The Swiss label Chopard, worldly famous for its luxurious pieces, is the official timekeeper of the Mille Miglia and this partnership has created an entire line of watches paying tribute to the legendary and romantic race that happened through the Italian countryside. Former LeMans driver, Jacky Ickx, was the responsible for the connections in the race world for Chopard to become an official partner of the Mille Miglia. He’s now an ambassador for the brand.
Every year Chopard develops a special edition of the Mille Miglia watch that’s distributed to the drivers, members of a very limited and restrict club. But there’s another club that you can join: the Classic Car Club Manhattan. The Classic Car Club offers members the chance to drive a fleet of everything, from modern supercars to classic Broncos. They have launched a membership tier that allows car enthusiasts to hang out and get into driving-adjacent activities, like racing simulators. Also, they have recently partnered with Chopard to produce ten limited edition watches, and each one of thse pieces will give their owners a lifetime social membership to Classic Car Club Manhattan.
The watch is delivered as a standard Mille Miglia GTS Automatic, but supplied with an extra dial designed by founding partner of the club Mike Prichinello, who hand painted the dial. There’s a larger story behind the aesthetic of the piece: Mr. Prichinello deconstructed the classic Mille Miglia insignia and identified all the sweeps, turns and curves that the letters create and applied those designs to the dials of the watches. That shows a great emphasis on automotive art.
Although the Chopard’s Mille Miglia models made for events have a classic standard, the execution of this watch is completely different and rather unorthodox. The package is punk in the sense that it rallies against official sponsorship and adopts a raw aesthetic that’s more similar to graffiti than Métiers d’Art. Prichinello’s final product represents a refreshing counter-culture take on a watch that’s well established, refined and respected.
A standard Mille Miglia GTS Automatic is priced at $5,790. The Classic Car Club edition costs around $10,000. The dial is an innovative part of the package, but the real value is the fact that the Classic Car Club treats the watch like a member. And one must bear in mind that membership is transferable to whoever owns the watch. It has the potential to be a generational piece.