For a 4th consecutive edition, Chopard will proudly serve as the “Official Timekeeper” of the 31st annual California Mille which will run from April 24th to April 28th. Drawing upon the original Italian 1000 Miglia open road race from Brescia to Rome (of which Chopard has also been partner since 1988), the California Mille is a 1,000 mile, four-day excursion through California’s best scenic driving roads.
This year, the event will feature 60 classic cars manufactured on or before the original 1000 Miglia’s final running in 1957. Spectators from the community will wave the flag of Italy to signify the official start of the California Mille with participants departing from its Tinseltown starting line in Hollywood which takes them on a new route past the famous picturesque beaches of California.
"We share the belief that cars are about more than just getting from Point A to Point B, they're about connection and a sense of camaraderie,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, proprietor of the California Mille since October 2020. “This year’s California Mille will remain true to its roots of 'important cars, little roads, and wonderful friends."
The close ties between luxury watch and jewellery Maison Chopard and the original 1000 Miglia stem from a now-inseparable shared history. The initial connection was born from a personal passion for classic cars nurtured by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Chopard Co-President. Under his leadership, Chopard became the main partner and official timekeeper of the 1000 Miglia in 1988 and one of the first Maisons to associate its name with the automobile world.
For Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the links are entirely natural: “Lovers of fine cars often have a great weakness for precious timepieces and vice versa. Extreme precision and sporting elegance are important in both these fields.”
Joining Chopard for the excursion will be race car driver and two-time Le Mans class winner Patrick Long, who will drive an aquamarine toned 1957 Porsche 356A Coupe.
The undisputed Chopard sports icon since 1988, the Mille Miglia collection was reinvented in 2015 with the new Mille Miglia GTS (Grand Turismo Sport) collection. Composed of eminently masculine watches powered by COSC-certified ‘engines’, it asserted a unique and powerful style drawn from the design of the cars having taken part in the historical 1000 Miglia.
The vintage details of the new Mille Miglia GTS Automatic Chrono California Mille 31st Edition forge its singular character and make it an elegant ‘all-road’ high-performance watch. Issued in a limited series of 31, this stainless steel sporty chronograph water-resistant to 100 metres flaunts its imposing lines in a 44 mm-diameter case, completed with traditionally-shaped pushers inspired by car engines, a large fluted crown resembling a fuel tank cap, and a bezel with an aluminium insert bearing the tachymetric scale. The latter provides an indication useful to drivers in measuring average speed, a decisive factor in endurance racing. Readability is an essential attribute of a watch designed for competition, and this silver-toned dial with its engine-turned finish is enlivened by broad baton-type hands and applied hour-markers painted with Superluminova to ensure perfect legibility in all circumstances. The traditional engine-turned motif composed of tiny overlapping circles, as well as the font on the snailed counters, evoke a classic car dashboard, enhanced by the contrasting bright red accents of the California Mille logo and the central sweep-seconds hand.
In a further reference to the automobile world, its short streamlined lugs smoothly hugging the wrist embrace a black calfskin strap with grey stitching with racing glove-type perforations along with a black rubber lining evoking the 1960s Dunlop racing tyre-tread pattern, secured by a steel folding clasp.
The Mille Miglia GTS Automatic Chrono California Mille 31st Edition hums to the tune of a high-precision watch ‘engine’ chronometer-certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Certification institute (COSC). Beating at the rate of 28,800 vibrations/hour, the mechanical self-winding chronograph movement powers the hours, minutes, chronograph, tachymeter and date functions, while ensuring 48 hours of autonomy. This high-performance mechanism is housed in a case with a solid back secured by eight screws and engraved with the inscription “USA Limited Edition 31”.
The resolutely sporty, functional and sophisticated watch is a limited edition that has the classic racing spirit firmly embedded in its mechanical genes.
Founded in 1860, Chopard, The Artisan of Emotions, perpetuates the heritage of traditional know-how and ancestral crafts through contemporary and ethical creations. Cultivating limitless creativity, the Maison takes craftsmanship to peak levels through the work of passionate and experienced artisans. Moreover, since July 2018, Chopard has been the first watch and jewellery maker to use 100% Ethical Gold for the production of all its watches and jewellery.
Today, Chopard is run by the Scheufele family and masters more than 50 professions at its three production sites, where particular attention is paid to internal training and the transmission of know-how.
The Maison lives in step with its prestigious partnerships: a loyal official partner to the Cannes Film Festival since 1998, it has also been the official timekeeper of the legendary Italian 1000 Miglia classic car race since 1988.
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