Parmigiani Fleurier: Bugatti Type 3903 November 2017
Parmigiani Fleurier “partner of Bugatti since 2004” has distilled the very essence of the Bugatti Chiron, the world’s fastest car, to create the Bugatti Type 390 watch.
The supercar, with its 1500-hp, is the latest release from the prestigious Molsheim-based house. To accompany the first deliveries of the Chiron, Parmigiani Fleurier is lifting the veil on the Bugatti Type 390, with exceptional performance.
Fruit of four years of development, the Bugatti Type 390 is primarily an engine block on the wrist. No frills, no purely decorative elements: everything is focussed on performance, on the essentials, in the same vein of the partnership since its beginning. Back in 2004, Parmigiani Fleurier rewrote the rule book, taking its inspiration directly from the technology implemented on the Bugatti Veyron, and started the Bugatti line – the “court jester” in the Parmigiani Fleurier collections.
Inspired by the principles behind the construction of the Chiron, the designers chose an engine/interior/bodywork design. Specifically, the horizontal cylindrical movement (the “engine”) is connected by a worm screw to the dial and the displays (the “interior”) which are positioned perpendicularly; the entire assembly is enveloped in a rose gold case and sapphire crystal (the “bodywork”) through which the moving mechanism can be admired.
On the one hand, we have the 8-litre 1500-hp quad-turbocharged W16 engine propelling the sports car to a top speed of 420 km/h; on the other hand, we have the Calibre PF390 with its cylindrical “engine” and two series-mounted barrels – a nod to the saddle tank on the Bugatti – and featuring a flying tourbillon boasting an 80-hour power reserve. This new type of “engine” has been slimmed down so that its diameter is no larger than the regulator of its 60-second tourbillon, which shows the seconds.
The calibre PF390 is composed of seven layers featuring a total of 302 components. The blackened bridges accentuate the high-tech nature of the movement and its modular construction. In terms of the architecture of the movement, the cylindrical engine block is fixed to the display module using a “conrod” type principle – inspired by the piston mounting for a car engine – secured by a component shaped just like a conrod cap.
True to Bugatti’s motto “Form Follows Performance”, another distinctive feature of the calibre on the Bugatti Type 390 is the use of a worm screw to transfer information from the train wheel to the dial. This worm screw is also used for the transfer from the engine cylinder to the dial displays, by twice moving through a 90° angle.
The use of innovative construction techniques in no way detracts from the traditional touch. This is high-tech craftsmanship we are talking about: the ultimate in precision execution matched with the dexterity of a watchmaking expert. In fact, the Calibre PF390 boasts exceptional finishes. Enclosed in a titanium cage designed to control the forces at play without any deformation, the two barrels are engraved – one with the signature of Louis Chiron, the other with the inscription “le vieux renard” (the old fox), in reference to the nickname of this legendary racing driver.
In the black openworked dial, the luminescent applique indices and hands create a stark contrast to ensure optimal legibility. Thanks to the 60-second tourbillon, the seconds can be read through the sapphire crystal at the end of the cylinder.
Inspired by the curves of the Bugatti Chiron, the 42,2 x 57,7 mm case is created in white gold or rose gold and engraved on the back with the inscription “Edition limitee 10 pieces” (10-piece limited edition). This case was created by Les Artisans Boîtiers – one of Parmigiani Fleurier’s manufacture divisions; constructed around the cylindrical structure and water resistant to 3 ATM, it is capable to pivot 12° around its drive shaft (patent pending), to ensure perfect ergonomics around any wrist. The technical sophistication of the timepiece can be admired via the large openings topped with sapphire crystal.
The alligator leather strap is signed by Hermès and is fitted with a gold folding buckle.
With the Bugatti Type 390, Parmigiani Fleurier wanted to equip a timepiece with all the technology and the power evocative of the Bugatti Chiron, allowing itself no compromises. This timepiece is far more than a watch stamped with a car marque logo; it is the Bugatti Chiron reborn in watch form. (Price €.295.000)