in 18K rose gold. The bezel is also 18K gold, polished with black aluminium, tachymeter inlay. As we are talking about a chronograph, we have two vintage-style, pump pushers. Both of them are 18K rose gold to match the crown and the bezel. On the steel version, everything merely is stainless steel; the pushers, the crown, and the bezel too with the same aluminium, black inlay. Glare-proof, sapphire crystal covers the dial. To add to the vintage feel, it has a magnifier over the date window. The finishing on the case is a mix between satin and polished.
While one would imagine that such a watch should have a display case back, I’m afraid I have bad news. The Mille Miglia 2019 Race Edition has a full steel case back. The center has the stamped Mille Miglia logo and the black, PVD treated checkerboard. Above it, you can see the cities where the race goes to and from (Brescia-Roma-Brescia). Below the logo is the limited-edition numbers, XXX/1000 for the steel and XXX/250 for the steel-gold version. Eight screws hold the back to the case, some other details – like water resistance – are around the edge of the back between these screws.
Inside the new Chopard Mille Miglia, 2019 Race Edition is a Valjoux/ETA 7750-base self-winding, mechanical chronograph movement. It has 25 jewels, a frequency of 28,800 Vph and a power reserve to 48 hours. Furthermore, as you can see it on the dial, the caliber is COSC certified. As the 7750 has a date function the Mille Miglia 2019 Race Edition as received an aperture for the date at 3, while the three subdials are in a typical 7750 layout at 6-9-12. Albeit it’s not an in-house movement, the 7750 is a workhorse and readily and widely serviceable. The chronometer certification guarantees that the accuracy will be as precise as a mechanical chronograph can get.
The dial on both steel and steel-gold models are grey, ruthenium-coloured with snail or sunray motif. To aid the chronograph, there is an inner 60-seconds bezel in varnished black and grey with white indexes. Since the 3 subdials take up a lot of space, the brand name is above the date aperture at 3 o’clock. While the model name, Mille Miglia is next to said date window, the text “Chronometer” that refers to the movement is below it. On both models, the indexes are applied covered with Super-Luminova. The two-tone has gold indexes, while the steel received steel markers.
All in all, the dial on both models is easy to read and simple despite the chronograph subdials. The thin bezel and pump pushers give a vintage effect to the Mille Miglia 2019 Race Edition. This is enhanced by the red tips on the chrono and 12-hour hands.
The two-tone, as well as the steel Chopard Mille Miglia 2019 Race Edition, come on cognac, calf leather strap with tone-on-tone stitching. As you’d expect it from a car race-inspired watch, the straps have racing wholes. Inside of the strap, for comfort, you’ll find black rubber lining which pattern is inspired by the 1960’s Dunlop racing tires. The folding claps on both models are Chopard, steel deployant with safety buttons. For all of this, you have to pay €6,800 – if you are opting for the steel version and the 1000 pieces limitation. If, however, you would like to own the 18K gold and steel version with the limited edition of 250 pieces you’ll have to pay €9,950. I think that both watches look great, both are very functional, and as they are limited editions, they are not common. Unless you’re at Mille Miglia, you’ll see many there.
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Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more