The Maison’s 36th appearance as world sponsor and official timekeeper
Chopard is proud to return to Brescia for the 36th time in succession as the World Sponsor and Official Timekeeper of the 1000 Miglia – otherwise known as ‘the most beautiful race in the world’.The partnership represents one of the longest in history between a watchmaker and an automobile event, signifying Chopard’s well-known love of classic cars and its passion for motorsport.That passion is further confirmed by the fact that 2023 marks the 35th occasion that Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele will compete in the race from Brescia to Rome and back, having first taken part in 1989 with six-times Le Mans 24 Hours winner Jacky Ickx in the navigator’s seat.The pair will team-up again this year (as on more than a dozen previous occasions), once more tackling the gruelling course in the instantly recognisable ‘metallic raspberry’ Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing in which they made their 1000 Miglia debut. And, of course, Chopard will continue its tradition of introducing new Mille Miglia timepieces, with four Mille Miglia Classic Chronographs, plus an additional, very special ‘Italian Limited Edition’ of the Mille Miglia GTS Chronograph – some of the proceeds from which will be donated to victims of the recent Emilia-Romagna flood disaster.
A new route, a new city – and an extra day
The 1000 Miglia was first run in 1927 but –in keeping with its reputation for never growing old–this year’s event features a new route and will be run over the course of five days rather than the usual four.For the first time the race will incorporate a section from Parma to Milan, a city never before included in the 1000 Miglia and the location from which the 405 starters will make their home run to Brescia on the final day (Saturday, June 17th).
In between, the course takes them in a clockwise direction, with day one ending in an overnight stop on the coast atCervio-Milano Marittima.An early start on Wednesday sends the group to the tiny, hilltop republic of San Marino (the fifth smallest country in the world) and up to 300 metres above sea level for a lunch break in Macerata, a town renowned for its striking palazzos and annual opera festival.The day finishes in Rome when the cars will parade around the city, followed by a dawn start on Thursday for the six-hour run to lunch in Siena (scene of the historic Palio horse race).
After tackling the famous Abertone Pass – frequently used by Ferrari’s test drivers – the crews end-up in Parma where they spend the night before heading out on Friday morning to begin the ‘home run,’ stopping at Piacenza military airport to mark the centenary of the AeronauticaMilitareItaliana.After lunch in Alessandria and a further five hours on the road, the competitors will check-in at the new Milan time control point before dinner and a well-earned night’s rest.
A civilised 8am start on Saturday marks the beginning of the final 100 kilometres of the course, which will take the surviving cars back to the finish at Brescia where they will parade along the tree-lined Viale Venezia.
Two cars compete for Team Chopard
In addition to the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing crewed by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele and Jacky Ickx, Chopard Ambassadors Zhu Yilong, the acclaimed Chinese actor, and Romain Dumas, the celebrated endurance racing driver, will also compete under the ‘Team Chopard’ banner in a 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster.
A pre-start dinner in a stunning setting
But before the flag drops to wave the first car off the Brescia start ramp on Tuesday (June 13th), Karl-Friedrich Scheufele will host a special welcome dinner at the beautiful and historic L’Albereta hotel, just 20km from Brescia and close to the shores of Lake Iseo within the breathtakingly beautiful Lombardy countryside. Here, guests will discover the new Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph collection that celebrates this year’s race – maintaining Chopard’s tradition of creating an all-new, dedicated design that has prevailed each year since 1988.
The 2023 Mille Miglia watches – the tradition continues
Comprising four new models crafted in Chopard’s exclusive Lucent Steel™ (50 per cent more resilient than regular steel and incorporating material recycled from the medical, aerospace, car and watch industries), the 40mm chronographs are fitted either with Maison’s signature rubber strap based on the pattern of a ‘60s Dunlop race tyreor a rich brown calfskin leather strap evoking traditional driving gloves.
What makes this year’s Mille Miglia Classic Chronographs extra-special, however, are their dials: each of the four variations is based on the paint hues and interior finishes typically found on the type of pre-1957 cars that are eligible for the 1000 Miglia.That means a choice of Rosso Amarena (cherry red), Grigio-Blu (grey blue), Verde Chiaro (light green) andNero Corsa (racing black).In keeping with a 36-year tradition, each watch carries a miniature ‘1000 Miglia’ route marker on its dial and case back.
In addition to the Mille Miglia Classic Chronographs, Chopard has also produced a very special version of its larger Mille Miglia GTS Chrono.Being made from Lucent Steel™ in just 100 examples, part of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to victims of the devastating floods that swept through the Emilia-Romagna region in early May. This 44mm edition carries the green and red colours of Italy, with its olive green bezel featuring a tachymeter scale for speed and distance calculations. Further marking-out the ‘form and function’ nature of Chopard’s Mille Miglia watches, the Mille Miglia GTS Chrono Limited Edition Italy is also fitted with substantial ‘mushroom’ pushers and a large diameter crown to provide a firm grip and ease of use while on the road.
Both the Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph editions and the Mille Miglia GTS Chrono Limited Edition Italyare the prefect watches for anyone taking part in ‘the most beautiful race in the world’ as well as for those who follow it.And whether you are one or the other, we wish you a thrilling but safe journey to the finish.