Michael Prichinello is a car guy through and through. And as co-owner of one of the coolest Manhattan spots for gearheads, Michael lives his passion every single day. According to him, he gets “paid to drive.” Man, wish we had that job.
The Classic Car Club of Manhattan is a haven in New York City for those who share his love of classic and modern cars. Members pay for the privilege of driving around the Club’s stock of 40 or so cars whenever they want, 24/7 access to the Club’s facilities, and weekly events around the city. It’s a pretty sweet deal, considering membership gives you unlimited access to all manner of covetable cars. But the thing that Michael and his crew pride themselves on is that they don’t try to be exclusive. If you appreciate automobiles and you can pay, you’re in—no other credentials needed.
Given his background, it’s pretty easy to see how Michael’s interest in cars influences his watches of choice. So what do we see in his collection? A lot of chronographs, and plenty of automotive design themes. Michael’s philosophy? “Cars need to be driven,” just as watches were made to be worn. To him, the automotive and horological worlds are inextricably linked—they share the same DNA.
The world is a bit short on [beautiful things made by hand], and watches are one of those things. Watches and cars, they just live together really well.
Michael’s “most meaningful” watch is one of his first: a TAG Heuer chronograph with a blue dial, given to him as a college graduation gift from his parents. If you believe the story, it’s also the first blue-dial TAG chronograph in existence—specially made for him. And while his style has changed in the 20 years since, Michael still wears this one pretty regularly. It goes to show that emotional value can transcend tastes and preferences over time.
There are plenty of car-inspired watches out there, and then there’s the Chopard Mille Miglia. Citing an appreciation for the brand’s car and racing credentials, Michael actually owns two of these, one from 2001 and a more recent edition. Why? The clean chronograph design for one (go figure that a gearhead has a thing for a good chrono). And two, he considers the Mille Miglia a “Bat symbol for someone who likes cars.”
You don’t often see a David Yurman watch among collections full of prestige Swiss names. Michael’s David Yurman is a little different. It’s an American watch brand paying homage to a classic American car brand in true collaborative spirit. The fact that the designer, Evan Yurman, consulted Carroll Shelby himself on the design really makes it something special.
Interested in the full story on Michael Prichinello’s business and his watches? Watch the video on Youtube here, or check it out above.