The gentleman racing-driver’s chronograph…
The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique chronograph is every inch a racing watch, both literally and figuratively. It is clearly cut from the right cloth for this purpose and duly equipped with the appropriate functions and colours. With its revisited design and its matt titanium case, its new yellow colour code and its racer-style strap, it pays vibrant homage to the world of vintage Formula 1 motor-racing. Powerful and reliable as well as technical and comfortable, it is designed like a full-fledged driving instrument.
For the seventh consecutive year, Chopard is the sponsor and official timekeeper of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique. On the weekend of May 10th – 11th 2014, the city of Monaco will be humming with the sound of former Formula 1 Lotus, Cooper and Lola cars, in addition to old-timer Ferrari, Bugatti and other models. Traditionally, Chopard presents a chronograph in homage to each edition of this race that takes place every two years. For the first time, the Geneva-based company has chosen to develop a complete new Grand Prix de Monaco Historique collection, of which the central chronograph piece is the first model to be unveiled.
The case adopts a new ergonomic shape with tauter, more dynamic lines. Its diameter has been broadened to 44.5 mm and the dial has been entirely redesigned with grooves similar to those marking the end of race-track turns. The hour-marker ring is designed all of a piece like a brake disc and punctuated by arrow-shaped hour-markers filled with luminova that are part of the new signature features on
Chopard Classic Racing models. The most visible element is undoubtedly the use of the new bright yellow colour code – a visual warning for drivers emerging from the Monaco tunnel at speeds of more than 250 km/h. The classic race is an eminently virile and dangerous course that must be driven with style and panache. The Formula 1 racing cars from the 1930s to 1930s are each in their own way ‘monsters’ in terms of power and bereft of any anti-skid devices or power steering. Their brakes and suspension systems are quite literally from a bygone age. Seated inside aluminium bodywork throbbing to the tune of an Brabham V8 inline engine mounted on extra-stiff suspensions, a driver needs to be able to read his watch just as clearly as if he were at a complete halt during a pit-stop.
Tried and tested lightness and robustness
Technical features are designed to meet driver’s requirements. This is as true of the machine he drives as of the one worn on his wrist. Chopard expects its watches to run impeccably smoothly, while also featuring a strong and distinctive aesthetic identity. It is precisely this interaction between form and function, appearance and essence that distinguishes the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chrono 2014. The non-slip handling of the titanium chronograph pushers stems from their broad engraved surface similar to that of a piston. The readability of the watch is enhanced by the set of contrasts on the dial, featuring yellow hands for the chronograph part, along with luminova-enhanced black hands for the hours, minutes and seconds. All stand out clearly against the silver-toned or black background. Lightness and sturdiness are must-have features for cars in order to ensure their manoeuverability and to make the most of their power. The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chronograph adopts the same attitude with a beadblasted titanium case, while the bezel and back are in polished steel. The latter is engraved with the logo of the Automobile Club de Monaco which organises the Grand Prix.
The manner in which a driver is strapped to his seat determines both his safety and his comfort. Instead of a four-point safety harness, the watch features a titanium folding clasp securing a black calfskin strap with large perforations and yellow stitching channelling a 1960s racing vibe. The model may also be fitted with an optional woven nylon NATO-type black strap with yellow stripes echoing the spirit of Ford GT40 or Shelby Cobra Daytona hoods. Well-secured openings are also a determining factor in the driver’s safety and the titanium crown is duly screw-locked and protected by a beadblasted shoulder-guard. Finally, the reliability of the engine makes all the difference in terms of ranking, since even the finest driver at the wheel of the best machine will achieve nothing if it breaks down before the finish line. Chopard therefore uses a tried and true self-winding chronograph movement renowned for its endurance. Its rating precision is tested and guaranteed by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, the famous COSC.
The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique is indeed a racing watch, both literally and figuratively. It is cut from the right cloth and duly equipped with the appropriate functions and colours. This is not about nostalgia or introducing an updated model of an historical model, but instead a purely contemporary creation. Brimming with nods and tributes to the identity codes of legendary F1 racing cars, it is always geared up to take the wheel.Posted by By Arrnott Olssen Editor Rogue Homme