Angus Davies, in this article from the online watch magazine Escapement, provides an in-depth review of the Chopard G.P.M.H Chrono, a watch born to grace the wrist of any podium-seeking competitor. A chronometer, this watch delivers precision in a handsome composition with retro styling elements.
I am dreadful at getting up on a Sunday morning. I feel welded to the mattress of my bed and don’t want to move. Yet, as soon as my son, Euan, was old enough, I sacrificed my cherished lie-in and took him to the go-kart track on a weekly basis. Foregoing a late rise on the supposed day of rest, this weekly early morning ritual continued for several years.
Despite my son’s rather diminutive stature at the time, there was a gritty determination within him to achieve podium success. Ambition often usurped ability and collisions with other competitors frequently occurred.
It was surprising that this little boy, still no stranger to a fatherly cuddle, would exhibit a notable degree of aggression on the track that was otherwise absent. As he closed his visor, a red mist seemed to descend and a need to win would overwhelm his psyche.
While my son enjoyed some podium glory, I remember pointing out the obvious as he dreamed of a future career in Formula One, aged just 10 years. Unfortunately for Euan, now 15, his gene pool dictates that even with adroit driving skills, his 6’ 3” frame would preclude any chance of podium success. Quite simply, his stature is too large for any serious competition success to be realized.
Nevertheless, Euan’s thirst for speed was quenched at a young age and he continues to exhibit a need to compete in other sporting fields. Indeed, the competitive mindset was well developed, even at a young age.
The fact is, some individuals are born to compete. They crave success. They covet racing glory and the thrill of clipping an apex, at speed, with precision and perfect timing.
Eighteen months ago, I attended the launch of the Chopard Superfast, an octane-fueled watch infused with testosterone. I chatted to various guests and had the profound pleasure of conversing with Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the Co-President of Chopard.
It was during this conversation that I learned that Scheufele himself had always harbored a dream to become a racing driver. His passion for performance was evident as soon as the subject of motorsports was raised.
Watch brands know that cars, motorsports and timepieces appeal to similar audiences and are comfortable bedfellows. Some brands cynically badge up a mundane offering and pass it off as a motorsport-themed watch with little underlying substance to the association. Chopard is very different.
I can think of few watch brands where the co-president regularly dons racing overalls and participates in the Mille Miglia. Indeed, Scheufele competes in the famous annual race from Brescia with his close friend, Monsieur LeMans, Jacky Ickx.
Scheufele’s fascination with motorsports is at the heart of Chopard’s DNA. The company has an innate need to compete in motorsports. Indeed, it is this predilection for speed and the desire to wear a race winner’s garland that has influenced several of the brand’s collections and influenced its sponsorship activity.
In 2014, Chopard became the “Official Timing Partner of Porsche Motorsport” as the Swabian luxury car marque returned to Le Mans with its LMP1 car, the 919 Hybrid — with the Genevan watch brand’s logo proudly displayed on the mirrors. To mark Porsche’s return to Le Mans, Chopard launched the limited-edition Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Edition, with a unique striped dial reminiscent of the racing car’s rear diffuser. Shortly afterward, at Silverstone, I witnessed each Porsche team driver wearing a steel Chopard Superfast Power Control.
Chopard has also embraced the glamor of Monaco, recently sponsoring the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique 2014 and fulfilling the important duty of being the “Official Timekeeper” of the event.
The sight of classic racing cars being skillfully threaded through the narrow streets of this glamorous and prestigious principality must have been incredible and leaves me feeling envious of those lucky souls who witnessed the spectacle.
Chopard has marked this important classic race with the launch of the G.P.M.H models: Automatic, Power Control, and — my favored model — the Chrono. I have always been attracted to chronographs, as they provide a very useful complication.
The dial features a tri-compax layout. At first glance it appears to be a bi-compax design because the black snailed chronograph counters are very noticeable. However, look more closely and you’ll note the small-seconds display is presented on a snailed gray subdial, subtly blending with the snailed gray dial canvas. The small seconds display remains clean, clear and simple to interpret.