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Racing Stars And Stripes

Chopard picks Porsche’s 70th anniversary party in Laguna Seca to show latest Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Stripes Edition

TRUE, it was Porsche’s party. The sports car maker has turned 70, and part of its year-long celebration is the Rennsport Reunion VI. Held in late September at the famed Laguna Seca Raceway in California, the gig drew around 80,000 of the brand’s faithful, who came to gawk at more than 2,000 Porsches past and present — from tractors to the 919 Hybrid Evo, and every model in between.

Still, Chopard chose the occasion during which to unveil its latest Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Stripes Edition. The watch honors not Porsche, but the cars built by American racer Briggs Cunningham — specifically, the C2-R which raced in Le Mans in 1951, and which hoisted the stars-and-stripes flag in international top-level motor sports. This history of American racing is what Chopard pays its tribute to, and so choosing a motor sport gathering held at Laguna Seca is but natural.

In line with this, the watchmaker erected the Chopard Heritage Display, a tented exhibition prominently positioned in the paddock, which showcased an exclusive series of 70 important Porsche models. Mingling with the cars was a custom display of Chopard timepieces, including watches from the Classic Racing Collection.

Certainly, the star is the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Racing Stripes Edition. The piece is adorned by an off-center blue double stripe on its silver dial, and another blue decal with the marking “Racing Stripe” on the crystal sapphire caseback — recalling the livery of the Cunningham C2-R, which adhered to the color combination assigned to the US during the era. Limited to only 50 pieces, the watch is also exclusively stateside.

Besides racing stripes, the watch retains the features of the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph. Beating beneath it is a self-winding, 37-jewel movement that spins at 28,800vph and which is a COSC-certified chronometer. On the dial is a 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock, a small second sub register opposite it, a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, and a date window between 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock. A tachymeter scale frames the dial. Found on the side of the watch’s stainless-steel case is a pair of classic chronograph pump pushers, which flank the crown. A black rubber strap with a pattern evoking tire tread secures the watch on the wrist. Clearly, this piece deserves the Mille Miglia in its name.

Well, Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele himself takes part in the Mille Miglia race every year. And what car does he drive? A Porsche 550A Spyder RS, no less.

Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele