ARTIS­TIC METIERS

For fans of mo­tor­sports time­pieces, Chopard re­leases the Grand Prix de Monaco His­torique 2018 Race Edi­tion that strad­dles mod­ern and retro, writes justin ng

Prestige (Malaysia) - - Contents -

At Cartier’s Mai­son des Métiers d’Art,

tra­di­tion and in­no­va­tion col­lide

No straNger to mo­tor rac­iNg es­pe­cially in the realm of open road clas­sics, Chopard is a name syn­ony­mous with the Mille Miglia. The watch­maker-slash-jew­eller has been the of­fi­cial time­keeper for the an­nual 1,000-mile-long Ital­ian clas­sic car rally for the past 30 years. The stead­fast re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two is a tes­ta­ment to Karl-Friedrich Scheufele’s, copres­i­dent of Chopard, ar­dour for mo­tor­sport. “This pas­sion was passed down to me by my fa­ther (Karl Scheufele) who is a fan of clas­sic cars,” Scheufele en­thuses. It was a trip to Italy in 1987 that he came across the Mille Miglia, which sub­se­quently ig­nited the lon­grun­ning love story be­tween man and ma­chine. The con­gre­ga­tion of clas­sic car col­lec­tors and ex­quis­ite

ve­hi­cles formed the per­fect plat­form for Chopard to show­case its re­fined time­pieces, to which Scheufele ad­mits it was a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity.

The suc­cess ex­pe­ri­enced by Chopard in its re­la­tion­ship with the Mille Miglia also drove the brand to repli­cate it else­where. If pres­tige was the de­ter­mi­nant in choos­ing the right part­ner, the brand would have strug­gled to find a bet­ter one in the Grand Prix de Monaco His­torique. In­au­gu­rated in 1997, the Grand Prix de Monaco His­torique takes place ev­ery other year a fort­night be­fore the big­gest cir­cus rolled into the tiny Mediter­ranean king­dom – the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco. Chopard has been the of­fi­cial time­keeper since 2002, the race’s third edi­tion. There was a gap of three years be­tween the maiden and sec­ond edi­tions, which ex­plains why sub­se­quent edi­tions have been held in even years.

The Grand Prix de Monaco His­torique runs on the same cir­cuit as the F1 – the mil­lion­dol­lar shot where cars arc around the Monte Carlo Casino. Ex­cept of course the cars are less cut­ting edge. The at­ten­dees, on the other hand, are just as pas­sion­ate about cars if not more. The ve­hi­cles of choice are dar­lings of their times, ar­guably still dar­lings of many in present days. This year’s edi­tion, which hap­pened to be the 11th edi­tion, saw the likes of TEC-MEC F415 (1959), Cooper-Jaguar T33 (Mk1) (1953), Lo­tus 25 (Cli­max) (1962), etc, cross­ing the line ahead of their com­peti­tors in re­spec­tive classes.

In con­junc­tion with the bi­en­nial race, Chopard as the of­fi­cial time­keeper has re­leased two race-edi­tion mod­els as com­mem­o­ra­tions. The Grand Prix de Monaco His­torique 2018 Race Edi­tion is avail­able in bead-blasted ti­ta­nium, 18k rose gold and stain­less steel, and bead­blasted ti­ta­nium and stain­less steel. Each model is pow­ered by an undis­closed chronome­ter­cer­ti­fied au­to­matic move­ment and power re­serve, fit­ted within a 44.5mm case.

For aes­thetes to note, the Grand Prix de Monaco His­torique 2018 Race Edi­tion comes with a duo of strap op­tions in the forms of rally and NATO. The per­fo­rated and tyre tread straps seen on the Mille Miglia col­lec­tion are con­spic­u­ously ab­sent. That makes sense con­sid­er­ing the Mille Miglia col­lec­tion con­sists of more vari­ants than both hands can count.

Upon a closer in­spec­tion, the chrono­graph push­ers of the Grand Prix de Monaco His­torique 2018 Race Edi­tion re­sem­ble en­gine pis­tons. Hour mark­ers and in­dices have been omit­ted in favour of min­utes, while the tachymeter scale is lo­cated on the bezel. De­tails are abun­dant with cir­cu­lar guil­loche pat­terns etched on the main and sub-di­als. The model fea­tur­ing rose gold utilises the pre­cious metal in mod­esty, adorn­ing only part of the bezel, crown and push­ers. It is lim­ited to 100 pieces, whereas the prag­matic sil­ver-coloured model is num­bered at 250 pieces.

KARL-FRIEDRICH SCHEUFELE, VAN­INA AND JACKY ICKX AND DEREK BELL

PE­TRA NEM­COVA

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