Chopard GT XL Alfa Romeo

In the last decade we’ve seen Ferrari’s tie-in collections from Panerai and Girard Pellagaux become junk, and Brietling fare no better in their partnership with Bentley. You’d therefore think that watch firms would be more cautious in teaming up with car companies to produce watches but no; somehow they just keep trying, with predictable results.

Chopard, as one of the sponsors of the Mille Miglia has always dallied with motor-racing. Every watch manufacturer knows that sponsoring motoring events is good for business. They offer a ready-made (and often false) history steeped in automotive heritage, even if all the manufacture had ever been involved in was providing stopwatches. Anyway, Chopard has decided to cement their dubious racing credentials by linking up with Alfa Romeo to create the GT XL Chrono Alfa Romeo, reference 168459-3028. It’s good that I didn’t bother with the drum roll. The design of the watch is just about as uninspired as its name, espousing none of the flair and design nous that Alfa Romeos are known for. Despite claiming that the watch celebrates an important milestone in both brands’ histories, the latter simply cobbled on a few of the carmaker’s logos on a recoloured Granturismo XL Chronograph.

"Trust me, you can't see it but the movement is absolutely first-rate..."

It is however over at the back where you’ll find this watch’s most serious transgression against good taste, and indeed reason itself. Chopard had rather incredibly stuck a huge and cheap looking Alfa Romeo badge over the sapphire caseback window, right smack on top of where a movement can be viewed. Thinking this a joke I fiddled with the watch, practically manhandling it to see if there was a hidden switch to pop the cover, or reveal a minature blade to scrape off the sticker, but no. Certainly there is nothing very attractive about Chopard’s ETA derived self-winders, but I’m certain most people will find even that more interesting than a crummy sticker.
As if blasting your own foot with a shotgun weren’t enough, Chopard then amputates the stump right off with some drivel on their supposedly vaunted rubber watchstraps. Being no stranger to scraping horological barrels Chopard has often espoused the sportiness of their tyre-patterned rubbers, although I can’t see how cheesy gimmicks like these justify the humongous price they’re asking. But wait – there’s more! As a special bonus to you, the discerning buyer of pricey watches on rubber-straps, they have hinted it with the scent of vanilla this time. Magnifico!

Alas, Chopard done the near-impossible: turning what could have been just another average watch into an insipid one. This watch embodies several pitfalls in modern watchmaking – lack of design, effort, and an unhealthy reliance on brand power to sell products. Throwing in some supposed bells and whistles like a vanilla strap cannot distract one from how shoddy an offering this watch truly is. If you must have a watch that has a competition-level stopwatch, rubber strap and a concealed case back, get a Casio G-Shock instead.

Chopard GT XL Chrono Alfa Romeo, Reference: 168459-3028, 44mm dial, stainless steel case with rubber deployant watch-strap, Unknown movement (likely base ETA), 46 hours power reserve, 100m water-resistance, recommended retail price about US$9,500.00.




One Response to “Chopard GT XL Alfa Romeo”

  1. Underminer Says:

    Chopard’s an amateur next to Tag Heuer who’s the undisputed master of crap limited edn race watches.

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