The Fast And The Fratelli: Chopard Mille Miglia Versus Singer Reimagined Track1
Time for another Fratello contest! This time, it’s chronographs that take center stage. But not just any chronograph will do. We’re talking chronographs with racing pedigree — high-octane watches that get both watch freaks and petrol heads to shift into high gear. First up is a drag race between the well-established Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro SS and a rookie on the track, the Singer Reimagined Track1 Launch Edition. The Fast and the Fratelli, start your engines!
The goal is simple, and so is the race. The Fast and the Fratelli Grand Prix will determine the best racing chronograph of the past ten years. On the starting grid, you will only see watches that are able to track elapsed time for at least one minute. They also must feature a tachymeter scale. But there are more rules.
It’s like a race between a Formula 1 and a NASCAR race car …
The competing watches must have been released in the last ten years, and they must be mechanical. That means that limited editions are not excluded, and there is no price limit. On the track, anything goes in terms of availability and price! It’s like a race between a Formula 1 and a NASCAR race car — not something you see every day. It’s gonna be wild all the way down to the checkered flag!
The Fast and the Fratelli — First contender: Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro SS
Since 1988, Chopard has been the official timekeeper of the classic Mille Miglia, the ultimate rally for historic cars. Over the years, that’s yielded a huge amount of race-inspired watches. They are sophisticated and chic, powerful and rugged — just like the legendary sports cars that race 1,600 kilometers past San Marino, Rome, Sienna, and Florence.
The clever road sign date window
The Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono (168571-3007) is a fine example of what a Mille Miglia watch is all about. The steel, 44 × 13.79mm watch is a limited edition of 750 numbered pieces — exclusive, but not overly exclusive. With a price of €7,360, it’s both a firm and well-groomed watch. It’s the galvanized, azure blue satin-brushed dial and matching bezel with tachymeter scale that give it such clean, cool looks. The ton-sur-ton sub-dials blend in without losing readability, and the date window inside the Mille Miglia racing-flag logo is a magnet for the eyes. It’s a neat design choice from designer Guy Bove. At one point, Bove revamped the Mille Miglia collection and introduced that rather neat date window decoration.
Mimicking a 1960s Dunlop tire
And there’s another detail we need to acknowledge — the fact that straps with car-inspired details were pretty much first seen in the Mille Migla line. Its vanilla-scented, black rubber straps with the treads of a 1960s Dunlop tire were trendsetters. The strap on the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono is a variation of this original theme. For comfort and style, this Mille Miglia watch uses a perforated blue leather strap with a rubber lining showing the Dunlop pattern. The pump pushers, which also feature a nice tread pattern, ensure a good grip while operating the chronograph. And the dual-deployant clasp rounds off the package with a hint of satin-brushed luxury.
The roar of a Cosworth DFV V8
What else do you need to know about the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono? That its hands and indexes are coated with Super-LumiNova, keeping the watch legible on even the darkest back roads of Tuscany. Another strong point of the €7,360 Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono is that it’s a COSC-certified chronometer. That means this gentlemanly racer isn’t just good-looking, it’s also incredibly accurate.
The champagne shower on the podium after yet another win at the track has nothing on the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono.
The 4Hz automatic chronograph movement might be an ETA 7750, but like the Cosworth DFV V8 engines that powered many successful F1 cars, it does its job well. The 10-bar water-resistant case also makes it incredibly practical. The champagne shower on the podium after yet another win at the track has nothing on the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono. It’s a do-it-all, gentleman racer’s chronograph pur sang.
For more information on the Chopard Mille Miglia collection, please visit the brand’s official website.
The Fast and the Fratelli — Second Contender: Singer Reimagined Track1
I’m still undecided about my absolute grail watch, but for the longest time, I’ve had a grail car. It’s the Porsche 911 from the early 90s, the air-cooled 964. Sure, a 911 as a dream car is a bit of a cliché. But ever since I was a little kid, I played with Porsche toy cars and tried to build them from Legos. Has my grail 964 stood the test of time? Well, it’s not a modern 911, which is way too bulky for my taste. But truth be told, a standard 964 does look a tad flimsy through modern eyes. Luckily, there’s California-based Singer Vehicle Design to come up with the (unobtainable) solution — an impeccably customized, $500k+ Porsche 964 with unparalleled retro styling. The watch that matches this retro mod is the Singer Reimagined Track1. This chronograph does have some retro elements in the design, but in essence, it’s an avant-garde revolutionary.
The pursuit of optimal readability
The Singer Reimagined Track1 caused quite a stir when it was first launched back in 2017. The watch is the result of an idea Rob Dickinson, founder of Singer, and Marco Borraccino, the designer of the watch, had for a radical, new type of chronograph. Thanks to watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and his company Agenhor, the idea of building something new and different come to life.
The Track1 shows the time of day through two rotating dials on its perimeter.
Instead of creating a traditional chronograph with separate, small sub-dials, the Track1 drops that idea completely in the pursuit of instant and intuitive chronograph readability. The Track1 shows the time of day through two rotating dials on its perimeter. In a very literal sense, the chronograph features themselves are the center of attention, with three central hands to measure the elapsed time.
The AgenGraphe makes it happen
It’s the 3Hz caliber, dubbed AgenGraphe, that turned Dickinson and Borraccino’s vision into reality. The automatic, 377-part, column-wheel AgenGraphe powers the 3 × 60 central chronograph, and it is nothing short of spectacular. After the initial Launch Edition in 2017, quite a few (colorful) versions followed. The essence, however, remains the same — a very complicated chronograph movement in a sleek, 70s-like, grade 5 titanium 43 × 15 mm case. And as you would expect from Singer, there’s a wide range of custom-made straps available upon request.
Superb attention to detail
As you would imagine, the complicated Singer Reimagined Track1 comes with a pretty hefty price tag. The watch costs CHF43,500 before VAT and local taxes. It’s a lot of money for a chronograph, I agree. But what you get for that money is of the highest standards, both aesthetically and technically. The superb attention to detail, which could easily sell for upwards of $500k, lends palpable credibility to this highly distinctive chronograph.
What watch will take the checkered flag?
It’s up to you now. Will the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro SS have a perfect photo finish? Or will the Singer Reimagined Track1 Launch Edition win by a landslide? Your vote will decide!
The Fast And The Fratelli — Chopard MM vs Singer Reimagined Track1
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