In 2004, the Bugatti Type 370 Collection caught the imagination with its astonishing approach to timekeeping. A revolutionary watchmaking vision, it would come to embody the very soul of this family of Parmigiani timekeepers.
Four years later, the latest in the line of Bugatti concepts developed by Parmigiani shows that their technological virtuosity has found yet another dimension. Or rather four. The challenge this time relates to how the timekeeper is worn and how it can always be kept close by, in all of life's situations. Evolving to the rhythm of the requirements of both day and night, the new Bugatti concept with its prestigious tourbillon movement is being transformed. With the greatest of ease, it can be adapted for use either on the instrument panel of the new Bugatti car, as a wristwatch worn by the owner, a pocket watch for more discretion, or a table clock to mark the most private hours spent at home.
Each transformation is a technical challenge demanding the kind of extensive expertise that only the Parmigiani manufacture is able to offer.
The Bugatti mechanical watch is one of the most important control instruments. The removable case middle can be positioned or removed with a single action. Integrated into the instrument panel, the support, which was custom-designed by the Bugatti engineers, provides the perfect housing for the timepiece. Its retractable system allows the support to be pivoted over 180° once the engine has been started. This accesses the pocket into which the case middle must be fixed. At will, and when circumstances require, the driver can conceal the Parmigiani timepiece underneath the instrument panel.
The Bugatti wristwatch, entirely sheathed in barenia calfskin, perfectly complements the interior of the Bugatti car. The system it uses is based on the idea of a bonnet opening to reveal its mechanical marvels. By simply pressing the two push-pieces positioned on the lower lug, the bezel lifts to allow the watch middle to sit on the case back. Once the bezel is folded down, the Bugatti tourbillon wristwatch is complete.
As the third style suggestion, the Bugatti watch is transformed into a pocket watch. The solid 18-carat gold pocket, extended by a chain, houses the middle which sits naturally inside. The sporty design of the Bugatti is turned into a great watchmaking classic.
For the fourth style option, Parmigiani has designed a table clock, acting as a precious presentation case for this fine piece of watchmaking, in which the middle can be housed. With an unrivalled autonomy of 7 days, the Parmigiani Bugatti Tourbillon mechanism will be automatically wound once it is placed in its elegant housing. Integrated into the clock, an ingenious system will regularly wind the movement via the crown, every 5 days. Entirely sheathed in leather, the clock is in perfect harmony with the sporty elegance of the Bugatti world.
The alliance of Bugatti and Parmigiani
The starting point for a real adventure in technology, the Parmigiani Fleurier and Bugatti names were brought together in 2001 and they decided to defy the laws of mechanics in their respective domains by setting themselves a unique challenge. The fastest car in the world and the first transverse watch movement were the result of this historic challenge.
At the end of 2004, after four years of intense research and secret adjustments in the workshops of the Parmigiani Fleurier manufacture, the first prototype of the Bugatti watch really caught the imagination with the incredible positioning of its five main plates on a horizontal axis, offering a completely unhindered view of its bridges and train wheels.
Inspired by automotive technology, this “driving force of time” is so sculptural in appearance that it becomes the main focal point of the watch, with the hours and minutes easy to read from the side. An absolute world first, the Bugatti watch would completely transform the way the mechanical watch was perceived from this point on, starting a new Parmigiani collection whose sole aim would be to break the rule book.
The Bugatti Veyron 16B car and the Bugatti type 370 wristwatch have since enthralled the whole world, allowing the limits of mechanics to be pushed even further. These are limits which the two manufacturers have decided to continue exploring.
A case in point will be the brand new and audacious watch projects that Parmigiani will be unveiling at a world preview, during Bugatti's centenary month this September. This is an exceptional way of celebrating its partnership with the prestigious automotive brand.