Chopard returned to the Mille Miglia in 2019 for the 31st time both as historic partner and official timekeeper. This year, from 15th to 18th of May, the Maison’s Co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, a true car aficionado, entered the race at the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing”. For the first time, he was driving alongside his daughter Caroline Marie, heir to the Scheufele family’s passion for racing. The American actor and motor enthusiast Scott Eastwood had joined the Chopard team and started in a Porsche 550 Spyder together with French pilot Romain Dumas. Chopard, famous for its connection with historic motoring, also unveiled its latest Mille Miglia Race Edition chronograph and two other new models, the Mille Miglia GTS Power Control and a watch celebrating the centenary of coachbuilder Zagato.
Founded in 1927, the Mille Miglia is among the most famous historic motoring events in the world. When it was originally run, the 1,618km course (the equivalent to 1,005 Roman miles) was an all-out race that started and finished in Brescia, with Rome marking the turning point for home.
In 1955, the famous British racing driver Sir Stirling Moss won the race in a record time that still stands today, completing the course in ten hours, seven minutes and 48 seconds at the remarkable average speed of 97.96 miles per hour.
After ceasing to exist in its original race format in 1957, the Mille Miglia was revived in 1977 as a time and reliability trial for cars built between 1927 and 1957 and still covers 1,000 miles following much of the original route through the heart of Italy from Brescia to Rome and back.
A feast for the senses
The event saw some of the finest, rarest, most important and most valuable cars of the era take to the roads in the manner for which they were intended, creating an intoxicating assault on the senses of sight, sound and smell and turning back the clock as they passed through the same towns and villages where crowds lined the way during the Mille Miglia’s early decades.
Time, of course, has been central to the Mille Miglia since its very beginning – making for a perfect union between the crackle of exhaust pipes, the squeal of rubber and the precision watchmaking for which Chopard is renowned.
After passing through Sirmione on Lake Garda, the race moved to the artistic and cultural hub of Mantua and on to the Adriatic resort of Cervia before, on day two, heading through ancient towns such as Urbino and Perugia before reaching the half-way point in Rome.
A well-earned break in Siena
Returning north on day three, drivers got to enjoy the breathtaking sight of Lake Vico and drive by Siena’s Piazza del Campo – site of the famous Palio horse race.
Here, Chopard had set-up a ‘paddock’ style hospitality area in the square at which drivers could enjoy a well-deserved rest and artisanal ice cream before returning to the fray with an especially romantic section of the competition that passes through the heart of Florence before tackling the challenging Futa and Raticosa passes prior to stopping in Bologna.
The fourth and final day sees the cars going through Modena – coinciding with the town’s ‘Motor Valley Festival’ in celebration of its food and automobile culture – before heading to Parma, Cremona and Montichiari to reach the finish back in Brescia and the traditional parade in Viale Venezia.
This year, the winners of the Mille Miglia are the duo Moceri-Bonetti in an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS with 74752 points. Two Brescians, Andrea Vesco and Andreai Guerini in a 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Zagato gained 73611 points. In third place of the podium the defending champions, with 72786 points, Juan Tonconogy and Barbara Ruffini, in a Bugatti Type 40 of 1927, team members of the Scuderia SPORTS Zagato racing team.
Mille Miglia 2019 – the new Chopard watches
As every year, Chopard has been proud to present a special new watch to commemorate the latest edition of the Mille Miglia. The Mille Miglia 2019 Race Edition chronograph is available in 250 steel and rose gold examples with grey dials and cognac calf leather straps, and 1,000 examples in steel. Each model has a 44 mm case and a self-winding, COSC-certified movement.