One to watch: Parmigiani Fleurier’s Bugatti Type 390

Categories: Watches

16 years ago, a meeting took place between Parmigiani Fleurier and Bugatti. At the time, the famed luxury supercar manufacturer was seeking to build a strong and lasting partnership with a watch company – and one which met its exacting standards in both design and mechanics. In Parmigini Fleurier, they found just that.

Over the past decade and a half, several watches have been released to celebrate this partnership. From the Bugatti 370, the first timepiece and one which celebrated the beginning of the partnership, to the three limited edition watches, the Mythe, Victoire and Revelation, launched to celebrate ten years of the partnering, there have been many technological marvels along the way. Now, one more can be added to this list.

To complement the incredible Chiron – Bugatti’s newest supercar, successor to the Veyron and an 8-litre W16 powerhouse capable of reaching 280mph – the Swiss watchmaker has now crafted the Bugatti Type 390, an ‘engine block on the wrist’ developed from designs first showcased as a concept during the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

After 4 years of total development, the ‘engine’ of this magnificent watch has been revealed as a cylindrical movement, with a slimmed-down diameter of just 12.5mm. And, in a nice nod to its automotive partners, this ‘engine’ also boasts the ability to be removed from its housing – in the same way as a racing car’s engine can be lifted from the body.

The time itself is displayed in a traditional way, but the plane on which it is viewed is inclined – which means that it is angled perfectly toward the face of a driver if he is gripping the steer wheel. It is the ergonomic quirks such as this that really set Parmigiani Fleurier’s partnership with Bugatti away from other car and timepiece collaborations – that not only does the watch work with the car, but it also looks like it.

Spectacularly hewn to mirror the design of the Chiron, every part is meticulously finished. The case is a seamless marriage between polished and satin-brushed surfaces, and the Parmigiani logo sits happily alongside the iconic EB initials of Ettore Bugatti. 

The fine open-worked dial gives a flavour of the engine to the mechanism, while the Arabic numerals and luminescent hands keep things functional. And, finished off with an alligator strap and gold buckle by Hermes, even the luxury of the supercar is mimicked.

Overall, this is an incredible watch – with limited editions in both pink and white gold on their way. All boast the PF390 movement, power reserve indicator and 30 metre water resistance – but, in our opinion, look best on a wrist resting on the wheel of a Bugatti.

To learn more about the Bugatti Type 390, click here