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Parmigiani Fleurier - The Bugatti Chiron gets its watch

Parmigiani Fleurier The Bugatti Chiron gets its watch

Parmigiani-Fleurier presents the new PF-Bugatti Type 390 concept watch, inspired by the squat, sloping lines of the new Bugatti Chiron supercar.

Other watch brands would just re-badge an existing model, much as a Fiat 500X can become a Jeep Renegade, depending on who is selling it. But like Bugatti, Parmigiani-Fleurier does things differently – very differently.

One of the stars of this year’s Geneva International Motor Show is the Bugatti Chiron. Put simply, it is the world’s fastest production car. In figures that means 1469 horsepower, a top speed of 261 miles per hour (limited by Bugatti) and a weight of just 1995kg. To put that into perspective, this car weighs just 150 kilogrammes more than your editor-in-chief’s Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, but it has over TWELVE TIMES the power.


Suffice it to say that producing a watch that meets up to the level of specifications of the Chiron (16 cylinders, four turbochargers…) is no easy task. But Parmigiani Fleurier has been a partner of Bugatti for a number of years and has already produced a handful of exotic timepieces that match Bugatti’s “next-level” car status.

Power-to-weight ratio

As the simple comparison above showed, Bugatti achieves such mind-boggling figures by producing colossal amounts of power in a configuration that weights little more than the average family saloon car. Parmigiani has taken this as its guiding light to produce a concept in which the “engine” of the watch is reduced to the size of a cylinder whose diameter is no bigger than its tourbillon regulator.

Both weight and space are saved in this ingenious mechanism. Firstly, a unique “clamp rod” component replaces four components found in traditional wristwatches: the trigger piece, bumper, lever and lever spring in the winding mechanism. This winds two barrels that are coupled directly in series and power a gear train that is mounted axially, with planetary gears assembled one on top of the other. At the end of the transmission chain, the flying tourbillon regulator, beating at a relatively high 4Hz, offers an excellent power-to-weight ratio that puts the PF Bugatti Type 390 in chronometer territory.


Unlike, say, the Hublot La Ferrari, which has a similar movement configuration but keeps the time display on the same vertical plane, the Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 uses a worm screw to convert the transmission to a horizontal plane so that the time can be displayed on a conventional dial. The result is a more wearable timepiece that retains the distinctive angular design that prevails throughout the Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti models.


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