For the 32nd consecutive year, Chopard lined up at the start of this new edition of the 1000 Miglia rally as the main partner and official timekeeper. Traditionally organised in May, the car race regarded as “the world’s most beautiful” was held this year between October 22nd and 25th, in compliance with the prevailing public health regulations. The calendar upheaval did not dampen the enthusiasm of the more than 400 crews who set out to conquer the 1,618 kilometres of the course.
Jacky Ickx, also known as “Mister Le Mans” and a friend of the Maison, presided over the festivities with a protective and watchful gaze. The evening before, during an intimate dinner at La Sosta in Brescia, Ickx unveiled the three new timepieces from this year’s Mille Miglia Collection; created by the in-house artisans in homage to the race.
Since 1988, Chopard has been the main partner and official timekeeper of the famous endurance 1000 Miglia race, a close collaboration born of the Scheufele family’s longstanding passion for classic cars, which Karl-Friedrich Scheufele – Co-President of the Maison – both collects and drives, including at various motorsports events.
Founded in 1927, the 1000 Miglia is one of the most famous automobile events in the world. Originally, the 1,618 km route – the equivalent of 1,005 Roman miles – was a speed race that started and ended in Brescia, with a passage through Rome. After its original formula was interrupted in 1957, the 1000 Miglia was relaunched in 1977 as an endurance race for cars built between 1927 and 1957, still covering 1,000 miles. Over the years, the original route has undergone a few changes. However, it has remained faithful to the route designed 93 years ago by the original organisers, crisscrossing Italian scenery that has remained virtually unchanged since the beginning of the 20th century.
On the eve of the race, Ickx hosted the dinner organised by Chopard at Brescia’s La Sosta restaurant to introduce guests to the new watches joining the Mille Miglia collection. The next day, Thursday, October 22nd, Ickx was on Brescia’s famous Viale Venezia to cheer on the three Chopard crews who, along with the rest of the competitors. They set off for the first stage heading to Cervia Milano Marittima, passing through Lake Garda as well as the towns of Sirmione, Mantua, Ferrara and Ravenna.
For the second day of the race, competitors drove through the medieval city of Urbino, as well as Macerata and Amatrice, on their way to Rome, the mid-race stage. The departure from the Eternal City was early morning on the following day for what would be the longest day of the race, taking the team through the Piazza del Campo of Siena and the ancient city of Lucca. After that, they left Tuscany for the province of Emilia-Romagna, climbing to 1,040 meters of altitude in the Apennines before coming down to Parma.
Finally, on the last day, the race took the teams to Salsomaggiore Terme, Piacenza, then Cernusco, followed by a new stop in Bergamo before the finish line in Brescia – where they were warmly applauded by supporters who saw them set off some three days earlier.
In accordance with its annual custom, Chopard presented a new series of watches to mark the start of the race, commemorating this new edition of the 1000 Miglia. The Mille Miglia 2020 Race Edition chronograph is available in a 250-piece limited edition with a 42 mm-diameter case in bead-blasted DLC stainless steel and ethical rose gold with black leather strap and dial; and in 1,000 pieces entirely in bead-blasted DLC stainless steel, each powered by a chronometer-certified mechanical movement with automatic winding.
The collection also features two other stainless steel timepieces attired in a very contemporary shade of blue with the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Power Control (a 500-piece edition with a 43 mm diameter) and the Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro Chrono (a 750-piece edition with a 44 mm diameter), also equipped with chronometer-certified mechanical movements with automatic winding.
Chopard has also presented a tourbillon chronometer in a 20-piece edition – the Mille Miglia Lab One – a concept watch harnesses the finest expertise and innovation cultivated by the Chopard workshops. Its cushion-shaped case is made of bead-blasted DLC titanium and houses the Chopard 04.03-M tourbillon movement.