Car racing and watches: such a seemingly ever-young combination, tirelessly perpetuated by the countless automotive-inspired watches released year over year. Despite the highly saturated segment, there actually are very few watches that can pull off this racing vibe and remain wearable for the times when, you know, you are not driving your Porsche 550 Spyder on the twisty roads along the Côte d’Azur. The Chopard Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition replica watches (reference 168580-3001) promises to be one of these few, offering a mix of subtle Mille Miglia branding and not-so-subtle vintage racing-inspired design elements. Let’s see how it performs – not on the race track, but on the wrist.
Held earlier this year, between May 19th and 22nd, the event featured more than 400 teams, competing over the one-thousand-mile (around 1,600km) distance between Brescia and Rome. The Mille Miglia is reserved for classic and vintage cars that have been a part of the historical races between 1927 and 1957 and leads through some R-rated driving roads of Italy. Since 1988, Chopard has served as historical world sponsor and official timekeeper of the car rally also known as “the world’s most beautiful race.”
Sounds like a magnificent time to be had… Yet, somehow, I have always felt that while it is a race based on admirable heritage and a genuine appreciation of vintage race cars, the number of Chopard cheap fake watches dedicated to it, as well as the emphasis placed on plastering Mille Miglia everywhere on most of said watches, was a bit overkill for many prospective buyers who would otherwise have liked the design, price point, and quality of Chopard’s racing-inspired timepieces. It has to be a terrific race, no doubt about it, but I always wondered if its fan base was as large and as dedicated to the event as it would need to be to justify previous Mille Miglia watch designs.
This reason exactly is why I was excited to review this Chopard Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition: on the front of it, there only is a small, and in fact beautifully integrated Mille Miglia logo at 12 – and that’s all the co-branding that you get pushed in your face. “Finally,” I thought, “a Mille Miglia watch that will be about restrained sportiness the way Chopard leather strap replica watches does it and about me wearing it all the time… and not about a 4-day event I can hardly relate to.” Co-branding and enhanced brand exposure is nice and all, but tasteful design and long-term wearability should come first, I think.