Trying to boost its image of a brand deeply rooted in all things automotive, Chopard has recently presented a limited-edition version of their Classic Racing Chronograph. Although being animated by a higher-grade version of a mass-produced mechanical movement and also not very practical due to its gargantuan dimensions, this is still an interesting timekeeper with an unusual design of the dial and not very common finish of its case and mechanism.
Remember that one-off Chopard Classic Racing Chrono F1 Singapore edition piece that the Swiss brand sold at a charity auction for some $35,000? Well, Chopard possibly decided that it would be a real shame to allow this innovative design to be wasted on just a single timekeeper and decided to make more of them. If you are still interested, you have a chance to own one of 500 of its closest relatives — the limited-edition Classic Racing Chronograph.
Both models look almost the same. There are only two visual differences one may notice with a naked eye.
The F1 Singapore edition has its vertical stripes made of 18-karat rose gold while this particular model has them crafted of the same black material as the dial. The second difference lies on the other side of the case: the piece-unique has its back made of solid gold and this one sports a transparent back covered with sapphire crystal offering an unobstructed view at its automatic movement.
The latter is the same Swiss-made ETA 2894-2 top-grade chronograph caliber that was heavily refinished to better match the overall styling.
The caliber, while uninteresting from the technical point of view (I guess, there millions of them ticking on wrists of happy owners all over the world,) is nevertheless reliable and highly accurate for a mechanical movement. Being an officially COSC-certified chronometer, it offers more than an acceptable level of accuracy.
As you can see, the two chronograph push-pieces are made of some sort of rubber, just as its jet-black screw-lock crown. Together with eight screws around its bezel and a rubber-molded strap featuring a classic 1960s Dunlop Racing tire-tread motif, they provide for a beautiful contrast with the polished 18-ct rose gold case.
Measuring 48 mm in diameter and 15 mm in height, the case is ahem rather large, so be careful, don’t buy one on an impulse in some Web-based pawn shop. Or, at least, visit your official dealer and try the thing on your wrist.
And good luck finding one, since the total run of this masterpiece is limited at only 500 units.
Chopard Classic Racing Chronograph specification
Price range: $32,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber ETA 2894-2, automatic, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case: 18-karat rose gold, transparent case back
Size: 48.00 mm
Case height: 15.00 mm
Dial: Black, vertical stripes
Hands: Rose gold, luminous (Superluminova)
Hour markers: Luminous, applied
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber band with a rose gold deployant clasp