AS watch-car tie-ups go, this is spot-on. For the second edition of the Chopard Classic Rally Dubai, held in the United Arab Emirates, the watchmaker dedicated a unique rendition of its LUC 1937 Classic to the sports car event. If Chopard’s Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Stripes is linked to matters related to on-track action, the dressy, three-hand LUC 1937 Classic chronometer is the perfect timepiece for more genteel pursuits.
A study in restraint, the LUC 1937 Classic Rally Dubai Special Edition is characterized by a ruthenium-tone, satin-brushed dial on which sit thin, pointy hour markers, subtle 9, 12 and 3 Arabic numerals, a discrete date window at 6 o’clock, Dauphine hands and, well, not much else. Lending the watch a contemporary flavor are its tidy minute track, which gets the slightest bits of red (the only touch of whimsy on the dial), and its relatively sizeable 42-millimeter steel case.
Powering this piece is Chopard’s self-winding cal. 01.01-M, whose bridges are finished to look like engines — car engines, to be specific. This 31-jewel movement spins at 28,800vph, packs a 60-hour power reserve, and boasts COSC chronometer nod.
Only 20 examples of the LUC 1937 Classic Rally Dubai Special Edition were built. While it isn’t clear if all went to the winner of the Classic Rally Dubai, Chopard says the first place team, driver and co-driver did receive the limited-edition watch.
The second running of the regularity rally — or a time-speed-distance competition in which participants must traverse each segment of the race course in a specified time and a specified average speed, which they have to determine — saw 30 classic sports cars entered by local teams, as well as by those coming from other parts of the Gulf region, Europe and the US. The rally took off on November 9 from the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, then headed towards the northern emirates, passing across Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain, before reaching Hatta, which is nestled on the foothills of the Hajar Mountains. The route then looped back to Dubai.
Besides the three top finishers, three entries were also cited in special categories: Spirit of the Rally, Best in Show, and Best Novices, a new for 2018 award. Further spicing up the event was the presence of Romain Dumas, a
24 Hours of Le Mans winner in 2010 and 2016, and a three-time winner of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Chopard’s involvement with the Classic Rally Dubai, a competition reserved for classic car enthusiasts, sticks to its commitment to partner with events dedicated to collector’s cars, as well as to famous classic rallies. Its association with motoring events also illustrates its pursuit of constant innovation, performance, excellence and respect for traditions. Of course, it is also as likely that Chopard simply has a passion for mechanical engineering — just as people involved in motor racing have.