Watch Stories | Michael Prichinello | Co-Founder of Classic Car Club Manhattan

Watch Stories | Michael Prichinello | Co-Founder of Classic Car Club Manhattan

Today we’re in New York
hanging out with Michael Prichinello. Michael is the CEO of Classic Car Club
in Manhattan. A private membership club for people who love great cars. Offering
its members anything from a classic 911, to a modern Lamborghini, and anything in
between. Members of Classic Car Club are sure to be able to drive a great car
anytime. Michael is a car enthusiast, has an eye for great detail, and is a watch guy.
Today we’re going to get to know Michael a little better and hear some really great
watch stories. My name is Mike Prichinello. I’m the co-founder of Classic Car Club
Manhattan. I’m just a transplant Long Island guy living in New York City. I guess most
people describe me as a car guy, maybe an entrepreneur. I kind of get paid to
drive, but I’m not a professional driver or a really good race car driver. It’s as
close as you can get, so that’s what I do. Classic Car Club is really interesting
and unique club. We have the location here in New York and the original Club. I
wish I was smart enough to start it, but I wasn’t. I imported it with my partner, Zac Moseley, and our third partner, Phil Kavanagh. And he started the
Classic Car Club in London in 1995. So we’ve been doing this for twenty
something years. New York is eleven years old now. It’s private club. It’s a community, and
everybody in it has a love of cars. So we stock about 40 cars, and members call up,
they could drive it ever they like, and treat it as their own, but then it’s also all
about the events. So we probably have about 50 events every year for members.
So we do a lot of performance driving schools, we have our own race team, we do
really great scotch tastings at the car club, private dinners with great chefs like Chef Andrew Carmellini. But then we also do mechanic’s night with a bunch of PBRs and pizza. So it’s
really high/low culture, but it’s really just about enjoying cars. Not looking at
them, but driving them. Doing things. Cars want to be driven. I get really sad when
I see collector cars stored away in garages. It’s like they’re in cages. They want to
be driven. They have a soul. Anything that, in our perspective, progresses automotive
culture, automotive engineering, automotive design, has a house at the Classic Car Club. So “Classic’s” in the name but modern classics are very welcome. This is a new Mille Miglia. It’s really
beautiful, and I think, as far as automotive themed watches go, this one
has kind of earned it. Sometimes it’s really easy to put some
racing stripes on something, and make it a car watch. But Chopard has a really great
history of supporting racing, and supporting privateer, and factory teams.
I have a 2001 Mille Miglia. I have a newer one because it’s sort of an homage
to my old one. This one the dial was inspired by the dash of an early Ferrari.
That would’ve been one of the early Mille Miglias. It’s just good contrast and very simple.
I like chronograph because, again, it’s all about the tenths of seconds. The
milliseconds, as it were, and I just like that it’s more complicated. And so I
wanted to upgrade it with a bigger one, in a more beautiful one, and I think this
just does it really well. This is probably the only watch I’ve never put a
new band on because of that Dunlop tire tread as a band. It’s rather timeless.
The older one is even more timeless, but I think that they’re both beautiful. They
sort of say something. You see someone who has a Mille Miglia, you know that you
can bring them to the Car Club, and the ice has been broken. We all like cars. We like
a good watch, and I think that this sort of is like the “Bat-mobile” symbol for someone
who likes cars. This is a really special watch to me.
This is the David Yurman Shelby 1000 commemorative edition. I believe they made
600 of them. And it’s special for a few reasons. The designer at David Yurman is
Evan Yurman. I know him through his car collection. So he has a great car
collection, and very good taste, and really good design, and loves American
muscle cars. And for the 50th anniversary of Shelby American, which is a great
American brand, obviously. David Yurman partnered with Shelby to make this watch
to commemorate the building of the Shelby 1000. Which made it even more
special is that it was really one of the last things that Carroll Shelby saw and
approved before he died. And he really loved the watch, and each one has his
signature on the back, which is sort of the iconic Shelby thing. But man I got to
