This swimmer, gamekeeper, driver and watch lover

Angus Davies reports on the launch of the Chopard Superfast model, the latest high-performance timepiece from the Geneva brand.

Humans have always had an obsession and preference for speed.

History is littered with countless records where fastest is the only reason for training or engineering or both.

Sir Roger Bannister was the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. But who is the second? Most people, myself included, don’t know the answer. Speed ​​is all or nothing, first or nowhere. The second is not an option for competitors who are really obsessed with speed.

I recently traveled to Marbella as a Chopard guest. The purpose of the trip was to attend the launch of the Superfast model, the latest addition to its classic racing series.

The helicopter picked me up and a few other lucky people from the press and took us to the Ascari racetrack near Ronda. The agility with which we traversed the track did not prepare anyone for the extreme speed we suffered later.

press conference
The media gathered in a room with cameras at the ready and pens at the ready to take a lot of notes. Next to the rows of chairs sits a Porsche 936 Spyder, once driven by six-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx.

The scene is set. This highly anticipated timepiece is clearly an octane watch from another brand long associated with motorsport.

Chopard has been a long-term partner of the Mille Miglia and the Monaco Historic Grand Prix. However, nothing prepared me for showing three models at once.

The assembled visitors were joined by three people who knew speed; Ryan Lochte, Jacky Ickx and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele.

Ryan Lochter
Ryan Lochte, a talented swimmer, spoke first, wearing a handsome Superfast Chrono. The American is no stranger to speed, having won several Olympic medals, one of which he participated. He expressed his passion for watches and said he enjoyed designing his own jewelry, some of which he wore at the time.

The famous swimmer’s sculpted physique has been honed to cut through the water, leaving his rivals behind him. Obviously no body fat. His form is a function of time spent swimming and lifting weights in the pool endlessly.

When Lochte introduced the Superfast model, he took a small look at the psychology of swimmers. “As a swimmer, time is…my worst enemy”.

Those of us who were fortunate enough to interview other leading figures in sports can immediately recognize this steely determination. This is inherent to most successful sports figures.

Getting plaudits at the highest level of sport is a prerequisite, and that is dogged determination. The relentless pursuit of excellence.

Chopard Superfast Chrono
18 carat rose gold watch
45mm case diameter
Chopard 03.05-M automatic chronograph movement
60 hours power reserve
Hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock, date at 4.30, minute counter at 3 o’clock, hour counter at 9 o’clock
Open the back cover
Waterproof to 100 meters
Rubber strap with smooth tire pattern
refer to. 161284-5001

Jackie Ickes
One person who is no stranger to speed is Jacky Ickx. He competes in motorsports at the highest level. A successful Formula 1 driver, he drove for Ferrari, Ligier and Lotus when the risk of death or injury loomed over the fuel-filled blue air.

His greatest success was at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He has six victories at the iconic circuit, four of them in a Porsche.

I sat across from the racing legend and was a little apprehensive about seeing his big man. Within two nanoseconds, however, all the anxiety vanished, and Jacky’s warm, disarming smile instantly reassured me.

No conceit, no arrogance. Mr. Ickx came across as a gentle soul with a humble character.

He cited Ken Tyrell as a man who played an important role in his career. However, his revelation to me was when he said: “I never wanted to be a race car driver. It just happened”. I don’t believe it, “What does he want him to do? Review cheap watch

“I’ve always wanted to be a gardener or a gamekeeper. I love nature, I never wanted to be a race car driver,” explains Jacky.

Jacky has five children, one of which is Vanina Ickx.

I’m curious if he can watch his daughter race at Le Mans? “I can, but I can tell you it’s unpleasant”. I have empathy for Jacky, my son raced karts when he was 8, and I remember the relief he felt when he told me he no longer wanted to race. An ominous aura hangs over many parents watching their children take part in an inherently dangerous sport. Jacky is clearly no different.

Jacky has been a long-term ambassador for Chopard. I asked about his relationship with luxury brands. “I made a friend at KFS (Karl-Friedrich Scheufele). We’ve known each other for over twenty years and are really close. In life, you have many relationships, but only a few real friends. Mine have very few , I can count them on the fingers of one hand. Really, you can call them friends.”

Jacky and I later sat in the front passenger seat of a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and his amazing talent behind the wheel didn’t diminish over time, “he still had it”. Jacky is still Superfast and hopefully this will last a long time.

Chopard Ultrafast Power Control
18 carat rose gold watch
45mm case diameter
Chopard 01.02-M automatic movement
60 hours power reserve
Hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock, date at 3 o’clock, power indicator at 9 o’clock
Open the back cover
Waterproof to 100 meters
Rubber strap with smooth tire pattern
refer to. 161291-5001

The look of this watch has a modern look, and at first I questioned whether it fits the classical role played by Chopard. However, a look at the tachymeter scale and the red-hand chronograph reveals a familiarity and connection with Chopard’s existing catalogue.

I like the honesty of this movement. It shows off its charming details through the caseback. It does not stick to the rules, but embraces new technologies and presents a beautiful movement of modern manufacturing methods.

Above all, I cherish handsome lines and charming details. It’s a sports watch I’d be proud to wear, even if my driving talents are best limited to my daily commute to the office.