All too often we see relationships between watch manufactures and automobile companies come and then go. Seemingly, the faster the car the more tempestuous the relationship with their time-keeping partner. Not so with Bugatti and Parmigiani. For ten years (2004-2014) they have celebrated a hand-to-glove relationship that sees the world’s fastest car paired-off with one of the world’s most imaginative horological manufactures. As we discuss on our Monochrome-Watches blog, in 2015, Parmigiani will release three golden watches to commemorate its tin anniversary with the French car brand.
The old saying is that there are many paths to the truth. In the auto industry there is generally ONE path to speed: high power + low weight. To churn every blip of speed out of a car you can strip it down to the barest of bare essentials… no radio, no paint, no air-con… no niceties at all! The Bugatti Veyron definitely chose another path to building the world’s fastest car: supreme luxury + aerospace technology + incredibly high power! While the luxury doesn’t exactly add to the performance, it doesn’t take away from the experience of driving one of the most prestigious motorcars ever to wear tires either.
Of course, no ordinary watch will do when trying to capture the spirit of such a historic auto brand and its (as yet) swan song motorcar. Enter Parmigiani Fleurier SA with the PF370 manually wound, vertically oriented, 10-day movement. The PF370 sees power delivered from gear-to-gear via drive shafts in just the same fashion as power is translated in a car’s transmission. This configuration allows for and maybe even necessitates a case that conjures the nostalgia of vintage race-car bonnets and a dial that sits proudly on the wrist in homage to the Bugatti’s lucky horseshoe-shaped grill. From 2004 to 2014 the luxury, the technology and the craftsmanship of both the Veyron and the ‘370 have matured in lock step. For 2015 Parmigiani will release three models to commemorate their decade together.
The Bugatti Type 370 Mythe is a rose gold, art deco creation that is offset with blackened elements. The aesthetic is designed to inspire the raw, gritty nature of the workshops that transform lumps of metal into the 16 cylinder hyper-cars that automotive fans lust for.
The Mythe is created exclusively for the 2015 model year.
The Bugatti Type 370 Révélation is styled on the motifs of the Molsheim-built racers of the previous century. The rose gold body uses the lug-to-lug arches astride either side of the case to mimic a leaf-spring suspension while filigreed ‘Grille’ opens and closes over the top of the vertical movement to display the engine beating beneath.
The tobacco leather strap is shaped and patterned in a way to immediately remind the wearer of the seat of a vintage race car.
The Bugatti Type 370 Victoire is a blackened white gold and diamond case. The herringbone etching evokes gears while the diamonds subconsciously denote the precious and even superlative nature of the current Bugatti’s status as numero uno in the world of hyper-cars.
The markings on the leather strap go from gears to tires as the rubber hits the road and as the watch sits on the wrist.
Sometime in 2015 Bugatti will unveil details of the follow-up to the Veyron. For now collectors of both the cars and their eponymous watches have three unique sets of creations to savor the highest form of watchmaking and automotive collaboration available today.