Introducing the Chopard Mille Miglia Bamford EditionBy Ross Povey
There is something undeniably ‘racy’ about grey and orange colour schemes when it comes to chronographs. Think of some of the most iconic chronos from the golden era of 1970s, when racing chronographs came of age, and it is clear that the two colours go together like gin and tonic. Today, Chopard launches the latest in its series of Mille Miglia chronographs and this time, in the guise of a collaboration with George Bamford’s Bamford Watch Department in an edition of 33 pieces. A sporty and elegant chrono, the watch is more than up for the job of a thousand miles in your classic sports car…
The Mille Miglia first happened in 1927 and was the brainchild of two young Italian Counts, Francesco Mazzotti and Aymo Maggi. The race was a one thousand mile run from Brescia to Rome and back. The race happened 24 times over the three decades between 1927 and 1957, when it was banned due to two fatal crashes in its final year. However, in 1977 the race was resurrected to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. Since 1988, car fanatic and Co-President of Chopard, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, has produced a watch each year to celebrate the brand’s partnership with the Mille Miglia.
This year Bamford Watch Department has worked on the watch and has created a classic twist on the classic three-register 42mm steel chronograph. As you might expect from GB, the watch has a cool grey DLC coating in grey that has been bead blasted. Scratch-proof and in a similar hue to a number of prominent vintage sports cars, the 2021 Mille Miglia looks the driving business and is robust enough to walk the talk; albeit at high speed in a vintage Ferrari…
The dial is also in matte grey and has ‘flame orange’ accents on the chronograph hands and accents on the sub dial. This isn’t just an aesthetic touch, one which admittedly I’m very fond of, but also enables one to quickly reference the timing on your wrist. You really don’t want to spend too long figuring out the time when your racing along the Italian roads in your multi-million-dollar vintage car. The black cordura-effect rubber strap has vibrant orange stitching and is lined with orange calf skin.
Under the hood purrs a COSC-rated high precision automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve that can be seen through the sapphire caseback. The caseback features the Mille Migila signature arrow and highlights the fact that this edition is limited to 33 pieces.
And George Bamford is rightfully very proud of this latest release. “When designing this watch with Chopard, I wanted to reminisce on the racing connection but also give it a different aspect. The colour combination of dark grey and one of our signature colours, flame orange, is almost a juxtaposition to the traditional red and white colours of the Mille Miglia. The orange accents ensure the dial is popping and eye catching, clear to read the time and speed. It has a beautiful chic feeling to it and I just love its connection with the automotive world, it is a great watch for any vintage or modern car enthusiast.”
Chopard Mille Miglia Bamford Edition Ref. 168589-3036
Movement: Automatic COSC-rated chronograph with 42-hour power reserve.
Case and Dial: 42mm bead blasted stainless steel. Grey dial with Flame Orange accents and orange chronograph hands.
Strap: Black cordura-effect black rubber with orange contrast stitching and calf lining.
Price: £6,950 (sterling)