Ever since 1988, Chopard is the official partner and timekeeper of the newly-revived Mille Miglia, the historical ties between Chopard and Mille Miglia can be attributed to the personal passion for collector’s cars and the love for automobile of Chopard co-president, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele.
The love for both fine mechanics and car races slowly led to the creation of the Mille Miglia timepieces by Chopard. For each edition of this racing event, Chopard would present a dedicated limited-series watch.
Given the heritage and history Chopard shares with the race series, there would definitely be high expectations over each release of the limited series. This year, in celebration of the 2016 edition of the Mille Miglia, Chopard released the Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition. The watch is a stunning beauty, it truly embodies the spirit of the Mille Miglia that of elegance, performance and sporting prowess. This year, we see the watch being powered by a new movement, the Chopard Calibre 03.05-C as well as changes in the dial design with the inclusion of hours & minutes counters along with a seconds subdial.
Case, Dial and Hands
The Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition comes in a stainless steel case with a diameter of 46 mm, making it the largest of the Mille Miglia wrist chronographs created by Chopard. The Mille Miglia chronograph comes with two traditional pushers and a fluted crown, a striking feature of the watch that helps give it that sporty look.
The hour markers as well as both hour and minute hands are coated with Superluminova thus offering great legibility to the user in dark conditions. Also, the watch features a bright red sweep-seconds hand which helps enhance the legibility of the watch. The circular satin-brushed black dial of the watch complements these features well and offers a good colour contrast.
The outer rim of the dial is a tachymetric scale, one that is useful for the calculation of average speed which is an important aspect in endurance racing. The “Rossa Corsa” red arrow-shaped Mille Miglia logo, an iconic symbol of the race series can be spotted at both the 12 o’clock on the dial and also around the rim of the exhibition case-back.
In this edition, we also see the inclusion of three new subdials for the chronograph function; hours, minutes and seconds. At the 3 and 9 o’clock position, we have the hours and minutes counters respectively, both are snailed and velvet-finished in slate grey whereas the seconds counter is located at the 6 o’clock position and comes in snailed black. Chopard also included a date window in this edition, positioning it discreetly between 4 and 5 o’clock to sit in nicely with the three smaller dials. It adds to the complication of the dial which may not be a good thing if one does not favor an overcrowded dial.
This year’s edition of the Mille Miglia series is powered by a new movement, one that is made entirely in-house in the Chopard workshops. The Chopard Calibre 03.05-C, measuring at 28.8 mm in diameter, is a mechanical self-winding movement equipped with a column wheel. The movement has a power reserve of 60 hours and it operates at a frequency of 28,800 vph (4 Hz), powering the hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph and aperture-type date functions.
Like its predecessors, this movement is chronometer-certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) thus ensuring good accuracy which is an important factor for any race-themed watch given the demands during competitive conditions. Like its predecessor, the sapphire case-back offers little view of the movement due to the bridges covering up most of the movement but the quality of the movement and its finishing more than makes up for this issue.
If we look at the features of the Mille Miglia 2016 edition closely, this watch was specifically designed with a car racer in mind. The dial of the watch is crowded with many different features such as the tachymetric scale that allows for the calculation of speed as well as counters that adds to the functionality of the watch.
This race-themed watch will be an excellent addition for any car enthusiast and priced at S$ 14,060, this will prove to be a good buy given the high quality you get in terms of both movement and finishes as well as the chance to be a part of this rich heritage. The Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition is issued in a 1000 piece limited edition series and it comes with a strap in brown “Suportlo” calfskin which gives it a weathered look.
But a 28.8mm movement for a 46mm case. Is the case too big or should a bigger movement be used?
Chopard is one of the most underrated watch houses, but I hope this will change.