If you like old cars and you like old watches you might think Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has the world’s best job. Along with his sister Caroline he’s co-president of Chopard, the watch and jewellery brand well known for its celebrity links and for sponsoring major historic motoring events, most notably the Mille Miglia.
This year’s MM allowed Chopard to make an impressive 33rd appearance as principal backer and timekeeper – and also marked the 32nd occasion that Scheufele has competed in the retrospective. It was also the 15th time he had done so alongside friend Jacky Ickx.
The pair once more covered the 1000-mile course in the distinctive, strawberry-red Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing that has been part of the Scheufele family collection for more than 40 years and in which the two men first drove the Mille Miglia back in 1989.
It’s just one of an impressive stable of classics that Scheufele uses on a regular basis, others being a Ferrari 750 Monza, a Porsche 911 RS 2.7, a ’65 Mini Cooper and pre-war models that include an Alfa 8C and a 3-litre Bentley.
And as MM fans will know, each competing crew is presented with a unique, numbered Chopard Race Edition watch as part of the not inconsiderable entry fee – and a limited run of un-numbered but otherwise identical models is made for public sale.
This year’s Mille Miglia Race Edition is a 44mm chronograph that’s available in a 1000- piece, all-steel version or in 250 examples with bezels, pushpieces and hands made from ethical 18-carat rose gold. Both have slate grey dials complemented by sharply contrasting chapter rings and chronograph subdials with red-tipped markers to enhance legibility.
The three-counter set-up enables individual recording of 12-hour, 30-minute and 60-second elapsed times, while speed and distance calculations can be made using the dashboard-inspired white-lacquered markings on the black ceramic insert of the tachymeter bezel.
To enhance legibility during gloomy stages, the hands and hour markers are filled with glow-in-the-dark Superluminova, while the semi-instantaneous date display is viewed through a magnifier for enhanced readability.
As with all Chopard Mille Miglia watches, the 2021 Race Edition’s motoring pedigree is confirmed by the presence of the famous Mille Miglia red arrow on the dial, with the case back decorated with a chequered flag design, the 1000 Miglia logo and the inscription ‘Brescia- Rome-Brescia’ as a reminder of the route.
There’s a final automotive touch in the leather bracelet – its rubber lining is stamped with the tread pattern of a ’60s racing tyre.
Chopard Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition, from £6640
Girard-Perregaux’s last foray into the automotive world took the form of a partnership with Ferrari that began in 1994 and lasted for a decade. In April, however, the watch house announced it had climbed into bed with Aston Martin. The first fruit of the new deal is this Tourbillon With Three Flying Bridges, a titanium-cased timepiece based around the celebrated Three Gold Bridges movement design first used in Girard- Perregaux pocket watches of the 1860s.
Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon Aston Martin Edition, £112,680
Having designed the clock face used in Land Rover’s 25 Defender Works V8 Trophy special editions, Elliot Brown has produced this Land Rover version of its Holton Professional watch. Hour markers take the form of the new Defender’s ‘squircle’ rear lights and orange seconds markers at the 19 and 48 points allude to the original Land Rover’s launch. Its stainless steel case is toughened with a gunmetal PVD finish and has a back decorated with the Land Rover oval.
Elliot Brown Holton Land Rover Edition, £499