This is the Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chronograph for 2012.
It is a formula that works - a prestigious Motorsport event + a renowned watch brand = a desirable chronograph with mandatory automobile-inspired styling, usually produced in a limited edition. The brand in this equation is Chopard and the event is Monaco .... but not that one.
This is the altogether more understated Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, a biennial event staged by the Automobile Club of Monaco. Do not be fooled by the "vintage" nature of the racing, this is no Sunday afternooon tootle around the Monaco Grand Prix street circuit - quite the opposite, the vehicles may be classic but they are ex-F1, ex-F3 and pre-raced classic sports cars and each driver in each class has their eyes on the big prize - it doesn't matter that there are few run-offs and some irreplaceable panels and paintwork just might get obliterated, this is serious racing. This year's event runs from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th May.
It is a timing partnership which works particularly well for Chopard - their boss, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele has been known to blow away the corporate cobwebs competing in classic car events and of course this is a brand who have the knack for producing some fine and dapper chronographs.
This GPMH model measures just over 42mm across and is made from titanium so it is super-strong, super-durable and super-light. Vivid colour notes animate the subdued matt finish, on the small seconds counter, on the strap stitching and on the sweep seconds hand with its decisive little arrow-tip, but it is a restrained use of colour just enough to give the design a sporty edge. The dial features a broad horizontal go-fast stripe, and the styling on this year's piece has been neatened up with a square date window taking the place of the date bubble. Inside is a COSC certified automatic chronometer calibre with 48 hours of power reserve, water resistant to 50 metres.
Two editions of the Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chronograph 2012 will be available, the edition shown here with a titanium case and also a titanium and rose gold version with blue in place of orange, which will be limited to 500 pieces. Each will be presented on a perforated leather strap with contrasting stitching.
Our archive has a collection of sporty timekeepers - the Mille Miglia models, the Classic Racing Superfast Chrono, Jacky Ickx stuff - we've featured them all with nice big images to drool over - view them here.