Swiss luxury watch brand Parmigiani Fleurier has created a new auto-inspired, high-tech timepiece with French super carmaker Bugatti, the Bugatti Aérolithe Performance. Baroque Access finds out all the details
Bugatti and Parmigiani Fleurier have worked together since 2001, and the watchmaker has created various unique auto-inspired watches of note during that time. Taking their inspiration from the world of automobiles, hyper cars in particular, these two luxury brands have produced a number of innovative timepieces including the renowned Parmigiani Butatti Aérolithe Chronograph, which was inspired by the legendary 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Aérolithe and first released in 2014. The legendary Bugatti Aérolithe, which was only ever manufactured in 1935, remains a source of inspiration for Parmigiani Fleurier – hence the new Aérolithe model created and launched in 2017.
The two brands’ latest collaboration pays tribute to the same legendary vehicle, but has a different focus: this time it concentrates on the rich and textured dial that is created using techniques that are only available through laser technology. In the watch’s previous incarnation, flammable magnesium alloy was used, whilst the latest model has a 41mm case made entirely out of titanium. Laser technology has been used to apply the finishes, which would not be able to have been done using conventional machines.
The new Bugatti timepiece has a diamond-shaped, textured pattern, and the ends of the diamonds have been polished so as to provide a richer, more textured appearance. Parmigiani Fleurier is adamant that none of this could have been achieved without using laser technology.
In addition, the watch counters at both 3 and 9 o’ clock feature minute angular satin grain finishes – to create the recesses for these, laser technology was also used. Also, to create the rhodium-plated indications on the watch faces, a technique was used that required a high-intensity laser beam.
The double tachometer features km/h indications in red and mph in blue, which is a direct reference to Bugatti’s signature colors. The hour and minute hands, red number ‘1’ numeral on the date and the double hand at 9 o’clock all bear signature Parmigiani Fleurier characteristics.
The watch also features Parmigiani Fleurier’s legendary automatic Calibre PF 335 movement that boasts a flyback chronograph module and comprises 311 different components as well as 68 jewels. If offers a power reserve of 50 hours and is accessorised with a black calfskin leather strap, which was inspired by the embossed pattern of Bugatti’s car seats, and features a deployant buckle that has been textured to match the watch dial.