THE UN­PUN­ISHED JOKER

TIME Mas­ter re­storer and watch­maker Michel Parmi­giani takes on the ex­treme chal­lenge of cre­at­ing the Bu­gatti Type 390 time­piece to mir­ror last year’s stu­pen­dous Ch­i­ron.

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Time - By KEE­GAN DO­RAI

The me­chan­ics in the new Bu­gatti Type 390 by Parmi­giani Fleurier ( RM1.2 mil­lion) are con­cen­trated in a tubu­lar shape that’s in­spired by last year’s stun­ning Bu­gatti Ch­i­ron, one of the world’s fastest street-le­gal hy­per­cars in pro­duc­tion. The use of a hand-wound coax­ial move­ment makes the time­piece the brand’s most com­plex move­ment.

“There are sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the au­to­mo­tive and watchmaking in­dus­tries, and the Bu­gatti col­lec­tion by Parmi­giani is an ex­pres­sion of ex­trav­a­gance. It’s like a joker who goes unpunished, where he can do any­thing he wants,” says mas­ter watch­maker Michel Parmi­giani. “Cre­at­ing a watch in­spired af­ter an en­gine block to be worn on a wrist is not easy, so pro­por­tions must be spot on.”

On a case of ei­ther white or rose gold, you find large open­ings cov­ered with con­cave sap­phire crys­tal dis­play­ing the heart of the watch, in­spired by the Ch­i­ron’s W16 en­gine. While the Bu­gatti Type 390 and its pre­de­ces­sors are known for their un­ortho­dox de­signs, Parmi­giani’s other time­pieces fol­low a tra­di­tional style, tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from na­ture and ar­chi­tec­ture. The de­sign in­flu­ence of the Toric, for ex­am­ple, comes from the base of the columns found on an­cient Greek tem­ples. For the Tonda, it vi­su­alises the old paint­ings made by Michelan­gelo.

Parmi­giani’s source of in­ven­tion comes from a hard-earned past in restor­ing old time­pieces dur­ing the 1970s quartz cri­sis. “Restora­tion is harder com­pared to cre­at­ing some­thing new from scratch. For orig­i­nal­ity, I can’t be cre­ative dur­ing restora­tion, so I chan­nel my cre­ativ­ity into cre­at­ing my own time­pieces at night.”

Bu­gatti, how­ever, will be his only col­lab­o­ra­tion with an au­to­mo­tive mar­que. “There are sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween both brands — the ex­clu­siv­ity, tech­ni­cal­ity and en­gi­neer­ing of our Bu­gatti watch is shared with the ac­tual car. It can’t be ap­plied to any other makes. Parmi­giani Fleurier and Bu­gatti just fit.” www.parmi­giani. com ≠

“I chan­nel my cre­ativ­ity into cre­at­ing my own time­pieces at night.”

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