Chopard is proud to have returned to Brescia for its 36th consecutive time as title sponsor and official timekeeper of the 1000 Miglia, also known as “The Most Beautiful Race in the World”. This partnership is one of the longest in history between a watch brand and a motor racing event, and represents Chopard’s well-known love of classic cars and its passion for motor racing. This year 2023 was the year in which co-president Karl Friedrich Scheufele competed 35 times in the race from Brescia to Rome and back, confirming once again the passion that began in 1989 with six-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Jacky Icks at the wheel. The pair teamed up once again this year (they have done so on more than a dozen occasions), in the recognisable “raspberry red metallic” Mercedes-Benz 300SL Seagull Wings, the same car in which they made their 1000 Miglia debut. And of course Chopard continued the tradition of presenting new Mille Miglia watch models, with the four Mille Miglia Classic Chronographs, plus a very special additional model, the Mille Miglia GTS Chronograph ‘Italian Limited Edition’ of which part of the proceeds will be donated to the victims of the recent floods in the Emilia-Romagna area.
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 getting old, this year’s event featured a new route and was run over five days instead of four. For the first time the Race included a section from Parma to Milan, a city which had never been included in the 1000 Miglia and was the place from which the 443 competitors returned to Brescia on the final day (Saturday, 17 June).
In between, the Race took them in a clockwise direction, with the first day ending with an overnight stop on the coast at Cervio-Milano Marittima. Early on Wednesday, the group continued through the tiny republic of San Marino (the fifth smallest country in the world) and 300 metres above sea level for lunch in Macerata, a city known for its palaces and annual opera festival. The day ended in Rome where the cars paraded through the city, before continuing Thursday’s six-hour drive to Siena.
After tackling the Abertone pass, frequently used by Ferrari test drivers, the teams ended up in Parma for the night, before continuing on Friday with a stop at Piacenza military airport to commemorate the centenary of the Italian Military Aeronautics. After lunch in Alessandria and five more hours on the road, the competitors checked in at the new checkpoint in Milan.
8am on Saturday morning marked the start of the end of the race that would take the cars to the finish line in Brescia where they would parade in Viale Venezia.
The race was won by reigning champions Andrea Vesco and Fabio Salvinelli in an F8 Spider, the fourth consecutive title (out of six) for Vesco and an all-time record and third for Fabio Salvinelli.
Two cars compete in the Chopard team
In addition to the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing with the team of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele and Jacky Ickx, Chopard ambassador, actor Zhu Yilong, and Romain Dumas, competed in the Chopard team in a 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster.
Mille Miglia watches – the tradition continues
Four new models made from Chopard’s exclusive Lucent Steel™ (50 percent stronger than regular steel and incorporating recycled steel from the medical, aerospace, automotive and watchmaking industries), the 40mm chronographs are fitted with Chopard’s signature rubber strap inspired by Dunlop tyres from the ’60s or with a brown calfskin leather strap inspired by traditional driving gloves.
What makes this year’s Mille Miglia Classic Chronographs special, however, are their dials: each of the four variations is inspired by the shades of paint and the overall interior parts of the pre-1957 cars that have participated in the different editions of the 1000 Miglia. “Verde Chiaro” (light green) and “Rosso Amarena” (cherry red) with a circular satin finish, or “Nero Corsa” (race black) with a bouchonné finish. As for the two-material version in Lucent Steel and ethical gold, it has a “Grigio-Blue” (blue-grey) satin-finished dial. In keeping with 36 years of tradition, each watch bears the ‘1000 Miglia’ logo on the dial and case back.
In addition to the Mille Miglia Classic Chronographs, Chopard has produced a very special version of the Mille Miglia GTS Chrono Limited Edition Italy. 100 pieces made in Lucent Steel™, part of the proceeds of which will be donated to the victims of the devastating floods that swept through the Emilia-Romagna area at the beginning of May. This 44mm model bears the red and green colours of Italy on the olive green bezel where the tachymeter for speed and distance calculations is located.
Both the Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph editions and the Mille Miglia GTS Chrono Limited Edition Italy are the perfect timepieces for those who take part in “the most beautiful race in the world” as well as for those who follow it.