A co-president of Chopard, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s passion for mechanical watches is only matched by his passion for collecting and racing vintage automobiles. What better setting could there be to indulge his two passions than Italy’s famous 1000 Miglia car race? Since 1988 Chopard has been the official timekeeper and partner of the classic 1000 Miglia car race and releases new models to celebrate its partnership every year. For the 2021 edition of the 1000 Miglia, which will take place from 16 – 19 June, Scheufele will be behind the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR accompanied by racing legend and close friend Jacky Ickx. To mark the brand’s 34th consecutive year of commitment, Chopard releases two versions of the chronometer-certified Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition chronograph: a limited edition of 1,000 pieces in stainless steel and 250 pieces in two-tone steel and ethical pink gold.
Italy’s 1000 Miglia race is a dream come true for lovers of classic cars. Originally a 1,000 mile (1,618km) race against the clock from Brescia to Rome and back, racing legends Tazio Nuvolari and Sir Stirling Moss form part of the 1000 Miglia’s folklore. In 1955, Moss and his navigator Denis Jenkinson set the all-time record that remains unbeaten to this day. After 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds, Moss crossed the finishing line in his Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR a full 30 minutes ahead of the more experienced F1 racer Juan Manuel Fangio. Interrupted in 1957 after a tragic crash, the 1000 Miglia was revived in 1977 as a time and reliability trial. The 375 cars approved for the 2021 race comply with the rules that only allow the “main cars of the 24 speed editions of the 1000 Miglia which took place from 1927 to 1957” to compete.
A spectacular showcase for some of the finest, rarest and most valuable historic cars, Scheufele first competed in the 1000 Miglia in 1989 in his red Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Gullwing with Icks as his co-pilot. Having participated in the 1000 Miglia on more than 15 occasions, history repeats itself this year as Scheufele and Icks join forces and lead a team of five Chopard cars – including a 1954 Ermini Sport 1100 and Fiat 1100 Zagato Coupe – driven by guest crews of the stature of French endurance champion Romain Dumas.
This year, there are novelties concerning the race: for the first time since its revival in 1977, the 1000 Miglia will follow a counter-clockwise route and include mountain passes. Starting on Brescia’s Viale Venezia on 16 June at 1:30, the oldest car will leave the start ramp, followed by the others staged at one-minute intervals in order of age. From Brescia, the cars will head to the Tyrrhenian coast via the Passo della Cisa (a mountain pass) and stop in Viareggio, departing the next day to cover the 350km to Rome. The third leg promises to be the most challenging and will cover a 400km-stint from Rome to Bologna, including two mountain passes –Passo della Futa and Passo della Raticosa. Finally, the last leg held on Saturday 19 June will see the drivers depart from Bologna to reach the finishing line in Brescia.
Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition
Like the beautiful historic cars in the race, the contours of the Chopard Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition bring the spirit of the classic car rally to the wrist. To set the racing tone, the large 44mm case with a height of 13.79mm is equipped with a tachymetre bezel and piston-style chronograph pushers. In stainless steel or 18k ethical rose gold, the bezel has a polished black ceramic insert and a white lacquered tachymetre scale. Depending on the model, the pushers and crown are steel or rose gold and polished to contrast with the sporty satin-brushed finishing on the case. With a screw-lock crown and screw-down caseback, the chronograph is water-resistant to 100 metres. In addition, details like the tread embossed on the heads of the chronograph pushers and the steering wheel on the crown will delight petrol heads.
Grey dial with touches of red
The dial of both editions is an elegant grey colour obtained by galvanic treatment on a brass base with a mesmerising circular satin-brushed decoration that emanates from the small seconds counter. Red is used to indicate the central chronograph seconds hand and the hands of the 30-minute and 12-hour sub-dials at 12 and 6 o’clock, respectively. Aligned vertically, the two silver chronograph counters pop out from the dial and the grey snailed interior of the small seconds counter at 9 o’clock. The snailing in the small seconds sub-dial is, in fact, the epicentre of the circular satin-brushed finishing that enlivens the grey dial. The red arrow 1000 Miglia logo points to the date window at 3 o’clock, covered with a practical magnifying glass. The large applied indices – with silver or gilded frames – and the hour and minute hands are treated with Super-LumiNova. Finally, a silver or flange with black markings for the minutes/seconds frames the dial.
Automatic chronometer-certified movement
Beneath the caseback with its inscription Brescia-Rome-Brescia and chequered flag with the 1000 Miglia arrow logo is an automatic chronograph movement with Valjoux 7750 architecture. Beating at 28,800vph, the 240-part movement offers a power reserve of 48hours and is chronometer-certified by COSC.
Availability & price
The Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition in stainless steel comes with a perforated black calfskin strap with red stitching and a black rubber lining with 1960s Dunlop racing tyre treads. The two-tone steel and rose gold is similar but does not have the red stitching; both are fastened to the wrist with a satin-brushed and polished steel folding clasp. The stainless steel model, Ref. 168571-3009, is limited to 1,000 pieces and retails for EUR 7,570. The two-tone steel and rose gold, limited to 250 pieces, retails for EUR 10,900.
For more information, please visit www.chopard.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.