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Chopard in the driving seat at the 2021 ‘1000 Miglia’

The Maison marks its 34th year as official timekeeper

For the 34th consecutive year, Chopard is proud to once again participate in the celebrated 1000 Miglia car rally as the historic event's main partner and official timekeeper.

The 2021 1000 Miglia, run from June 16th to 19th, will see the usual direction of the course reversed, meaning the 375 entries will travel the 1,618 km route (1,005 Roman miles) in a counter-clockwise direction. This has never happened since the competition was revived in 1977 but was a regular occurrence during the early editions of the original race between 1927 and 1957.

Gentleman drivers, camaraderie and friendship
For the 34th time, Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele will demonstrate his passion for driving classic cars by taking his place on the start ramp, this year behind the wheel of the distinctive, strawberry-red Mercedes-Benz 300SL 'Gullwing' that has been part of the Scheufele family collection for more than 40 years.

Beside him will be motorsport legend, six times Le Mans winner and long term friend of the Maison Jacky Ickx, with whom Mr Scheufele has driven the 1000 Miglia on more than 15 occasions.

Mr Scheufele first competed in the 1000 Miglia in 1989 – in the very same Gullwing and also with Mr Ickx as his co-pilot.

It was that first outing together that formed the basis for the friendship between these like-minded ’gentleman drivers’ that epitomises the spirit and camaraderie for which the 1000 Miglia has always been renowned.

This year, the duo will lead a team of five Chopard cars, including an Ermini Sport 1100 and a Fiat 1100 Zagato Coupe (both dating from 1954) which will be driven by a variety of guest crews including French endurance racing champion Romain Dumas.

A long and winding road

In keeping with tradition, the rally begins at 1.30pm with the oldest car leaving the start ramp in Brescia's tree-lined Viale Venezia first, and the others following at one-minute intervals in order of age.

Day One will see the cars take on the challenging Cita Pass on the way to a finishing point in the coastal city of Viareggio, with an early start on Day Two to cover the 350km route to Rome via numerous historic hill towns and tiny villages.

The third day promises to be the most challenging and exciting of all – a 400-km run through the 'boot' of Italy punctuated by a stop in the dramatic city of Orvieto before the drivers press-on through the Chianti wine-growing region and on to the twisty and demanding roads of the Futa and Raticosa passes.

After an overnight stop in Bologna, the fourth and final day will take the crews back to the finish in Brescia via Modena – home to the great Italian car brands Ferrari and Maserati – and the operatic centres of Mantova and Verona.

The Chopard Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition watches

Just as it has done since 1988, Chopard is unveiling a number of all-new watches to commemorate the event in the form of the Mille Miglia 2021 Race Editions.

Before the start of the race, each crew is presented with a unique, numbered edition of the watch which this year takes the form of a 44-mm chronograph which will be available to buy in two versions: a 1,000-piece, all-steel model or in 250 examples with bezels, pushpieces and hands made from ethical 18-carat rose gold.

Both have slate grey, satin-brushed galvanic dials complemented by sharply contrasting chapter rings and chronograph subdials while red-tipped markers make for optimum legibility. The three-counter set-up enables individual recording of 12-hour, 30 minute and 60-second elapsed times, while speed and distance calculations can quickly be made using the dashboard-inspired, white-lacquered markings on the black ceramic insert of the tachymetre bezel.

As with all of Chopard's Mille Miglia watches, the 2021 Race Edition's motoring pedigree is confirmed by the presence of the famous 1000 Miglia red arrow on the dial, while the case back proudly bears a chequered flag design, the '1000 Miglia' logo and the inscription 'Brescia-Rome-Brescia' as a reminder of the event's celebrated, circular route.

Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition

The gentleman driver’s chronograph

Since its revival in 1977, the 1000 Miglia race has continuously set the engines of legendary cars and the hearts of competitors throbbing over a 1,600 km loop through San Marino, Rome, Siena and Florence. As the main partner and official timekeeper of the event since 1988, Chopard is renewing its commitment once again this year, unveiling the Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition chronographs for the occasion. Available in a limited edition of 1,000 pieces in stainless steel or in a two-tone version of 250 pieces in stainless steel and 18-carat pink ethical gold, this elegant timepiece equipped with a movement featuring 'Chronometer' certified precision reflects Chopard's unwavering passion for motor sports.

