Chopard and the Mille Miglia – The Tradition Continues

Jul 11, 2023
The Mille Miglia 1923
The Most Beautiful Race in the World

As the World Sponsor and Official Timekeeper of the 1000 Migla (also known as “the most beautiful race in the world”), Chopard proudly made its 36th consecutive trip to Brescia, Italy.

The 1000 Miglia (or Mille Miglia) was first run in 1927. This nearly hundred-year-old road race often alters its course to keep things interesting. This year was no exception with a new route that was run over the length of five days rather than the usual four, through the beautiful Italian countryside. Of course, the tradition is still intact with the race beginning in Brescia, traversing to Rome, and finishing back in Brescia.

Chopard Miglia Classic Chronographs
Years of Tradition and Partnership

One might not immediately think of road racing and a luxury timepiece company as something that would fit together. However, Chopard is known for its love of classic vehicles and its passion for motorsports, and this connection, one of the longest in history between a watchmaker and an automobile event, reflects these passions.

Chopard was originally founded in Switzerland in 1860 by clockmaker Louis-Ulysse Chopard. It was purchased in 1963 by Karl Scheufele III, a trained goldsmith and watchmaker. He, in turn, transformed it into a global brand. His children eventually joined the company, but not before they graduated from college and worked in various departments to learn and fully understand all the workings of the iconic company.

In 2001, Karl Scheufele named his two children Karl-Friedrich and Caroline as co-presidents. Caroline, who is passionate about jewelry and gemstones, is the person most responsible for adding the jewelry and accessory offerings to the formerly exclusively watch company. She created the “floating diamond” articulated clown pendant which has become a Chopard tradition. As co-president, Caroline is the artistic director of Chopard and is in charge of fine jewelry, design, and artwork, as well as perfume and accessories. Karl-Friedrich, who says he has horlogerie in his blood, is also passionate about vintage cars and road racing. It was he who first made the partnership between Chopard and the Mille Miglia. His responsibilities as co-president include Chopard manufacturing, the men’s watch division, and all business management aspects.

The Chopard 'metallic raspberry' Mercedes 300SL Gullwing
Years of experience

Karl-Friedrich turned his love of vintage cars and road racing into a hands-on hobby when he started participating in the Mille Miglia in 1989. He has continued every year since then. Chopard fielded two teams in the race this year and both performed very well. The ‘metallic raspberry’ Mercedes 300SL Gullwing was crewed by Karl-Friedrich himself, making his 35th appearance, along with his navigator six-time Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx. In the end, the event was won by the defending champions, Andrea Vesco and Fabio Salvinelli in an F8 Spider.

Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele and Jacky Ickx
The tradition continues with the 2023 Mille Miglia timepieces

In honor of the annual race, Chopard introduces a new Mille Miglia Timepiece each year. This year they introduced two. The 40 mm chronograph, which comes in four new looks, is made of Chopard’s exclusive Lucent Steel™. This steel is 50% more resilient than regular steel and contains recycled material from the medical, aerospace, car, and watch industries. Each watch can be worn with either the brand’s signature rubber strap that is patterned after a 1960s Dunlop race tire, or a rich brown calfskin leather strap that is reminiscent of traditional driving gloves. The dials of this year’s Mille Miglia Classic Chronographs, however, are what really set them apart from previous models. Each of the four variations is inspired by the paint colors and interior accents of the particular pre-1957 cars that qualify for the Mille Miglia: Rosso Amarena (cherry red), Grigio-Blu (grey blue), Verde Chiaro (light green), and Nero Corsa (racing black). Of course, keeping with a 36-year tradition, each watch carries a miniature ‘1000 Miglia’ route marker on its dial and case back.

The 2023 Mille Miglia Classic Chronographs
Limited Edition Mille Miglia GTS Chrono

In addition to the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph watches, Chopard has also created a special variation of its larger Mille Miglia GTS Chrono. Only 100 of these pieces, manufactured of Lucent Steel™, will be sold, and a portion of the sales revenues will be given to those who were affected by the tragic floods that ravaged the Emilia-Romagna area in early May. The olive green bezel of this 44 mm version has a tachymeter scale for measuring speed and distance. It has the green and red colors of Italy. The Mille Miglia GTS Chrono Limited Edition Italy also features substantial ‘mushroom’ pushers and a big diameter crown to provide a solid grip and ease of usage while maintaining the ‘form and function’ nature of Chopard’s Mille Miglia timepieces.

Mille Miglia GTS Chrono Limited Edition Italy
Shop Chopard Today

King Jewelers is proud to feature a large selection of Chopard jewelry and timepieces, including the new Mille Miglia collection. Visit our Nashville, TN showroom in Green Hill to view the new 2023 Chopard Mille Miglia watches.

Chopard and the Mille Miglia – The Tradition Continues


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