Chopard has been involved in the Mille Miglia classic car race for many years and have produced watches inspired by this historic race in the past. This year is no different, with the release of two Mille Miglia watches for 2022.
Chopard: The new watches
Chopard has released two new watches for Mille Miglia 2022. I immediately took to both pieces – one in stainless steel and the other two-toned in stainless steel and rose gold.
I had to wonder that since I have reviewed Chopard’s Mille Miglia releases before some of the design elements have had time to make an impression on me.
I think this is the power of what Hans Wildorf of Rolex fame called “evolution over revolution” – and here Chopard has done just that. All the hallmarks of the Mille Miglia watches from the past are there but refreshed and refined in a way that more clearly demonstrates the watches’ purpose and design intention.
Chopard Mille Miglia timepieces: More prominence on the dial
The 2022 releases are really the same watch, with one in steel and the other a two-tone rose gold version adding a rose gold bezel, crown and pushers. The sparing use of rose-gold lends a vintage touch to the piece and has a similar feel to the fully stainless steel model.
I think this is the power of what Hans Wildorf of Rolex fame called “evolution over revolution” – and here Chopard has done just that.
I think the silver dial helps to make them feel similar as well, reducing the impact of the rose-gold. That ensures that it appears tasteful instead of indulgent. I could go either way and would have a hard time choosing which one to buy. As with most things, it will come down to personal preference.
Black text against a silver dial
The chronograph layout has remained the same, as in previous models. It features a slightly smaller running seconds subdial at 9 o’clock and larger chronograph accumulated minutes and hours at 12 and 6 o’clock respectively. I like how this gives the chronograph functions a little more prominence on the dial.
The black text against the silver dial makes everything very legible. The slim chapter ring with minutes printed at 5-minute intervals is also an element from previous releases, as are the dial indices. It all adds up to make the dial seem familiar and purposeful.
Large chronograph pushers remain
The iconic Mille Miglia red arrow has been reduced in size, pointing to the date window instead of encapsulating it. I think this is an improvement over the previous design.
Also, although divisive, but an improvement as far as I’m concerned, is the addition of a cyclops magnifier for the date. The magnifier is round, large enough to do the job but on the small side and very flat to reduce the overall design impact of its presence, an evolution that I appreciate.
The thin bezel with the tachymeter scale is legible with white numerals on a blue background. Its thin proportions give it a modern feel, and makes the dial appear all the more spacious.
The large chronograph pushers remain and are easy to use and features a crown adorned with a three-spoke steering wheel. The calf leather strap is a perforated rally style which is perfect for a chronograph honouring a historic race. They have kept the tire tread strap pattern for the rubberized underside of the strap which is a nice touch.
The folding clasp on the strap was one of the big surprises for me. It is exceptionally well done with circular pushers on either side of the buckle to release the folding clasp.
Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition, 44 mm, automatic, ethical rose gold, stainless steel, ref. number: 168571-6004, limited to 250 pieces
Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition, 44mm, automatic, stainless steel, ref. number: 168571-3010, limited to 1000 pieces
My attitude around watch size has softened in the past year or so. In the past I have been critical of 44mm diameter watches, including Chopard’s Mille Miglia releases.
I now am a little more concerned with how it feels on the wrist. I happen to like that I can clearly read the chronograph on this watch. I like the case with vertical grain on the sides, and the silver dial that feels like a perfect complement to that case. Also, I like the clasp with the great release pushers and all the things that they have kept from previous releases that were obviously working.
It all makes the 44mm case diameter make sense to me. It has purpose. Evolution over revolution – the 2022 Chopard Mille Miglia releases have done just that.
Driver Jacky Ickx wearing the Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition
The Mille Miglia was a rally race from Bescia to Rome and back covering 1000 miles over 4 days which ran from 1927 to 1957. 2020 marked the 40th re-enactment of the race with entrants driving a car model that actually ran (or was entered and registered to race) in the original race series to qualify. Coined as “the most beautiful race in the world” the Mille Miglia was held in 2022 from June 15 to 18 with a little over 400 cars participating. Mille Miglia is scheduled in 2023 to run from June 13 to 17.
Involved in the Mille Miglia classic car rally since 1988, Chopard is the World Sponsor and Official Timekeeper of the event. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard, is a vintage car collector and has previously participated in the race himself.
Knar Jewellery distributes Chopard watches in Canada. Colin Potts is founder of Watch off the Cuff, a watch repair service based in Milton, Ontario, and a member of the Horology Society of New York in support of advancing the art and science of horology. Images: Chopard, Colin Potts.
Click on image to enlarge and view gallery