Parmigiani Fleurier and Bugatti
Meeting the Chiron (an lots of Parmigiani watches)
What do Michel Parmigiani and Bugatti have in common? An inexhaustible passion for mechanics that places them at the top of the wish list of the collectors of outstanding items, because a car like the Chiron and a complicated timepiece like the Parmigiani Fleurier Type 370 represent a form of justified snobbery in a field that is posh by definition.
The only 16-cylinder-car in the world, the modern and exaggerated heir of the Atlantic – from which it inherited the roof with a fin and the colourful elliptically shaped door - is still exposed outside the windows of the “Orologeria Pisa” in Via Verri; an Italian watch boutique shop that constantly makes the same profit as a medium-size manufacturing company and that also boasts an incredible portfolio of haute-horlogerie brands.
On the second floor of the shop (an area entirely dedicated to thematic events) a brand-inspired installation has been set up; it tells the story of the manufacturing company, the story of its models and of the very long-standing partnership that exists between Parmigiani Fleurier and Bugatti (one of the most solid partnerships in the world of watch-making).
The centre of the installation sports a scale model of the Atlantic; something that you wished you could display in that corner of your house, where you collect all your car memorabilia. The collection is the trigger point of the brand's new releases and, since the last time I have photographed a Parmigiani Fleurier outside the windows of this boutique store, the new releases have increased dramatically; it is a silent revolution that, last January, actually generated quite a buzz in Geneva, when Parmigiani Fleurier presented its Toric (the brand’s new collection).
You could talk for ever about how useful a car that can run at a speed of 400km/h is, but the same thing cannot be said about the romantic side of this union or the pleasure that you feel when you wear the Hermés-made strap of the Aerolithe Performance around your wrist.
The strap mimics the Chiron’s diamond-shaped pattern sewn on the car’s seats and you also cannot help but notice the level of detail reached by the new Tonda Metrographe Chrono that quickly sent to retirement a watch that was born with the right ingredients but that didn’t have an aesthetic side strong enough to honor the quality of the automatic caliber and of the manufacturing itself in my opinion.
We will come back soon with a post specifically devoted to the Tonda Metrographe Chrono, we talked about the Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Aerolithe Performance after its release at the SIHH 2017 and, in my opinion, this watch is still one of the most successful Parmigiani Fleurier sports timepieces ever crafted and it is definitely one of my favourite ones.
What will the development of Parmigiani Fleurier from now on be? The manufacturing company is currently focused on launching its Toric collection; I was not really convinced about it at the beginning, but it must have been because of the short time we had while in Geneva and I reckon that the spotlights at the brand’s stall did not perhaps help either. It is simple but only at first sight as it is actually extremely refined and, in Michel's words, it is the application of the concept of balance to the world of watch-making (i.e. the golden ratio).
At the same time, I hope that Parmigiani Fleurier will keep on crafting more and more watches in cooperation with Bugatti, with whom (oddly enough) it shares the same elliptical logo and the same principles of inspiration; perfect and eternal shapes and a high level of manufacturing.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Parmigiani Fleurier, Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting by Karin Vettorel)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®