For their spring novelty releases this year, Chopard have reinvigorated two of their most popular collections: the Mille Miglia and the L.U.C families. We are offered something for everyone, with the more refined L.U.C collection featuring attractive new perpetual calendar references with tastefully balanced dial proportions and a beautifully decorated movement, while the sportiness of the gentleman driver comes across in the Mille Miglia collection, this year with an azzurro motif. Let’s take a closer look at what’s new.
L.U.C Perpetual Twin
Getting a makeover this year are two new models in the L.U.C ‘Complications’ family, using the same in-house 96.22-L caliber as the lauded 2016 Perpetual Twin, which claims the honour of first chronometer-rated perpetual calendar in stainless steel. Its 22k gold micro-rotor and twin-barrel system grants a typically power-hungry complication a healthy reserve of 65 hours, making sure you won’t have to reset the date too often if left off a winder for a day or two. These aren’t hidden innovations either, as the display caseback reveals a wonderfully decorated movement.
The dial of the 43mm timepiece has been tidied up, replacing cut-off Roman numerals with less invasive pointed indices. This cleaner look may give the watch a slightly more elegant impression, however the blue dial of the steel model evens out the sportiness enough to keep a good amount of versatility. The negative-colour day and month sub-dials have been inverted as well, drawing much less attention to the centre of the dial and restoring visual balance.
The 18k rose gold model with smoky-grey, nearly olive dial, somehow transforms the do-it-all calendar into a masterclass of luxurious style. The warmth it brings alongside the brown alligator strap seems to make all the curvature of the case, though identical to the steel, flow more smoothly.
These watches are not a limited edition, though at AUD$36,100 for the stainless steel model and AUD$72,800 for the gold, they are anything but standard issue. A mechanical perpetual calendar is usually a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, and Chopard are well and truly competing with the ‘top three’ here.
Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro
With the recent passing of ‘Mr Motor Racing’ Sir Stirling Moss, fastest-ever to complete the legendary Italian Mille Miglia road race, it seems appropriate that Chopard have released their most elegant editions of their motorsport-inspired timepieces.
When seen, it’s hard to imagine why these watches weren’t released in blue originally. The concentrically brushed dials play with the light spectacularly, and though the original grey dials are more aesthetically in tune with the 1950s time period in which the Mille Miglia ended, rich blue and red colour schemes have become synonymous with racing watches, evoking a more excitable atmosphere. Both models have kept the iconic Mille Milgia logo surrounding the date window, though the fuel gauge-inspired power reserve indicator on the Power Control has been simplified and pushed to the left side of the dial, creating more space for the blue to sing out.
Gone too is the tyre-tread rubber strap. While it certainly did represent the racing theme, the blue perforated-leather strap accompanying the Azzurro models are a little less overt about it and much more versatile in less-casual situations.
Both models still use their respective COSC-certified movements, beating at 48,800 vibrations per hour and protected by 100m of water resistance thanks to a screw-down crown.
The 43mm Power Control with its rose gold bezel and hands is the rarer of the two, priced at AUD$14,200 and limited to 500 pieces, while the 44m Chrono runs at AUD$10,900 and is limited to 750.