Mille Miglia, the famous Italian endurance race, started in 1927 but suffered several interruptions (namely, World War II and cancellation after several fatal accidents). However, since 1987, the race from Brescia to Rome and back has been consistently organized annually in May. To be able to resume the race every year, they were looking for sponsors, and Chopard has been supporting Mille Miglia ever since. When it resumed, only cars built between 1927 and 1957 qualified to participate in the classic race. These days, there’s a “Green” version of the race as well. I guess the Mille Miglia organization needed to get the “green” light from the government to keep the classic race going.

Mille Miglia 2017 race — Image:

Mille Miglia watches by Chopard since 1988

Since 1988, Chopard has been one of the sponsors of the Mille Miglia race with its chronograph watches. The brand has been quite consistent in the design of the Mille Miglia watches, even when adding some digital counters to it in 1996 (one of the driver’s watches with digital displays is for sale here). Most of these chronographs are unmistakably Chopard Mille Miglia watches, not least of all because of the rubber straps with a Dunlop tire tread.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph two-tone flat portrait

The 2023 Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph

Chopard has introduced many variations over the years, but this year, the brand “rebooted” the collection with new 40.5mm versions using Lucent steel and, in the case of the watch I have here, ethical gold as well. In all honesty, when I was visiting Chopard during Watches and Wonders 2023, my preference went to the L.U.C 1860 model with its salmon dial. My (younger) colleagues, however, were more interested in the Mille Miglia chronographs. These are watches that I have often seen, including one encounter with a car journalist who was driving the Mille Miglia race and had a (numbered) driver’s watch from Chopard.

I like the watch, but it never really stuck with me — not enough to purchase one, at least. But the enthusiasm of colleagues like Daan and Nacho was contagious, so I requested the new Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph in gold and steel with the blue dial, reference 168619-4001.

A circular-brushed sunburst dial in Grigio-Blu

Upon arrival, I immediately had to admit that this watch paired with the original vintage-looking brown leather perforated strap looks pretty good. As I am a sucker for gold, the 18K yellow gold elements are right up my alley. Combined with the gold hands and lacquered, circular-brushed dial in (as Chopard calls it) a Grigio-Blu tone, it looks stunning. It seems the consensus among our readers is that a date window at four-thirty is a no-go, but I am not totally against it. It looks good on certain Zenith watches but also this Chopard Mille Miglia model. The date aperture doesn’t disturb the minute track, and the disc color blends well with the dial. But, of course, it would have been cleaner without a date window. And I don’t care for a date window that much anyway.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph two-tone close-up


The blue sub-dials have a snailed finish, adding depth to the dial. The gold rims around them also match nicely with the gold hands and bezel. Overall, the dial feels a bit busy, but when wearing the watch, I didn’t mind as it is very readable. The blue and white work very nicely with the gold details. The tip of the gold chronograph seconds hand is painted red, matching the Mille Miglia logo on the dial.

Chopard seems to have listened to the community (or sales figures), decreasing the case of the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph from 42mm to a very modest 40.5mm diameter. In thickness, the watch measures 12.88mm. The lug-to-lug size is 48.17mm. On my 18.5cm wrist, the watch is very comfortable, and the same went for my colleagues with smaller (17cm) wrists. I think Chopard got the size exactly right to fit most wrists properly.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph two-tone case profile

Finishing and construction compared to previous generations

Aside from the ethical gold that Chopard uses for this watch, the case also utilizes Lucent A223 steel. This type of steel is not only harder than regular steel but also has more “shine” to it due to fewer impurities. The Lucent steel is recycled steel, melted at very high temperatures with some other secret materials. According to Chopard, this alloy took four years to develop. The top of the case (below the gold bezel) and lugs have been polished, but the side of the case has this vertically brushed finish. It gave me a bit of this Ebel Sport Classic vibe, which I mean in a very positive way. Past Mille Miglia Classic models had an all-polished finish, making this new iteration look more sophisticated and refined.

Compared to previous versions of this model, more things have changed. As mentioned, it now uses Lucent steel for the case and buckle. But it also has a sapphire box crystal and 18K yellow gold chronograph pushers decorated with a knurled pattern. In addition, the finishing of the lugs has changed, which is more complex to do and enhances the look of the watch. If you look closely at previous generations of the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph, you will see a very small gap or line between the lugs and the case. Well, no more.

A chronometer-certified chronograph movement

Chopard improved the construction and level of finishing with the new Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph watch collection. I have not touched upon the movement yet, but it’s an ETA-based chronograph with chronometer certification. The base caliber is an ETA A322-11, a step from the old Mille Miglia Classic models that used a movement based on the ETA 2894-2.

The power reserve increased from 42 hours to 54 hours, and it has a finer bridge geometry and more admirable decoration, including a rotor adorned with Côtes de Genève. The decoration and finishing are exclusively done for Chopard by ETA. Despite using a good movement with a nice level of finishing, the retail price of over €11,000 will certainly have watch lovers questioning the use of an ETA-based caliber.

I see the improvements Chopard has made over the previous generations of Mille Miglia Classic Chronographs, and it’s now simply a better watch. It’s also nicer looking, in my opinion. But an in-house-developed chronograph movement would suit a watch in this price range. There are also some pros to using an ETA-based chronograph movement, though. Think about service costs, for example, or reliability. Those are not unimportant either.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph two-tone pocket shot

Impressive in the metal

This race car driver’s watch is a good-looking one. Recently, I met with someone from Chopard, and he was casually wearing this bicolor version with the Grigio-Blu dial. It was the first time I saw it outside a watch event (Watches and Wonders), which changed my perspective. It shows it is not always best to see new watches in a sterile environment like a watch exhibition with spotlights and an all-white interior. When seeing the watch on someone’s wrist, far away from Geneva spotlights and in a more relaxed environment, it came to life.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph two-tone flat

Some afterthoughts on the Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph

I truly enjoyed wearing our review watch from Chopard. I requested this bicolor model for review as the gold adds more punch to the watch. This is not a tool watch, and I think if you’re participating in the Mille Miglia in a classic race car, wearing something precious is fine. Although I love the Dunlop tire straps from Chopard, I don’t think they would look good on this specific two-tone model, so I am happy that Chopard opted for this brown leather perforated “racing” strap.

Someone looking for a good chronograph from a well-respected watch brand with unique looks and a link to (classic) car racing might have found a perfect companion in this Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph.

This Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph ref. 168619-4001 retails for €11,600 / US$10,700. As always, let us know what you think of it in the comments.

Watch specifications

Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph
Grigio-Blu with circular-brushed sunburst finish and painted Super-LumiNova numerals
Case Material
Stainless steel (Lucent A223) and 18K yellow hold
Case Dimensions
40.5mm (diameter) × 12.88mm (thickness), lug-to-lug: 48.17mm
Box-style sapphire
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire exhibition window
ETA A322-11 — self-winding chronograph, chronometer certified, 28,800vph frequency, 54-hour power reserve, 37 jewels
Water Resistance
5 ATM (50m)
Brown perforated calfskin with stainless steel pin buckle
Time (hours, minutes, small seconds), chronograph (12-hour, 30-minute, and central seconds counters), date, tachymeter
€11,600 / US$10,700