- Oct 9, 2009
Parmigiani Fleurier honors Bugatti's past and future with unique timepieces
Parmigiani Bugatti Galibier Tourbillon (above) and Type 370 Centenaire (below right) – Click either for high-res image galleries
You could call Parmigiani Fleurier the Bugatti of watchmakers and hardly be exaggerating. The pinnacle of time-craft, Parmigiani's timepieces are some of the most highly intricate, innovative and sought-after in the field. No wonder Bugatti chose the atelier to fabricate a unique wristwatch to accompany the Veyron. Now that the Veyron's production is drawing to an end and a new model is around the corner, Parmigiani has been back at work to both commemorate Bugatti's past and join it for the future.
Back in 2006, the Swiss watchmaker released the unique Type 370, a wristwatch whose movement was intricately designed to be placed sideways, with the face displaying to the driver's eye without requiring their hand to leave the wheel. Pointless, you might say, but the point is the craftsmanship, and Parmigiani pulled it off flawlessly. Only 200 were to be built specifically to accompany the Bugatti Veyron. And like the Veyron, its production run is now drawing to a close, but not before the last two examples have their chance to stand above the rest.
Parmigiani has crafted two unique examples in 18-karat rose gold and platinum 950, each hand etched by master engraver Philippe Bodenmann, taking a mind-blowing 300 hours to complete the task. Called the Centenaire like the special-edition Veyrons, the last Type 370s also feature calfskin straps furnished by Bugatti's partner Hermes and mark the company's 100th anniversary. But commemorating the past isn't all Parmigiani Fleurier has in store for its partnership with Bugatti.
Now that the Alsatian automaker is preparing for its next feat, Parmigiani is on board with a Tourbillon timepiece to accompany the 16C Galibier concept car, now tipped to have been approved for production. Fine watch connoisseurs know the tourbillon to be one of the most intricate watch mechanisms ever devised. Originally designed to combat the effects of gravity's pull on the mechanism of a pocket-watch, the entire mechanism rotates inside its case, and the gears within it. Parmigiani designed a tourbillon to dock into the dashboard of the Galibier, acting as the car's time display. But the timepiece can also be removed and worn as a pocket watch, attached to a wrist strap or docked into a stand to act as a desk clock.
Whatever production plans Bugatti has for the future, you can bet Parmigiani will be right on its heels. And with no less refined a level of design and craftsmanship, either. Photos in the galleries below.
[Source: Parmigiani Fleurier]