Nothing quite matches the exhilarating spectacle of the F1 Monaco Grand Prix – except that is for the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique. Every two years the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) brings together the racing cars of yesteryear to race on the same circuit as the Formula 1 Grand Prix cars. The event which takes place two weeks before the F1 race provides the perfect hors d’oeuvre for the “main” event, and for those who feel that the new F1 regulations have quietened the engines down just a little too much, it ensures that Monaco once again echoes with a much more authentic scream as ex-F1, F2, F3 and pre-raced sports cars take to the iconic street circuit. Do not let the vintage nature of the event fool you – despite the fact that some of the vehicles taking part are irreplaceable this is not merely a showcase parade, but a very serious racing event with no quarter conceded in the dash to the chequered flag. In their role as official timekeeper for the event, Chopard bring their genuine enthusiasm for classic car racing and of course, their talents for producing rather dapper racing-inspired chronographs with which to celebrate these special occasions.
Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chronographe – An Evolution
The evolution of Chopards’ Grand Prix de Monaco Historique models has seen a shift away from the classical styling of early models, which featured polished bezels and rounded Arabic numerals, to more sporty casual pieces of recent years with on-bezel tachymeter scales, sharp baton markers and neat 3-6-9 counter arrangements. The 2014 edition is the edgiest design to date, bringing to the collection new informal black and yellow aesthetics and that most unceremonious of wristwatch accessories, the love-or-hate-it NATO strap.
Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chronographe – Subtle Details
As always Chopard give consideration to the minutiae. The beadblasted finish of the titanium case contrasts with the polished pushers, the counters are slightly recessed adding interest and depth and a snailed decoration on the silver-toned dial and on the counters promises to play with the light. The metallic black hands are bolder than before and there is a decisive little tip on the yellow central seconds hand. Double-digit numerals tucked into the hour markers add clarity. The model proclaims its heritage on a black stripe surrounding the date aperture at the 3 o’clock location, with a caseback engraving and with the now synonymous steering wheel decorated crown, which for the first time receives a sculpted crown guard.
Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chronographe – Upsized Case, Leaner Profile
In addition to the adventurous black and yellow tones, the case of the 2014 edition has been upsized to 44.5mm, but titanium construction, a leaner profile and redesigned lugs ensure that the model is not unwieldy and will hug the wrist. Inside the COSC-certified chronometer automatic ETA calibre 7750 produces a power reserve of 46 hours and is sealed to provide water resistance of up to 100m. The model comes with the choice of a reassuringly racy perforated calf-skin strap with yellow stitching or with a more casual and very tool-ish yellow and black NATO-style nylon option. Price is $7,640.