As the official partner of the famous Italian Mille Miglia Endurance race for over three decades now, Chopard celebrates its long-standing alliance with two limited-edition Mille Miglia models. Earlier this year, we reviewed the Mille Miglia Race Edition Chronograph dedicated to the historic rally from Brescia to Rome and back. Now it’s time to take a closer look at the limited-edition Mille Miglia GTS Power Control model in a two-tone combination of stainless steel and rose gold. A more simple three-hander with date and power reserve gauge, the in-house, chronometer-certified automatic movement offers drivers 60 hours of autonomy.
GTS Power Control
Many of you will recognise this watch as the continuation of the first GTS Power Control model introduced at Baselworld 2015, and the more recent GTS Power Control Grigio Speciale of 2018. The distinguishing features of the first models were their black dials with rosso corsa or racing red accents, oversized numerals at 12 and 6, dashboard instrument-inspired elements on the dial and, most importantly, the incorporation of in-house chronometer-certified movements made in Chopard’s Fleurier Ebauches workshops.
Although the specs are identical to the previous Mille Miglia GTS Power Control models, the 2019 watches – available in two-tone steel and rose gold (reviewed here) and in steel – abandon the more modern all-black or all-grey styling of earlier versions. If you have ever seen any pictures of the participating cars, which have to be models that took part in the 1000 Miglia between 1927 and 1957, you will agree that the darker models are more in tune with the world of F1 than with this classic endurance race. Accordingly, the dark dials and rubber tyre-tread straps have been exchanged for lighter coloured dials and perforated leather straps more in tune with the tones and mood of the historic racing cars.
Like Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-president of Chopard and a long-time participant in the race in his 1957 Porsche, this is a gentlemen’s rally and a watch designed to represent the event should incarnate this spirit. This two-tone steel and 18k rose gold works pulls it off very nicely. Measuring 43mm in diameter with a thickness of 11.43mm and water-resistance to 100m, it is most definitely a sports watch but tempered with a dapper touch.
The rose gold bezel is made – as you would expect from a brand that flaunts sustainability – from ethical gold and contains a matte dark grey aluminium inlay with a graduated 60-minute/seconds scale. A nice touch is the way the slightly gritty surface of the black aluminium recalls the texture of asphalt. When viewed laterally, the case reveals its robustness but the short curved lugs let it sit comfortably on most wrist sizes. The steel surfaces feature a mix of brushed and polished finishes and the golden crown is engraved with a steering wheel.
A galvanic treatment has been used to create the ruthenium grey dial. If you look at it under a loupe, the circular brushed finish recalls the surface of a disc brake. Naturally, the hallmark oversized 12 and 6 o’clock Arabic numerals are very present and meant to evoke the large numbers you would find on the dashboard of a classic car. The numerals, the applied and faceted hour markers and hands are all filled with Super-LumiNova ensuring excellent legibility in the dark. A gilded edge, matching the rose gold bezel, is used to outline all the hour markers and even the hands. The red-tipped seconds hand follows suit and is also gilded.
Another overt reference to classic cars is the fuel gauge-cum-power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock with the Empty zone highlighted in red. Opposite the power reserve is the date window framed by a miniature version of the 1000 Miglia direction arrows, with its red background and white inscriptions, that mark the route and are the logo of the event.
The caseback is screwed-down with 8 screws and engraved with the limited edition number xxx/500 and the inscription Brescia-Roma-Brescia. A sapphire crystal exposes the COSC chronometer-certified automatic movement. With a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, the movement will keep the hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve and date functions going for a robust 60 hours. The industrial finishing on the movement is quite pleasant with a simple pattern on the bridges along with polished bevelled angles and a decorated rotor. Nothing remotely close to the finishes you would find on a L.U.C., but certainly in keeping with the simpler engines of the classic cars participating in the rally.
This Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Power Control in steel and rose gold comes with a perforated calf leather strap, reminiscent of the holes you’d find on driving gloves and a black rubber lining inspired by the tread of 1960s Dunlop racing tyres.
For fans of the Mille Miglia rally, this simple three-hander packs a lot of style. The mix of rose gold, black aluminium and stainless steel results in an eye-catching package. This is not an inconspicuous watch but neither is it a gaudy show-off watch.
Although most of us associate chronographs with car races, Chopard has incorporated elements, like the dashboard-inspired fuel gauge, the steering wheel on the crown and the red 1000 Miglia arrow framing the date window, to cement the bond of the brand with the famous Italian rally.
Availability and Price
The watch is a limited edition of 500 pieces and is now available at retailers and Chopard boutiques worldwide. It retails for CHF 9,400. More information at chopard.com.