The glitz and glamour of the racing world have been the calling card of a number of brands in the watch industry. The obvious correlation between the two worlds – both require speed, technology and energy – helps to build synergistic partnerships. For Chopard’s longstanding partnership with the Mille Miglia race, time isn’t as frenetic as the Formula One championships but rather settles comfortably into the driver’s seat and relaxes a little.
The original Mille Miglia was an Italian open road endurance race that ran 24 times between 1927 and 1957. The race was banned after a number of fatal accidents but revived 20 years later with a few tweaks. The new Mille Miglia has become more of a road rally event as well as a showcase for classic cars. Participation is exclusive to automobiles produced no later than 1957 and that had attended or registered for the original race. The ‘thousand-mile’ route that the drivers navigate is similar to the former Mille Miglia, maintaining the point of departure and arrival in Viale Venezia in Brescia, Italy.
With a race that transcends time as such, the choice of timekeeping becomes an interesting point to plot. Swiss watchmaker Chopard took up sponsorship and timekeeping of the Mille Miglia race in 1988 and has since created a collection of luxury sports watches that have become the brand’s sporting emblem.
The Chopard Mille Miglia collection has always been inspired by the cars eligible for the race. This year, Chopard took this inspiration to another level with a more updated modern range, called the Mille Miglia GTS, short for Grand Turismo Sport. While the range may be more contemporary, Chopard’s insistence on keeping certain traditions in line with the event is apparent, with the collection maintaing the emblematic red, white and black colours that the Mille Miglia has come to be recognised for.
The new Mille Miglia GTS collection will see a family of functions served to fans with several offerings such as the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Automatic (a three-hand timepiece), the GTS Power Control (one with a power reserve indicator) and the GTS Chronograph. It will also be the first time that Chopard’s Mille Miglia range will feature the new fully developed in-house Chopard movements from the Fleurier Ebauches workshops.
These calibres are highlighted in the Power Control and Automatic models and both boast a 60-hour power reserve and certification from Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC). Chopard’s move to fully integrate its movements has been a gradual process, but one can expect the brand to increasingly phase out third-party movement vendors from its future collections.