The 2021 1000 Miglia will take place from June 16th to 19th this year, marking the 39th historical re-enactment of ‘the race of the Red Arrow’. The first ever 1000 Miglia took place in 1927, when a group of car enthusiasts in Brescia staged the race as a response to losing the Italian Grand Prix to Monza. The 2021 route will pay homage to the original race, with this re-enactment running — for the first time ever — in a counter-clockwise direction. Four hundred motor cars will head to the Tyrrhenian coast from Brescia, stopping in Viareggio, before driving to Rome, the Apennines and Bologna.

A chronograph delivering proven reliability
Every timepiece in the Mille Miglia watch collection is resolutely sporty and completely reliable. The latest model to be inspired by the rally is no different; an automatic winding chronograph created to — first and foremost — measure time dependably. The Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition model is a watch to be trusted, with 48-hour power reserve, stop-seconds function, water-resistance to 100 metres as well as a glare-proofed sapphire crystal to increase legibility.

Both options, the 1000-piece stainless steel version and the 250-piece stainless steel and ethical 18-carat rose gold version, feature a movement that has been chronometer-certified by the COSC, a guarantee of precision that is important to Chopard Co-President, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele.

The chronograph indications are highlighted by red-tipped hands enhancing the legibility of the central sweep-seconds hand, the 30-minute counter positioned at 12 o’clock and the hours counter at 6 o’clock. Subtly preserving the pleasing proportions of the dial, the small seconds display appears at 9 o’clock and the date aperture at 3 o’clock.

The bezel bears a polished black ceramic tachymeter scale with white lacquer markings representing the perfect tool to help racers calculate the average speed during the 1000 Miglia rally. The historic motorsport event hinges on precise timings — and that is why Chopard, precise and accurate in every aspect of watchmaking, continues to be the best partner for the race.

Racing in style
The high-performance Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition is functional and durable, but it also benefits from aesthetic style. The bezel, in stainless steel or polished ethical 18-carat rose gold with a black ceramic insert, takes its visual cues from the dials and gauges of classic automobiles. The case-back is secured with screws, and bears a chequered flag, the 1000 Miglia logo and the inscription ‘Brescia > Roma > Brescia’ to further reinforce the relationship between the timepiece and the historic rally. With intense grey and silver colours, accented with red touches, the entire watch has a strong visual identity.

The short lugs fit most wrists, and the design of the 44 mm stainless steel case takes strong inspiration from classic car design, mixing contemporary styles with vintage spirit. Even the calfskin leather bracelet is inspired by traditional perforated racing gloves; red or black tone-on-tone stitched, rubber-lined and reminiscent of the motif on 1960s Dunlop racing tyres — a motorsport nod first included in Chopard’s 2018 Mille Miglia collection. Finished with a polished and satin-brushed stainless steel folding clasp, the strap is an integral part of the Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition’s high-octane character.

The grey dial, obtained by galvanic treatment on a brass base, features a circular satin-brushed finish performed by dial-maker artisans. The famous 1000 Miglia ‘Red Arrow’ motif points to the semi-instantaneous date display at 3 o’clock — legible through a date magnifier. The hands and hour-markers are coated in Super-LumiNova® to further ensure the readability of both day and night-time indications — an essential feature when driving in the heat of competition.

An heirloom in the making
The Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition is more than just a watch. It is a beacon of motorsport pedigree and the sign of a motorsport aficionado. Ownership of a Mille Miglia Race Edition shows a true passion for cars and respect for the community of driving adventurers of which Karl-Friedrich Scheufele is a proud member.

It is an heirloom in the making. The passion for racing is often passed down through generations, with the 1000 Miglia itself frequently raced by fathers and sons together. This watch is both a commemoration of the event, and a token to remember when your family ran the most beautiful race in the world. Suitable and stylish, the Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition is a talisman for a new generation of gentleman drivers — whether or not you may be pulling up to the start line on June 16th.


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