say David Yurman just got this one really right. It’s a beautiful homage to
a great brand, and a cool car. Half the time I’m in a garage, moving things
around, dealing with cars, and things get knocked around, and this has been a
battle tank of a watch for me. And I like it that if you want a nice watch I don’t
think David German would initially pop up on your radar, but I love the watches
that they build. They’re designed in America, but they’re built in
Switzerland so they have all the right mechanisms. There’s a lot of tone on tone
in the dial. It’s really difficult to have a lot of detail where you don’t
have all these contrasting colors shouting at you. So it’s a sophisticated design.
I think that they did a really nice job on it. This one is probably the most meaningful,
actually not probably. It’s just a chronograph. Tag Heuer, and I got this
when I graduated college. They let me out, they gave me a degree. Surprise to
everybody, and so as a bit of a congratulations my parents gave me this
one. I had picked it out at the time. I wanted a chronograph, and I really wanted
a blue face. I don’t know why I was so particular about it, but at the time I
was. And the story is is that Tag Heuer did not make a blue chronograph face, but
my parents calls, and they made one for them. And then after that they started
making them. So it has a lot of special meaning for that one. This is one of
those moments where someone gives you a watch because my parents were proud of
me. I still wear it all the time. It’s sort of different than my taste now, you
know 20 years later. I probably have a bit of a different aesthetic, but this
watch transcends all of that because it has a lot of meaning, and I think meaning
is more meaningful than most of it. When we started Classic Car Club
Manhattan. It was really come and drive a great car, and have a great day.
And we’ve really built this community, and it’s interesting. We have people stop
by the Classic Car Club now every day from all over the world, and I think it’s
because we’ve just been very honest about what we do. It’s just we love cars and
we like driving them. We’ve never tried to make it cool, we’ve never tried to be
exclusive, or any of that. We just love sharing cars, and that has turned our
business into this whole, I don’t want to say a lifestyle brand, because what does
that mean really, but it’s sort of what it is. We’ve just been really inventing
new ways to get more people to really enjoy a great car. Watches are really
good parallel because you come to the Car Club to admire really beautifully
made things by hand. The world is a bit short on that, and watches are one of
those thing. And so there’s a really strong timepiece influence that’s at
the Classic Car Club. Watches and cars. They just live together really well.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Does Chopard make their own movements in-house, nowadays ? Always loved their Mille Miglia line. The other watches are not my cup of tea….Loved that early type 911T and the 550 Spyder (true Fuhrmann 4 cam powered one ?), both true classic cars…now that BMW hybrid ?!!

  2. And most important…we are not obliged to have the same watches on the wrist. Look at this TAG Heuer, it reminds me the Senna legend…And the Chopard mille miglia is just beautiful, who cares about an inhouse caliber? Each of us has the right to choose his own horology path. Lifestyle is doing great watches, rarely the opposite. That is my humble opinion.

  3. Good on him for choosing to wear those watches. If I was fortunate enough to drive those classic cars I wouldn't give a toss what watch I was wearing let alone worry about what the judgemental watch community thought of my tastes. The cars hold their own cool. He can wear a G Shock or Swatch, he's always going to look cooler than a guy wearing a Rolex who drives a Ford sedan.

  4. What load of round crap.Chrongraphs are for beginners.Lots of buttons and dials.So many modern chronos going dead cheap a auction really do not like all those round watches.More money than brains.

  5. I really like Michael Prichinello, i've been watching him for years on after-drive… but damn he let me down. I can respect the TAG he has but the rest are ugly as sin and not what I would consider enthusiast watches…. big let down.

  6. Jesus, he completely butchers "Miglia" about 10 times. The G is silent, really. Very sad given how much time he spends around Italian cars.

  7. First one of these videos I couldn't finish. Otherwise you guys are doing a great job with most of your videos, keep them coming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *