They have been doing it for a while and they arguably get better at it time after time. Chopard has really locked it’s connection to the world of high performance cars into its DNA. Unlike many other brands does Chopard not limit it’s love to a single car brand or race car driver, but do they proudly proclaim their love for exotic cars as a whole. The most prominent expression of this love is of course their Mille Miglia collection, named after the famed classical car race that Chopard already sponsored since 1988. These watches embody the classical lines of car racing, but to highlight the cutting edge of today’s high performance cars Chopard brought us the Superfast!
How appropriate can the name of a watch collection be? Many of today’s premium sedan’s now offer the horsepower, top speed and acceleration times that where only reached by super cars not too long ago. Developments in the world of cars go super fast, and Chopard did right to highlight this phenomenon. Although the Superfast collection is also available in steel, we take a look at the rose-gold members of the collection. Why? Because creating a great looking sports watch in steel is like participating in a Grand Prix, but to make it look great and sportive in rose gold is like winning one.
At first sight the Superfast does not take any prisoners. Although there is a time-only model with a diameter of 41mm, the power reserve and chronograph version boast each an impressive 45mm diameter. Too much of a good thing? Not really. Yes these watches are large but the relatively short lugs that curve with the wrist make them comfortable to wear. Of course the rubber strap also helps, but Chopard’s true skill becomes eminent when we take a look at the clasp. Although it looks like a pin buckle, it is actually a folding clasp. When creating larger, gold watches, many watch manufacturers feel the need to create a large folding buckle to apparently balance the weight on top of the wrist. Chopard took a different approach and actually created a strong, yet thin folding clasp. Benefit from this is that it can be worn tighter against the skin in a more comfortable fashion. So complaining about their size is now somewhere along the line of complaining that your car has too many horsepower.
Chopard is by many considered a jewelry brand. Especially when it comes to sports watches, some connoisseurs use this word in a way that is not really a compliment. What these gentlemen forget are some of the skills that are needed to make high end jewelry. The difference between good jewelry and great jewelry is often defined by an eye for detail and the expertise to act upon this. And that is what Chopard implemented in their Superfast collection. They not only have just a few interesting details, but are packed with them! Not a surface or part seemed to have been forgotten, everything and all breathes the essence of speed. From the bolts that hold the bezel in place, to the little gold steering wheel placed inside the crown, to the extremely legible dial, with its different layers and textures.
Perhaps the coolest detail is hidden out of sight, at least for most of the time. Chopard gave the bridges of the movements of the Superfast collection a see-through engine finish. In essence this results in a skeleton movement with a touch of mystery. A lot of the inner works of the movement can be seen with a little effort, yet it will never reveal all. Chopard knows that this is the perfect tease for any watch enthusiast because they even shaped the rotor in such a fashion that it gives the most unobstructed view on the movement. The red lettering on the movement is again one of those seemingly small touches that really make this watch breath the racing atmosphere. It really gives you the idea of looking at the engine of your watch, what in essence the movement actually is.
Talking about movements, the entire Superfast collection is fitted with Chopard’s manufacture movements. In this field Chopard has build up quite a reputation. Their manufacture movements are known to be dependable, well finished and often boast a power reserve that is higher than the average in the industry. All three the watches feature a power reserve of 60 hours and are Chronometer certified. These movements are build in Chopard’s Fleurier workshop. This workshop was opened in 2008 and has an annual production of 5.000 movements per year. Since not all of these movements are being used in the Superfast-collection, it gives an insight of the true exclusivity of the collection in terms of production numbers.
Although all three models are clearly part of the same collection, they differ enough from each other to each have their own face. The time-only model is your classic three handed watch, for which Chopard mainly went for symmetry. The date is placed at six o’clock and balanced out by an oversize 12 at twelve o’clock. The remaining Arabic numerals are placed on a slope outer ring around the dial, while bold luminous markers on the dial indicate the hours. By adding on the left and right side of the dial a texture similar to that of the profile of race car tires Chopard achieves more than one effect. It looks sportive, but it also makes the watch more refined. The different shades of black make it that the watch all of a sudden also goes quite well with you pin stripe suit and French cuff dress shirts, making the watch more a Gran Turismo rather than a hard core race car.
Similar dial decoration can also be found on the Superfast Power Control. Here, the date is placed at three o’clock to make room for a sub seconds at six o’clock. The Power Control lends it name from the white power reserve meter placed between eight and ten o’clock. A bold statement, that works surprisingly well. Without any doubt an eye catcher on the dial but the sub-seconds and the date bring enough to the table to level it all out, and not be outrun by the power reserve complication.
The Superfast-collection would of course not be complete without a chronograph! The Superfast Chrono features a tricompax lay out where Chopard made the hour and minute counter larger than the running seconds at six o’clock. The date is conveniently “hidden” between four and five o’clock, but the bold font in which the numbers are displayed make sure that you don’t overlook that feature when you need it. Since the Superfast Chrono was born to measure lap-times it is also fitted with a flyback function so that you can also measure the next round with utmost precision.
The true beauty about the Superfast is that the collection get’s there on it’s own. It doesn’t need any endorsements, any links to famous names other than Chopard’s to shine. Any skepticism one might have against the Superfast is quickly overtaken when seeing the collection in person. It’s a bold watch, but a refined one for that matter. Well build, well finished and with enough details to keep the watch interesting for generations to come. This makes us come back to an earlier statement in this article that Chopard’s Superfast-collection is actually a Gran Turismo amongst watches!
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics
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