By Jovan Krstevski
The Mille Miglia Collection gets 5 new models in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the partnerships between Chopard and the Italian Mille Miglia race. The new watches all come in bold, classic, and bright colors echoing the 1930s racing colors. Here we have: Rosso Corsa (Red) for Italy, Speed Silver for Germany, British Green for the United Kingdom, Vintage Blue for France, and Speed Yellow for Belgium. Interestingly, it is the first time I have seen Chopard step outside of the standard colors seen in the collection such as red, black, and white. Personally, even if blue and yellow colors fit just right when it comes to automotive inspiration, they are a bit off for the racing DNA of the collection.
While Chopard’s Mille Miglia Collection showcases the classics, the watches are not made with excessive sentimental connotations. They may be vintage but they are practically fashionable or simply said, proper old school done right. Most brands often release kitschy watches with lots of emphasis on the brand’s tradition or heritages which are outdated and bulky. Such designs are good for collectors, but we are not all collectors and some of us prefer restraint when it comes to watches with vintage inspirations.
I also noticed that the previous additions to the collection were a bit boring with no significant changes or innovative designs. While the new models may have noticeable changes like they are still minimal such as the new British Green dial, the lack of the Tyre Tread rubber strap, and an inclusion of a color-stitched leather strap. The colors are bold with subdued highlights on the dial aiding for superior legibility perfect for a chronograph. The original Mille Miglia experience also remains intact.
What really attracts buyers is the overall design and functionality of a watch and with the Mille Miglia Racing Colours, Chopard certainly plays by the rules. Each of the colors are also limited to 300 pieces only with the price yet to be revealed. Though the non-limited version of the watches are sold for $4,800 a piece so it must be a notch above this price point considering the limited numbers.
Chopard is a Swiss luxury company focused on watches, jewellery and accessoires. Chopard was set up in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard. In 1963 Karl Scheufele obtained Chopard; Scheufele is a descendant of a dynasty of watchmakers and jewelers from Germany.After the purchase Chopard immediately gained traction among collectors, it’s presently one of the main luxury watch businesses and functions entirely independent as a family-run brand. The Chopard manufacture in Fleurier produces L.U.C movements that can be discovered in several Chopard timepieces. Impressive Chopard watches for men and Chopard women’s watches comprise the Happy Diamonds, Imperiale, Classic Racing, L.U.C., Classic. Being a luxury focused brand Chopard is equally popular because of its Chopard men’s watches and the diamond watches it produces for women.For the previous few decades, Chopard has celebrated the Chinese zodiac by releasing a special variant of this L.U.C XP Urushi watch ever year. This year, for instance, it was the L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rooster, which includes an amazing handmade Rooster on the dial. According to the Lunar calendar, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. For 2018, Chopard has decided to go 1 step further and has only released a one-piece bit called the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T: Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac.Chopard’s L.U.C set is home to the brand’s most high-end artisanal watches, and also the L.U.C Perpetual T: Spirit of the Chinese Zodiac follows in this tradition. The highlight of the watch needs to be the situation. It features a 43mm-wide 18k rose gold case that’s about 15mm thick, and the whole case is hand-engraved together with all the 12 Chinese zodiac signs using the champlevé technique. This means the case is first engraved by hand and then full of material. In the case of the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T: Nature of the Chinese Zodiac view, the instance is first engraved and then full of black patina to create images from the Chinese Zodiac.
Finally, here is a quick rundown of the new models. The 42 mm case is made of high-quality stainless steel replete with sapphire in front and at the back. The rounded bezel and chamfered lugs are impressive. The crown sits comfortably between the 2 pushers on the right side of the case. The dial is vintage featuring the 5 bold colors mentioned above. Of these, I really like the striking red. The hands and Arabic numerals look great, along with the sub-registers and tachymeter ring, completing a superior legibility.
As of this writing, the movement is not yet specified but based on the previous releases, it might be the ETA 2894–2 with additional Chopard decorations. The watches gets 42 hours of power reserve and they wear on calfskin with the brand’s signature Tyre Tread rubber lining. Price is undisclosed but I believe it would be around $5,000. For more info, visit Chopard online.