Since becoming the principal partner and official timekeeper of the Mille Miglia Storico in 1988, Swiss jeweller and watchmaker Chopard has produced a new commemorative Mille Miglia timepiece every year. This year’s watch is particularly special – in no small part thanks to the first bloke to wear one.
The Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition (ref. 168571), which is based on the Mille Miglia GTS, features a shimmering silver dial, blue highlights and in a very appropriate touch, delicately ‘aged’ lume. It’s a handsome watch that perfectly suits the race it honours.
Maybe that’s why Chopard have enlisted Jacky Ickx – six-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, eight-time Formula 1 winner and perhaps the most gentlemanly race car driver alive today – to test drive and model the high-end heritage timepiece.
Ickx is more than just some hand model, though: the now-77-year-old Belgian and Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele have contested the Mille Miglia dozens of times together, meaning Ickx has had more than a little input into the design of Chopard’s Mille Miglia watches.
Anyway, back to the watch. It’s filled with lots of fun details that make it stand out from the regular GTS, such as its red-tipped chronograph counter hands and large central sweep-seconds hand – a nod to the colour of the Mille Miglia (or perhaps the Ferraris Ickx used to race back in his F1 days?)
Our favourite feature of the watch is how the inner surface of its leather strap is patterned like the tread of a 1960s Dunlop Racing tyre. In keeping with the overall colour theme of the piece, the leather has been perforated to reveal the underlying blue and deliver a final vintage racing effect.
Available in either complete stainless steel (a limited edition of 1,000) or stainless steel with rose gold highlights (a limited edition of 250), this is one racy chrono you’ll want to get your hands on, even if you can’t make it to Italy for the race. Check them out at Chopard’s online boutique here.