Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Zagato 100th Anniversary Edition

Press Release

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Zagato 100th Anniversary Edition

Chopard and Zagato first crossed paths during Mille Miglia rallies and there was bound to be a perfect understanding between the watchmaker and the Italian car design signature. A love of fine mechanics, a passion for design, respect for tradition, and an attraction to racing and performance are all common denominators now resulting in Chopard's tribute to the 100th anniversary of its racing partner and friend.

A mechanical tribute, naturally, with the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Zagato 100th Anniversary Edition watch, crafted by Chopard in a 100-piece limited edition. Combining a dial enhanced with Zagato’s emblematic Z pattern and red-lacquered colour, a beautifully curved 42mm steel case and a leather bund strap evoking the car designer's upholstery, this new timepiece bears a striking resemblance to its racing-car inspiration. An aesthetically and technically sophisticated watch beating to the rhythm of a mechanical movement with automatic winding certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).

The Mille Miglia, la corsa più bella del mondo! An encounter occurring at a rally billed as the world’s most beautiful race is bound to be exceptional and that is exactly what happened between the two protagonists in this ongoing story. On the one hand, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, representing the fourth generation of a dynasty of watchmakers and jewellers, co-president of Chopard founded in 1860, partner for 31 years of the famous Mille Miglia race from Brescia to Rome and back, a keen fan of classic cars and a driver when the chance arises. On the other, Andrea Zagato, grandson of the founder of the family company dating back to 1919, currently the last independent Italian car designer, and initiator of the Total Design Studio concept for brands such as Porsche, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo and Bentley.

The healthy rivalry between the two men hurtling along Italian country roads at the wheel of their respective cars quickly turned into a sincere friendship, obviously sustained by a common passion for mechanical excellence and aesthetic genius in showcasing it. Chopard thus became the official sponsor of the Scuderia Sports Zagato, while Zagato inspired Chopard to produce limited editions of its Mille Miglia watch collections. The spirit of the race – which sees gentlemen drivers vying with each other during the day, yet all too happy to share their experiences once they cross the finish line – had worked its magic and, especially since the resulting rapprochement between the two Maisons, it appears almost self-evident. While the similarities between watches and cars are readily highlighted, they only take on their full meaning when both are capable of arousing emotions. This implies attention to detail, mechanical cleverness, elegant aesthetics and naturally ensuing harmony. A universe familiar to both Chopard and Zagato, united in this quest for perfect design.

A technically sophisticated timepiece

Needless to say, Chopard could not let this year 2019 pass without taking up the challenge of honouring Zagato's 100th anniversary with a timepiece destined to be memorable in every way. The main options quickly emerged. This 100th Anniversary Edition would obviously be a Mille Miglia watch, belonging to the Classic Chronograph collection initiated in 2017 and bearing the codes of a racing model, in the spirit of this classic car rally cherished by both Maisons. This 42 mm steel-clad piece exudes a deliberately vintage spirit, with curves inspired by irresistible oldtimers. The mechanics are impeccable, with reliability and precision guaranteed by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).

Based on this chronograph calibre built for performance, Chopard and Zagato designed a sleek watch ideally suited to endurance road racing enthusiasts. Particular attention was paid to the details composing the style of the piece, starting with a dial with a motif resembling the Z for Zagato in a magnificent lacquered red, a favourite hue of both the Milan-based designer and the Mille Miglia. As a reminder of the authorship of this watch, logos of the two Maisons appear at 12 o’clock, surrounded by baton-type hour-markers painted with Super-LumiNova® -– as are the hands – so as to ensure perfect readability in all circumstances. The sporty nature of the chronograph is further enhanced by the black aluminium inner bezel bearing a graduated tachymeter scale. The result is a must-have accessory serving to calculate the average speed during the race and one that Zagato has put to good use in the past, winning the historic Mille Miglia race a record eight times in 24 participations!

As a reference to the straps used to lash down oldtimer car trunks, a bund strap with tone-on-tone stitching – like the Zagato upholstery – has been chosen for this watch worthily representing the heyday of the early automobile industry. At the time, some drivers preferred this type of strap enabling them to wear their timepiece securely wrapped around the sleeve of their rally jacket. In the evening, the bund strap gives way to an elegant black calfskin version that enhances this watch sported by the perfect gentleman driver, still under the spell of the gently undulating landscapes evoking the famous Italian dolce vita. All it takes to prolong the magic is a simple glance at his Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Zagato.