Why do people love vintage cars so much? Well, it’s because modern cars often lack those little flourishes of style; of personality that older cars do. For better or for worse, they’re not as idiosyncratic. It’s also why people love mechanical watches: sure, a quartz or smart watch might tell more accurate time, but they lack the personality of a classic, traditional watch.
Chopard understands this thoroughly, which is perhaps why they’ve supported the Mille Miglia Storico, the world’s most prestigious classic car endurance race, since 1988. Every year since, they’ve also produced a new Mille Miglia timepiece: a collection of vintage-styled chronographs that bring together the glamorous aesthetics of vintage cars and motorsports with the latest advances in mechanical horology.
It’s truly been a winning collaboration. But in 2021, Chopard has expanded the collaboration even further, bringing another player into the fold and taking the Chopard Mille Miglia watch’s story to exciting new places. Chopard has teamed up with Bamford Watch Department – perhaps the world’s most famous and esteemed high-end watch customisation firm – on a limited edition Mille Miglia watch that takes the classic chronograph and adds some subtle stylish flourishes that mark it out to be a very special thing indeed… Just like a good vintage car.
When it comes to customising watches, less is usually more, and that’s the approach Bamford has taken with this Mille Miglia. Superficially, it’s quite similar to last year’s Mille Miglia Race Edition – but there’s some key changes that watch fans will surely appreciate.
Firstly, Bamford have simplified the dial, removing the standard red Mille Miglia logo and blacking out the seconds/minutes track that runs interior of the internal tachymetre chapter ring. So far, so subtle.
What’s perhaps more noticeable is how the watch’s sleek grey dial is punctuated by pops of orange from the seconds hand, subdials, chapter ring and inside of the Cordura-effect nylon strap – a rather inspired touch. These days, we’re used to seeing sports cars in orange, but back in the day of the original Mille Miglia, they would have been exceedingly uncommon. The strap choice, too, is a pleasing anachronism. This use of a highly modern colour palette and strap on a rather old-fashioned (we mean that in a good way) sort of chronograph is a masterstroke, and really makes the Mille Miglia Bamford Edition stand out amongst its peers.
It’s not all show and no go, either. A hardy bead-blasted 42mm DLC stainless steel case houses a COSC-certified, 37 jewel, 42-hour power reserve manufacture movement, visible behind a sapphire crystal caseback and featuring 50m of water resistance. The hour and minute hands as well as the hour markers are filled with sporty green Super-LumiNova, making it easy to read even during a nighttime spin. In short, it’s the perfect gentleman driver’s watch.
A limited edition of only 33, the Chopard Mille Miglia Bamford Edition retails for CHF 7,970 (~AU$11,700) and is available from Chopard’s online boutique here.