In the watchmaking industry, one of the most recurring themes used is and always will be sports cars. Both worlds share values and usually, collectors of one of these items are often admiring the other. Mixing these two “toys for boys” is something that Parmigiani Fleurier considered long time ago, by choosing to be associated to one of the most impressive car brands in the world: Bugatti. This collaboration led to watches such as the Type 370 or the Super Sport. Now that a new Bugatti has been introduced, it’s time for Parmigiani to show us a new watch. Here is the Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390, inspired by the impressive 2016 Bugatti Chiron.
Dear readers, as watch lovers, we imagine that some (maybe most) of you also have an interest in sports / luxury cars. Thus, you are certainly aware that 2 weeks ago was the Geneva car show and that a special car was introduced, a car that certainly depicts what engineering and craftsmanship can do best, a car that is one of the most powerful and fastest street-legal ever produced: the 2016 Bugatti Chiron. With its 1500hp W16 engine, a body made of carbon fiber and its super-luxurious interior; it is, to say the least, an impressive car.
Last year, Parmigiani celebrated the 10th anniversary of its partnership with Bugatti – as we reported here. Due to this long-established relationship, the high-end watch manufacture had to celebrate the introduction of a new car by revealing a new timepiece. As a tribute to the most impressive car of 2016 (this is a rather sure assumption…), Parmigiani Fleurier couldn’t be shy and classical. A normal watch couldn’t do the job here. If it was only adding a Bugatti logo on the dial of an existing watch, we would have been disappointed. And thankfully, the Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 is a one-of-a-kind watch, with a one-of-a-kind architecture.
Yes, this Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 does tell the time via classical hands, normally rotating once per hour or once every 12 hours. However, that’s the only thing that is classical here. The conception of the watch is specific. As you can see, there are two parts in this shaped movement. The long and flat area is only dedicated to the display of time – meaning that it only serves the hands. All the rest of the watch is located in a cylinder – somehow using a architecture close to the barrel-like Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 370, with the idea to depict a engine in mind.
From right to left, this tube is composed of:
- A winding tube to supply energy, with a power reserve indicator and the possibility to set the hands. On the extreme right is located the crown.
- Storage of energy, with two barrels. These two barrels ensure constancy in the supply (a sort of analogy with the two fuel tanks of a Bugatti car). Barrel 1 is directly combined with barrel 2, for an even more constant supply of energy.
- On the left of the two barrels is located the gear train. It shows an axial configuration instead of a flat architecture (like in a normal watch). The classical reduction ratio (alternation of Wheel-Pinion-Wheel-Pinion) is no longer used. The transmission is ensured by a planetary gear, which consists of a central wheel, three satellites and a fixed toothed crown – again an analogy with the gear-box of a car.
- On the extreme left is the regulating organ – here a one-minute tourbillon, with fast 4Hz frequency and variable-inertia balance wheel.
However, these two parts of the movement work on different levels and angles – one is almost horizontal and the other one is vertical. Transmission of the energy is thus crucial. The link with the second part of the movement occurs at the level of the central planetary gears (Transmission section). The torque is transmitted to the hands by means of a worm screw (an exceptional element for a wristwatch), which enables the duality of the angles.
Because of the vocation of the watch and its link with a sport car, the Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 also shows a specific shape, thought to be practical to read while driving (even if we clearly don’t encourage you to look at the time on your Type 390 while driving your Bugatti Chiron over 250mph / 400kph).
The Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 is still a concept watch for the moment and thus, all the technical details and the specifications aren’t revealed yet. Price will also be revealed later. For more details, please visit parmigiani.ch.