A sports car on the wrist?
To hear the maker of the new Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 tell it, that was his goal in partnering with the car company to create a watch inspired by its latest vehicle, the Chiron. (At 1,500 horsepower and a top speed of about 250 miles per hour, the Chiron is marketed as the fastest automobile on the road.)
The watch is “primarily a motor block on the wrist,” said Michel Parmigiani, president of Parmigiani Fleurier. “This specific watch creation bears parallels with the mechanics of a car in every single aspect of the movement.”
Florin Niculescu, Parmigiani’s vice president of product development, said, “The watch movement is housed in a cylinder with 80 hours of power reserve, its fuel tank if you will.
“The entire movement can be removed from the case of the watch, similar to how a car’s engine must be removed for modifications,” he said. “And just as a car has a transmission, the watch uses a transmission with three planetary gear trains,” a system of controlling power in a small space that the company says has never before been used in watchmaking.
The Bugatti Type 390 is not the first time the companies have collaborated. They first met for talks in 2001, then formalized their partnership in 2004. Wiebke Stahl, head of licensing and marketing for Bugatti Brand Lifestyle, said, “It has become a tradition in our 13-year partnership with Parmigiani that they create watches in honor of specific Bugatti super sports cars.”