The Chopard Mille Miglia Is the Car-Themed Watch Done Right

chopard mille miglia classic chronograph
Chopard Mille Miglia Nails the Car-Themed Watch Suzanne Saroff
chopard mille miglia classic chronograph
Suzanne Saroff

The key to designing a great car-themed watch is to keep it car-adjacent without being too on the nose. The watchmaker should exploit some linkage between watches and automobiles but not create something overtly inspired by one particular make or model of vehicle.

This story originally appeared in Volume 22 of Road & Track.

After all, watch folks and car nuts both understand some of the same things: the intersection of form and function, a power supply, a gear train. Then there’s the obvious connection to racing: timing laps, covering distance over a certain time, etc. Indeed, would racing even exist without time­keeping? When you think about the many ways in which watches and cars are connected, you realize that when crossing the two together, the more nuanced and subtle the connection, the better. We don’t need it shoved down our throats.


Without much argument, the two best watch/car crossovers are the Rolex Daytona and the Chopard Mille Miglia. Both are named for legendary races rather than specific cars. (You mean the Daytona isn’t named after a Dodge?) These chronographs represent, at two different price points, the right, non­flagrant way to make a car connection.

But while the Rolex Daytona has moved on beyond timing the 24-hour race and into an asset class, here we appreciate the Chopard Mille Miglia, a beautiful watch demonstrating that a wearer knows and appreciates both fine timepieces and superb vintage cars, and, in many cases, has taken part in the race for which the watch is named. Chopard produces special variants of the watch each year exclusively for those who participate in the revived Italian road race, having served as its official timekeeper and sponsor since 1988.

Finally abandoning the oversized look, the new Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph range employs a smaller 40.5-mm case designed to fit in “in period” among the classic cars in the Mille and work better on the wrist with a racing suit (or, you know, an actual suit).

By blending legibility, retro details, and auto­motive bodywork–inspired colors and finishes, the Chopard Mille Miglia dances right at the intersection of car and watch enthusiasm, with enough stand-alone style that you don’t need to know a thing about cars to appreciate it.

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