As the official timekeeper and partner of the classic Italian 1000 Miglia car race since 1988, Chopard releases new sports watches every year to celebrate this longstanding partnership. The 2021 edition of the Mille Miglia took place in June, and as is customary, Chopard’s co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele was behind the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR with racing legend and close friend Jacky Ickx. Two Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition Chronographs were launched just ahead of the race, and earlier this month, Chopard unveiled a special Mille Miglia model customised by Bamford Watch Department. George Bamford, founder of the London-based customisation firm, shares Scheufele’s passion for cars and watches and the collaboration was a perfect fit. Chopard’s first customised Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph gets the signature Bamford makeover with matte black surfaces and bright shots of orange for contrast.
Although Bamford Watch Department was initially snubbed by watch companies for daring to modify the look and feel of their watches, the company now has a portfolio teeming with top-tier brand names that succumb to the all-black treatment with contrasting dashes of colour.
The result of the first collaboration between the two car enthusiasts is an edgier, more contemporary take on the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph. You could say that Bamford’s customisation takes the ‘classic’ element out of the chronograph’s name. The 42mm stainless steel case, with a height of 12.67mm, is treated to a bead-blasted dark grey DLC coating giving the surfaces a sporty matte look with a slightly granular texture. The DLC coating includes the screw-down crown with an engraving of a steering wheel and the piston-shaped chronograph pushers. An advantage of the dark grey DLC-coated case, a colour often found on vintage cars, is that it is scratchproof. The short lugs adapt well to the wrist, as does the black cordura-effect rubber strap with bright orange stitching and an orange calf leather lining.
A mix of grey, dark grey and bold touches of orange animates the dial and gives it a sporty, youthful vibe. The peripheral matte black inner bezel is used for the tachymetre scale with vivid orange gradations and light grey numerals. Finished with a granular texture, the grey dial has three sub-dials: the counter at 3 o’clock corresponds to the small seconds, the 12-hour counter is at 6 o’clock and the 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock. All three sub-dials feature snailed interiors and have orange markings and bright orange hands to match the central chronograph seconds hand that reaches the tachymetre scale. The Arabic numerals are painted with grey Super-LumiNova, as are the baton hour and minute hands. Bamford’s grey logo is placed just above the 12-hour counter, and there is a date window with a black background and white numerals positioned diagonally between 4 and 5 o’clock.
Another hallmark Bamford touch is the use of a smoked sapphire crystal on the reverse side of the case. Below the black tinted crystal is a COSC chronometer-certified automatic ETA 2894-2 movement, beating at 28,800vph and delivering a power reserve of 42 hours. The 1000 Miglia arrow and the inscription Bamford Limited Edition of 33 are also featured on the caseback.
The Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph x Bamford is limited to 33 pieces and retails for CHF 7,970. For more information, please visit Chopard’s website.