On the road to the world’s most beautiful raceChopard and the Mille Miglia
Since 1988, Chopard has been serving as historical world sponsor and official timekeeper of the Mille Miglia, the car rally acknowledged as “la corsa più bella del mondo” – the world’s most beautiful race. From May 19th to 22nd 2016, this prestigious event will feature more than 400 teams competing over the one thousand-mile (around 1,600 km) distance, a legendary route between Brescia and Rome.
This competition is reserved for classic and vintage cars having taken part in one of the historical races between 1927 and 1957. Loyal to a tradition initiated in 1988, Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, being himself a driver, a passionate collector and a car enthusiast, personally participates in this annual rendezvous.
Historical collaboration fuelled by passion
In 1988, Chopard took on the twin roles of partner and official timekeeper to the famous Mille Miglia race. These now inseparable ties were born from Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s own passion for classic cars. Under his impetus, Chopard became the main sponsor of the legendary Mille Miglia and one of the first watch brands to associate its name with the automobile world. For Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, this came about very naturally: “Lovers of fine cars often have a weakness for fine timepieces and vice versa. In both cases, extreme precision and sporting elegance are especially important”. This authentic union between two fields brimming with thrills, a love of fine mechanics and a quest for performance has given rise to a much sought-after collection of sports watches: the famous Mille Miglia, of which a limited numbered series is introduced with each new edition of the race. Since his first participation in the Mille Miglia, Karl-Friedrich makes a point of personally competing in the race. He is taking part this year alongside his long-time friend Jacky Ickx in a Porsche 550 Spyder RS. Thanks to this longstanding partnership with Chopard, the famous car rally has acquired a truly international reputation.
A human and sporting adventure amid captivating scenery
Bringing more than 400 collector’s cars, this race from Brescia to Rome and back is a unique human adventure. The route of this 34th edition is divided into four stages and winds through some of the most beautiful Italian regions, from the Po Valley to the Coliseum. These four days constitute an exceptional journey, applauded by thousands of spectators lining the 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of this route. The start from Brescia will take place this year earlier than usual, on Thursday afternoon, an adjustment to the schedule particularly appreciated by the locals who are ever more enthusiastic about the idea of upholding a longstanding tradition in the field of sports competition and motorsports in particular.
Racing in style: an Italian art of living
While the route of the Mille Miglia has evolved over time, offering competitors and spectators from around the world the opportunity of discovering charming new locations with each edition, it nonetheless complies with the original figure of an eight-shaped itinerary, of which the initial distance from Brescia to Rome and back corresponded to 1,628 km. The re-edition of this now legendary competition faithfully perpetuates the spirit of the historical race, which was held 24 times between 1927 and 1957. First revived in 1977, the Mille Miglia became an annual event in 1984. A true ambassador of the Italian art of living, it expresses authentic values based on a passion for fine mechanics, for adventure and for convivial sportsmanship.
Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition: sporting icons with vintage style
This longstanding partnership has given rise to the Mille Miglia watches. Each new year sees the creation of a limited numbered series dedicated to the fabled race. They enrich the emblematic Chopard collection. With its sporty, masculine design and its high-precision movements, this iconic collection has become a grand classic on the contemporary watchmaking scene. Issued in two limited editions of 1,000 pieces in stainless steel and 100 pieces in 18-carat rose gold, the Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition throbs to the tune of a unique ‘engine’: the new Chopard calibre 03.05-C, a chronograph movement with COSC-certified precision. Surrounded with a tachymetric scale, the dial revives the aesthetic of vintage dashboards and ensures maximum readability thanks to its large numerals and luminescent hands. Water-resistant to 50 metres, its sturdy 46 mm-diameter case makes it the largest of the Mille Miglia wrist chronographs created by Chopard. Inspired by the leather tie-down straps on the bonnet of a racing car, the finely weathered strap in “Suportlo®” calfskin leather recalls the spirit of the mythical Italian race. While the Mille Miglia impresses observers with the beauty of the vehicles taking part, it is nonetheless won on very strict racing criteria based on accuracy and flawless technical mastery. In the same way, the Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition shines as much for its design as for its high-precision mechanics.