Looking for a good weekend movie? We recommend Steve McQueen in the racing classic, “Le Mans.” Why? Not only for the stupendous lack of dialogue supplemented by engine roar, but also for the on-screen rivalry between McQueen’s Porsche team and Ferrari. The real actors are a Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512. Porsche prototypes left the race in 1998, leaving a legacy of domination, and until this year, could only be seen at Le Mans in this movie.
For the 2014, 24 hours of Le Mans race, the Porsche team reasserted themselves with the Porsche prototype 919 hybrid. Chopard commemorates Porsche’s return to the race with its Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Limited Edition. We previously introduced the entire Superfast collection, and the Porsche 919 Limited Edition with its incorporation of Porsche design elements celebrates motorsport in the spirit of Le Mans. Porsche is back, and Chopard’s prescient Superfast Porsche 919 may be an omen of things to come. The watch is a statement of competitive engineering – perfect Porsche.
Those familiar with the Superfast collection will immediately spot the similarities: eight PVD blackened screws on the bezel and case back reminiscent of a wheel’s lug nuts, racing slick smooth rubber strap with polished steel folding clasp, large Arabic 12, no-slip rubber coated pushers and a screw-down steering wheel crown. Chopard, official timing partner of Porsche Motorsport (proudly displayed on the back crystal), adds the Porsche 919 Hybrid touch with dial stripes that call to mind the car’s rear diffuser, and “919” appears on the left sub-dial inside a red rectangle just like the number on the cars.
Racing red is also the color for the arrow-tipped seconds hand, hour and minute counter hands, the inner chapter ring, and much of the lettering on the movement’s skeletonized rotor and grill-like bridges. The opaline sliver-toned dial matches the race car’s white color. The overall color aesthetic and design identifies this Superfast Chronograph as Porsche 919. The watch is appropriately limited to 919 pieces.
The 45mm stainless steel case has a familiar external tachymeter bezel and small date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. The front and back crystals have anti-reflective coating, and the watch has 100 meters of water resistance.
The Chopard 03.05-M movement calibre is chronometer COSC certified, which provides a rigueur of spot-on accuracy for lap times with the flyback functionality adding instantaneous responsiveness. Previously, only the Superfast Automatic Caliber 01.01-M had chronometer certification. This 4 Hz, column wheel equipped, 45 jeweled movement offers 60 hours of power reserve. Chopard’s movement company, Fleurier Ebauches, manufactures this in-house movement.
Porsche in the 2014 Le Mans Race
Porsche’s competition in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 24 hours of Le Mans, had them finish just outside the top ten at position 11, missing the story book ending by only 3.5 hours, but for a debut return, they provided some moments of excitement and wistful glimpses at what might have been. With less than four hours to go and both Audis in the pits, the #20 Porsche took the lead and signaled a potential win. Mechanical issues benched the #20 car and plagued the #14 car, but lasting images of greatness remain. Chopard and Porsche’s partnership is the beginning of what may once again be fabled finishes.
On the US website, you can buy it online: www.chopard.com