‘The most beautiful race in the world’ is inextricably linked with France, not least because it was the success of the Le Mans 24 Hours–first held in 1923–that helped to inspire four automobile enthusiasts from Brescia to establish the 1000 Miglia.

During the 30-year life span of the original 1000 Miglia, French-built cars took part in more editions and won more classes than those from any other country outside Italy. It’s a record to be proud of – and one that is well deserving of being commemorated in the very special Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph French Limited Edition.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph French Edition 168619 3007 001
Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph French Edition

True to the aesthetics of the historic cars registered for the 1000 Miglia, the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Edition France timepiece has a case measuring 40.5 mm in diameter, an optimally ergonomic size when driving, while also remaining as attractive with evening wear as when worn over a racing suit.

Made from Lucent Steel, the case features all the characteristics associated with Chopard’s exclusive alloy that took a full four years to develop. Named after its luminous, gently reflective appearance that gives it an almost incandescent shimmer, Lucent Steel is not only of surgical quality but is 50 % harder than conventional steel – making it uniquely capable of handling the knocks, bumps and scrapes of competitive driving. 

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph French Limited Edition 168619 3007 Retromobile Paris 2
Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph French Limited Edition

Responsibly produced with 80% recycled content, Lucent Steel is REACH-certified, as well as being naturally anti-allergenic, ensuring it is highly dermo-compatible and pleasant to wear. The bezels, crowns and pushers are made in this same material with contrasting polished and satin-brushed finishes. 

Moreover, the pushers are knurled to create a motif recalling brake pedals, while the crown features more notches to enhance the grip. On either end of the case, the lugs are welded – a token of fine craftsmanship sure to be appreciated by devotees of meticulous watchmaking. Finally, the pin buckle picks up the play on polished/satin-brushed finishes featured on the case.

The midnight blue, white and red transfers on the circular satin-finished silver-toned dial serve twin aesthetic and technical purposes: as well as proudly symbolising the three national colours, they ensure that the indications are perfectly legible. 

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph French Limited Edition 168619 3007 Retromobile Paris 5
Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph French Limited Edition

The white minutes track and tachymeter scale remain prominent within this meticulous layout, while the hour-markers as well as the hours and minutes hands are coated with Grade X1 Super-LumiNova® to ensure the high degree of legibility required for night-time driving.

A true exercise in ‘practical beauty’, the dial is protected by a deep, glass-box sapphire crystal secured by a slim bezel. Watch glasses of this type procure an obvious aesthetic advantage by giving the dial a sense of perspective. They serve to maximise the depth of the dial opening, as light pours in from above as well as from the sides, creating exquisite shimmering effects.

The sapphire crystal case-back is adorned with crossed flags: one a black and white checkered chequered racing and the other in the French national colours. It affords a view of the self-winding chronograph movement certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute and endowed with a 54-hour power reserve.

This model is clearly intended for drivers seeking to surpass themselves – much in the spirit of the Maison’s legendary ambassador and long standing friend, six-time Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx. Discover the Chopard timepiece collections online or locate The Time Place boutique near you for a visit.