The sporty and sophisticated new Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Stripes Edition model is presented this year during Rennsport Reunion VI. Limited and numbered edition of 50 pieces, this special model is a tribute to the strong history of American racing cars and features the famous racing stripes on the dial and on the caseback. This model with a delightful retro touch hums to the beat of a COSC-certified high-precision ‘engine’. A true watchmaking icon that boldly demonstrates the classic racing spirit cherished by Chopard.
Held at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Rennsport is the world’s largest gathering of Porsche racing cars, to which drivers of the legendary German brand return for an amazing aficionados reunion. A keen devotee and collector of racing cars in general and Porsche in particular, Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele drives the Mille Miglia race every year at the wheel of a Porsche 550A Spyder RS. It was therefore quite natural for Chopard to associate the Maison with this extraordinary gathering of iconic vehicles, attended by those who have designed, engineered, and driven them to victory in the world’s most famous sports car races.
A watch symbolising passion and strong racing history
To encapsulate this collaboration and celebrate a major connoisseurs’ event, Chopard has designed a limited edition of its flagship Mille Miglia collection, the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Stripes Edition, featuring blue racing stripes on the dial evoking those applied in 1951 to the Cunningham team race cars.
In the 1950s, FIA rules stipulated that race teams should use colours which represented their countries: American entries were painted white and if frame rails were exposed, they were painted blue. In some classes, and Formula 1 especially, cars tended to all look alike – especially at speed – and the different colors, keyed to each entrant’s country, thus helped race fans tell them apart. Millionaire American sportsman and owner of a small auto manufacturing business, Briggs Cunningham dreamed of winning the most prestigious sports car race in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1951, he entered a pair of sports cars of his own design and manufacture, appropriately called Cunninghams, and painted white according to FIA regulations, but with the distinctive American blue stripes running up the hood, over the top and extending down the rear deck. Although Briggs Cunningham never did win Le Mans, his cars became instantly recognizable and the twin stripes were referred to as “Cunningham stripes.”
An icon of the Mille Miglia collection
This chronograph is inspired by cars having taken part in the Mille Miglia between 1927 and 1940. Enhanced by two traditional pushers and a fluted crown echoing those of vintage chronographs, the steel case of the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Stripes edition features pleasingly balanced dimensions. The dial ensures perfect readability thanks to wide Arabic numerals that are luminescent in the dark, as are the hands. The slim cursive fonts and the counters are inspired by 1920s car dashboards and stand out clearly by contrast with their background. The sweep-seconds hand features a bright red tip to tick off the precious seconds of the race. The arrow-shaped “Rossa Corsa” red Mille Miglia logo appears at the heart of the dial at 12 o’clock, as well as around the rim of the exhibition case-back. Embodying an ideal blend of precision, comfort and elegance, these watches are authentic auxiliaries for drivers driving at top speeds.
These timekeepers are teamed with a black calfskin leather strap with blue stitching and with rubber lining inspired by the 1960s Dunlop Racing tyre-tread profile.
The precision of a certified mechanism
As befits models epitomising performance and sporty prowess, the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Stripes Edition model is equipped with a high-precision horological ‘engine’, chronometer-certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). Beating at the frequency of 28,800 vibrations/hour and visible through the sapphire crystal case-back, this mechanical movement with automatic winding drives the hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph and date functions, while delivering a 42-hour power reserve.
Chopard and Classic Racing, a pair bound by mechanical passion
For almost 30 years, the heart of Chopard and that of Racing have been beating as one. Chopard shares a love of beautiful engineering and performance, born of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s personal passion for classic cars. Sealed in 1988 when Chopard became partner and official timekeeper of the fabled Mille Miglia, this now inseparable bond inspired the creation of an eponymous watch collection launched that same year. Each spring, the prestigious endurance rally sees more than 400 historical cars competing along an enchanting route running from Brescia to Rome and back. This legendary event has given rise to iconic models epitomising the Chopard approach to watchmaking.
The new Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Stripes Edition watch symbolises their owners’ authentic passion for racing and for classic cars: a passion now conveyed by Chopard through an strong historical interpretation.