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Introducing The Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Automatic For Classic Car Club Manhattan

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Chopard is the official timekeeper of the Mille Miglia, and this partnership has spawned an entire line of timepieces paying tribute to the romantic race through the Italian countryside. It was none other than Jacky Ickx, legendary LeMans driver, that laid down the tracks through connections in the racing world for Chopard to become an official partner of the Mille Miglia. He’s now an ambassador for the brand and splits his time between Monaco and Mali. A fitting lifestyle for for a man who’s lived at high-speed for most of his time on earth. 

Every year Chopard creates a special edition of the Mille Miglia watch that’s issued to the drivers. Getting a spot in the 1000 Miglia isn’t an easy task, and transitively, the owner’s club is limited. But there’s another club that you can join, and you even get a special edition Mille Miglia GTS Automatic with the purchase. That club is Classic Car Club Manhattan, who have recently partnered with Chopard to produce ten limited edition watches. 

The Classic Car Club offers members the opportunity to drive a fleet of everything from modern supercars to hot-rodded classic Broncos. It’s a neat solution to being a car guy in NYC, where car ownership represents a major hassle. They’ve recently launched a membership tier that allows car enthusiasts to come hang out and talk cars and get into driving-adjacent activities, like racing simulators. Technically speaking, these ten Chopard watches are actually “social” members of the club. In other words, if you buy this limited Mille Miglia you get a lifetime social membership to Classic Car Club Manhattan. That membership is transferable to whoever owns the watch. 

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The watch is delivered as a standard Mille Miglia GTS Automatic, but it’s supplied with an extra dial conceptualized by founding partner of the club Mike Prichinello. Clad in red and white, the dial is hand painted by Mr. Prichinello himself. The scheme might call to mind painted rumble strips on racetracks, but there’s a larger story behind the aesthetic: Mike deconstructed the classic Mille Miglia insignia(also found at 3 o'clock on the standard dial) and identified all the sweeps, turns, and curves that the letters create and applied those designs to the dials of ten watches. If you’ve ever been to Classic Car Club Manhattan, you know there’s a huge emphasis on automotive art, and that attitude comes through in this execution. You can take the watch to any Chopard boutique and they’ll swap the dials at your pleasure.

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Initial Thoughts
There are quite a few iterations of Chopard’s Mille Miglia model made for events, drivers, and clubs. Most of them are “official” in one way or another. This one is not. This package is punk in the sense that it rallies against official sponsorships and adopts a sort of raw aesthetic that’s more akin to graffiti than Métiers d'Art. Prichinello sports a mustache and a mohawk, and the club offers cars like a 240Z with a stroked L-series motor and a murdered-out ‘66 Chevy C10 for members. It’s no surprise the execution of this watch is rather unorthodox, and that’s a good thing. Chopard rarely lets its partners design watches at full speed without any guard rails, and 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 rings in at $10,000. The dial is a novel part of the package, but the real value is the fact that the Classic Car Club treats that watch like a member. Social memberships are priced at around $180 a month, so if my math checks out it will take a little under two years to get your money's worth. Stainless steel has the propensity to hang around long after us carbon-based masses of organic material expire, and since the watch can be gifted, so can the membership. It has the potential to be a generational thing. In 1981 American Airlines offered a fantastic deal for people who could afford it, and it’s still costing them dearly to this day. If predictions are right about the enthusiast car culture going the way of the horse, then we can be sure membership to clubs like Classic Car Club of Manhattan will become quite costly in the future. 

Whether or not you like the watch, or the extra dial it comes with, it does represent an enormous value.

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The Basics
Brand: Chopard
Model: Mille Miglia GTS Automatic
Reference Number: 168565-3001

Diameter: 43mm
Thickness: 11.43mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Dial Color: Black (Custom dial supplied as well)
Indexes: Applied
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Rubber strap with folding clasp

The Movement
Caliber: 01.01-C
Functions: Time, date
Diameter: 28.8mm
Thickness: 4.95mm
Power Reserve: 60 hours
Winding: Self-winding
Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour)
Jewels: 31
 

Pricing & Availability
Price: $10,000
Availability: Limited
Limited Edition: Ten-piece limited edition

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