Chopard is known for its endless love for all things automotive. During the last two or three of years, the Swiss brand has introduced a number of beautiful sporty timekeepers (check this Mille Miglia Zagato Chronograph GMT Limited Edition (Ref. 168550-6001) for example) and it doesn’t look like they are going to stop churning out new racing-inspired chronographs and three-handers any time soon. Coming in a flashy black-and-yellow (a color scheme, which is often associated with Chevrolet’s Corvette Racing team, although I am not sure whether the similarity is intentional or purely coincidental), the new Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chrono 2014 (ref. 168570-3001) will surely not go unnoticed even if you plan to wear it with a Hawaiian shirt.
Officially presented at the Baselworld 2014 fair, the new watch looks like an evolution of their 2012 Grand Prix de Monaco Historique and the last year’s Mille Miglia limited edition model, both members of their Classic Racing collection.
Still, judging by the specs, this is not just a repainted and refinished version of the older watch (a thing that some other major brands often do to boost sales). The watch is slightly bigger and is also thicker and its chronograph push-pieces feature a more imposing finish. The dial of the timekeeper was, too, a bit rehashed resulting in a more balanced, a tad easier to read look.
Of course, there is a certain “vintage” or maybe “classic” feel about the watch: it looks like Chopard feels a certain pressure from Rolex’s recently revived Tudor brand that, too, features layouts heavily based on designs from the 1970s or even 1960s. As a result, we have a very clean, easy to grasp at a single glance dial with a highly contrast color scheme and very well-chosen typefaces for all four inscriptions printed near the relatively large date aperture at 3 o’clock.
While its slightly oversized 44.5 mm body (see specs below) is crafted from titanium, the stainless steel bezel features an insert fashioned out of anodized aluminum that, too, sporty finely printed tachymeter scale with its Km/h numbers dubbed with bright yellow dots that make the watch look even more appealing.
As the official press release states, the watch will be offered with an extremely comfortable black Barenia leather strap with yellow stitching that feels quite comfortable on a wrist, but it is clearly the black textile NATO strap with three racing-inspired yellow lines on it that suits this sporty chronograph best.
When it comes to racing, engine is what matters and the Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chrono 2014 again doesn’t disappoint. The watch is said to be powered by a COSC-certified ETA Valjoux 7750 chronometer movement that, while not visible under the solid case-back cover, which is stamped with the famous Automobile Club de Monaco logo, will make sure that you will enjoy the most fulfilling experience owning this watch.
For the sake of objectivity, I should have probably written about something that I don’t like about this beast, but frankly, I can’t find anything to get annoyed with (and I am getting annoyed quite easily). Well, perhaps the only thing that gets me is the price. Although the timekeeper’s MSRP is yet to be revealed, past experience tells me that Chopard will probably price it at some $7700-$8000 USD, which is quite expensive even for a watch of this caliber.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 3/5
Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chrono 2014 (ref. 168570-3001) watch specification
Price: $7700 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case material: Titanium
Bezel material: Steel, black anodized aluminum insert
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.50 mm
Case height: 13.90 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Silver-toned, snailed
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Luminous, black
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black Barenia leather strap with yellow stitching or black and yellow textile NATO-style strap with a titanium and steel folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Solid, stamped with the Automobile Club de Monaco logo