Anyone who has hit the RPM limiter while pressed back into a bucket seat, anyone who has done the pedal dance of heel and toe, anyone who snapped the rear end, Z rated tires screaming and the muffler thundering, anyone who has done these things knows what it means to go fast.
Chopard knows what it means to go Superfast. As ubiquitous as racing legends Prost, Senna, or Schumacher are to the sport of Formula One, Chopard aspires to be to auto racing in general and takes top spot on the podium, champagne spewing in victory as they introduce a new Classic Racing line with three models, the Superfast Auto, Chrono and Power Control. Sleek, sophisticated and sporty, the Superfast line recalls motorsports at every turn (see our weekly watch photo). Made to dominate Spa-Francorchamps’ Eau Rouge turn in the rain or attend such daydreams, the Superfast watches unite the thrill of racing with the art of horology.
In the 1966 movie, Grand Prix, James Garner plays Formula One driver Pete Aron who has the following conversation with his team owner, Izo Yamura:
Izo Yamura: Why do you drive racing cars, or do you not think about it?
Pete Aron: Oh, Mr. Yamura, I don’t think there’s one of us who doesn’t ask himself at least once in the middle of a race, “What the hell am I doing here?” Of course, when it’s over, we conveniently forget that we asked ourselves that question. I think about it and a lot of reasons I don’t know. Maybe to do something that brings you so close to the possibility of death and to survive it is to feel life and living so much more intensely.
Chopard embodies the spirit of living on the limit by capturing the sensation of speed. Long a supporter of classic car races, the Mille Miglia race, which is the eponym for the other line in their Classic Racing collection, and the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, Chopard understands how winning can come down to a matter of seconds.
In the Constructor’s Championship, Chopard’s time in the wind tunnel has produced, if not exactly an aerodynamic design, then one that is fast. The eight Allen screws on the bezel recall the lugs adorning wheel rims, reminding us of quick tire changes in the pits. Anthracite vertical lines run down the black dial like an engine’s cooling fins, and the cooling motif continues on the case’s side and on the back with the parallel lines covering the open worked movement. The rubber strap with steel folding clasp has the smooth tread of racing tires or so-called “slicks.” The pushers are coated in rubber for a no-slip grip, and the steering wheel logo sits atop the rubber-molded steel or gold crown.
Each dial echoes the racing theme. In fuel gauge fashion, the Superfast Power Control displays the generous 60 hour power reserve at 9 o’clock. The Superfast Automatic, the more diminutive of the bunch at 41mm compared to its teammates’ 45mm cases, shares with the other models a chapter ring with numerals.
All three versions feature a date window: the Automatic at 6 o’clock, the Power Control at 3 o’clock, and the Chrono between 4 and 5 o’clock. A large Arabic 12 caps each dial, and Superluminova covers the rhodium hands and hour batons. The Superfast Chrono adds three sub-dials: minute counter at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 6 o’clock and hour counter at 9 o’clock.
Look under the hood through the case back, and for the first time, we find Chopard’s in-house, self-winding movements come standard in the new Superfast collection. Designed, developed, manufactured and assembled at the Fleurier Ebauches workshops, these movements bring the company one step closer to manufacturing autonomy. In July 2008, Chopard founded this movement company, which produced 5,000 movements in 2012 and hopes to produce as many as 15,000 by 2015. The Superfast line has them heading in the right direction.
The aforementioned open worked bridges allow you to view the intricacies of the movements. The Automatic’s Caliber 01.01-M is chronometer COSC certified, and all the watches have an extended 60-hour power reserve. The Superfast Chrono’s Caliber 03.05-M (on the left), equipped with a column wheel visible through a small window, powers the sweep seconds hand to match the tachymeter scale engraved on the bezel and provides a flyback function. Finally, the Superfast Power Control’s Caliber 01.02-M measures how much gas is left in the tank.
Wanna go fast? Really fast? Superfast? One of these watches will get you to the checkered flag.
These three models of the new Chopard Superfast collection are available in stainless steel and 18-carat rose gold. Visit the Chopard website for more information and availability.