Chopard’s Mille Miglia watch is a tribute to Jacky Ickx

The JX7 is a further collaboration between Chopard and Jacky Ickx, launched in readiness for the driver’s 80th birthday

Mille-Miglia Helmet and Watch

The career of the great Jacky Ickx will be familiar to many, not least for encompassing six Le Mans wins – a record that stood until 2005, when Dane Tom Kristensen achieved his seventh victory.

In addition to his triumphs at La Sarthe, Ickx demonstrated his remarkable driving talent with two World Sportscar Championship titles, eight race wins in Formula 1 and, in 1983, first place in the gruelling Paris-Dakar Rally with a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen.

Less well known is his prolific record in the Mille Miglia historic as the co-pilot of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the car-loving co-president of watch and jewellery house Chopard. Scheufele runs the business with sister Caroline and, back in 1988, he established Chopard as lead sponsor of the Mille Miglia recreation.

Jacky Ickx wearing the Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph JK7

But it was a piece of jewellery that brought the two men together. According to Scheufele, he was spectating at the Nürburgring in the late 1980s when, while sitting on a bench eating a sausage, Ickx unexpectedly approached. “I had never met him before, but he came over to complain about some jewellery he had bought for his wife that had broken,” says Scheufele. “He was quite annoyed, so I asked him to take it to the boutique. We repaired it free of charge and Jacky and I have been friends ever since.”

It’s a friendship that blossomed in 1989 when Scheufele entered the Mille Miglia for the first time, driving his family’s Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’. He asked Ickx to join him, expecting him to insist on taking the wheel – but Ickx said he preferred to be a passenger. The Belgian star has since accompanied his friend on more than a dozen Mille Miglias.

During April’s Watches and Wonders show in Geneva, Chopard paid tribute to Ickx in advance of his 80th birthday (January 1) by staging a dinner in a vast barn on the Scheufele family farm. Displayed inside were the Dakar-winning G-Wagen, one of Ickx’s Ferrari F1 cars and the special X Gran Berlinetta hybrid concept made as a celebration of the driver by South Korean manufacturer Genesis.

Scheufele used the occasion to unveil the JX7 – a seventh collaboration between Chopard and Ickx. Based on the Mille Miglia chronographs created each year to mark the event, the JX7’s dial recalls the blue livery of Ickx’s race helmets and features a contrasting red Mille Miglia arrow and a red-tipped seconds hand. Red also highlights the ‘6’ and ‘24’ on the date disc in recognition of his Le Mans victories.

On the back is a depiction of the distinctive Bell XFGP ‘owl’ helmet Ickx wore during the 1979 F1 season – a miniature of which is supplied with the watch, along with the first blue-coloured version of Chopard’s special rubber strap that mimics the tread of a Dunlop tyre.

Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph JX7, from £9280.


If you like your chronographs to be beautifully simple and simply beautiful, you’ll love the Instrument de Vitesse from Angelus. As a monopusher, it eschews the usual trio of stop/start buttons in favour of a single item that activates the central chrono hand that can record elapsed times up to just one minute or, in conjunction with the outer tachymeter scale, can be used to make speed and distance calculations. The hand-wound movement is beautifully decorated and can be seen through a transparent back.

Angelus Instrument de Vitesse, £15,000.


French brand Bell & Ross has a history of commissioning custom motorcycles to promote its business, the first being the award-winning ‘Nascafe Racer’ built by Shaw Speed & Custom in 2011. For its latest two-wheeled project, B&R recruited Paris-based automotive designer Sacha Lakic to make a retro-futuristic machine based on an Indian Scout – and complemented it with a blackened chronograph. The sculpted case contains a vertically striped dial with hexagonal chronograph counters and racy red detailing.

Bell & Ross BR-03-94 Blacktrack, £

Precision is written by renowned luxury goods specialist Simon de Burton