back to top

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Today marks the launch of the Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390, a watch designed to go with the latest Bugatti Chiron hypercar. In line with most of the pieces that came from Parmigiani’s now 13-year partnership with carmaker Bugatti, the Type 390 is another very unusually shaped piece filled edge to edge with an equally unique movement. Just like the Bugatti Chiron, the Parmigiani Type 390 also appears to have been beautifully and exceedingly over-engineered, so as to get the attention of even the most bored and spoiled watch and car lover.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

While cars must comply with ever stricter emissions regulations and safety requirements – well, some did get away with cheating their way around them, but that’s for another blog to discuss – watchmakers remain free to do whatever the heck they want, so long as they stay within the often loosely interpreted limitations of wearability, reliability, and functionality. Parmigiani Fleurier sounds very proud of the Type 390’s allegedly effortless tackling of all these issues.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

A variation of the Parmigiani Type 370, originally launched in 2004.

A quick glance 13 years back reveals an interesting fact: Parmigiani was among the very first luxury watchmakers to make complicated watches in highly unusual shaped cases – something perfectly common today, in the age of MB&F HM4sDeep Space Tourbillons, and Hublot LaFerraris. But back in 2004, when the oddly shaped and equally obscurely named Parmigiani Type 370 came out, there had been very few others like it before.

Well over a decade later, the Type 390 is a borderline insane arrangement of exceedingly niche engineering solutions. Here’s a random selection, just so you can appreciate what you’re getting yourself into when you try to wrap your mind around this watch. There’s a planetary gear system, a worm screw “angle transmission,” a co-axial triangular barrel coupling system, a 12° articulated case, a torque limiter, a bevel gear differential, rod clamp that eliminates the setting lever, yoke and yoke spring, the world’s smallest ball bearing, and a flying tourbillon with variable moment of inertia balance wheel, and a Breguet overcoil. Basically none of these, maybe save for the overcoil, will you find in an ordinary timepiece.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

The weird, wedge-like shape of the Parmigiani Fleurier Type 390’s case will appear familiar and yet strangely odd when compared to the Type 370, or even something more recent, like the Super Sport (hands-on here). What Parmigiani has done is re-engineer the movement to flip the way time is displayed: previously it used to be in the tubular section, but now that segment is facing away from the wearer and it is the steeply angled and intricately framed rectangular bit that rocks the time display, hence offering a much larger and more legible dial.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

This meant that the movement had to be packed all into that cylindrical module, which now incorporates the two, series-coupled barrels that provide a total of 80 hours of power reserve, along with some very clever gearing to transmit that power in all three directions. First of all, the barrels are linked to the clever power reserve indicator located right behind them through a bevel gear differential.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Second, through a complex gearing system, the barrels are connected to the flying tourbillon that caps the cylinder from the other end. Last, the whole movement is linked to the perpendicular time display through an “angle transmission” that allows it to transfer energy through a 90° angle into the display on the dial.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

All this remarkable complexity goes strongly against what many will only see as a weird, wedge-shaped watch, without ever giving a second thought to how it could possibly function. Surely, an ultra-thin movement could’ve been crammed under that angled dial, but that would clearly be disappointing from a watch produced by a brand with a vertically integrated manufacturing background – and, mind you, a watch designed and produced to go with the fastest production car in the friggin’ world.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Again, the perpendicular dial creates all sorts of challenges, all mainly related to getting the tubular movement to communicate its timekeeping results towards a time display set in a completely different plane. The angle transmission that solves all this actually is an aptly named “worm screw” that meshes with the massive, though largely hidden wheel that is just under the largest wheel in the center. Look for the worm screw in the upper right segment of the image above – the wheel meshes with the large teeth of a wheel that’s two layers under the black PVD-coated bridge. It’s an ingenious solution and once again something you won’t see in watches with ordinary round or square cases.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

The PF390 cylindrical caliber was designed and produced wholly in-house, save for the jewels and hands – even the Breguet overcoil balance spring was produced by Parmigiani’s high-precision manufacturing subsidiary called Atokalpa. At the end of the 7-layer movement, we find the flying tourbillon that runs at an impressive 4Hz – no low-frequency traditional BS compromises there. The entire movement is composed of 302 components, a very high component count for a watch with only hours, minutes, and power reserve.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Before the plates are black PVD coated, they receive haute horlogerie grade hand finishing that involves beveled and hand polished edges on all the weird and remarkably complex, partially skeletonized plates and bridges, as well as on countersinks and wheel spokes. Despite the fact that Parmigiani has its own dial manufacture, they opted not to use one and rather went with a cool, skeletonized overlay frame.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

The case itself is a unique creation as well and, having seen a number of previous Parmigiani-Bugatti collaboration high-end pieces, this really is an evolution over those, comparable to how the Chiron went beyond the Veyron’s aesthetics. It’s noticeably more angular and a much more aggressive looking thing, produced in 18k white or rose gold. Strong lines and long, wide, sweeping curves meet in the 42.2mm by 57.7mm case that, like all previous Bugatti watches, is remarkably comfortable on the wrist.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

A total of four anti-reflective sapphire crystals allow for a closer look at this all-new and unique movement, revealing finer details like the flying tourbillon that appears to have been hermetically sealed off behind a porthole kind of aperture, or like the two barrels that sport the signature of Louis Chiron, Bugatti’s legendary racing driver on one, and the “Le vieux renard” (the old fox) also in reference to him on the other. Frankly, I think it would have been more appropriate to have Michel Parmigiani’s signature on the other one, not this fox nonsense.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Yes, all these things are solutions to problems desperately sad and/or uninteresting and/or unhappy people would say shouldn’t have existed in the first place – and, from a strictly sensible approach, they’re actually right. You don’t need a watch dial to come in at a 12° angle to be able to read the time just how you don’t need a car capable of doing well over 400kph to get from A to B.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

However, it appears that when watchmakers are faced with the challenge of creating a watch that goes with a hyper- or supercar, they think big and think as far out of the box, as they possibly can. It’s their great, often once in a lifetime opportunity to create something completely bonkers and get away with it – just think of the double-balance Roger Dubuis Aventador S, the Hublot LaFerrari, this Blancpain Lamborghini that came with both a tourbillon and a carrousel for no good reason whatsoever, or, of course, this Parmigiani Fleurier Type 390. It’s a brand flexing its muscles, and that’s all good!

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 Watch For The Bugatti Chiron Hypercar Hands-On

The Type 390 actually looks really cool when worn the wrong way around – and the time is facing away as well, which can be a plus sometimes…

It’s not just muscles but bank accounts that these hyper-creations make flex. Price for the Bugatti Chiron hypercar starts at around $2,500,000, while a watch from the 10-10 piece limited runs of the Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390 will set you back 295,000 CHFparmigiani.com

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 6236460712

  • Pete Pete

    I don’t see any design connection between the car and this watch – apart from the logo.
    actually the car is kinda good looking, the watch isn’t.

  • Pete Pete

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b219b5245f69f709ea57181aded5d987aca86722c6df255a3c72e0424524d882.jpg

    I don’t get it. there’s no visual connection whatsoever. they might as well take my photo instead of the watch for this collage.

  • Gee, “angle transmission” sounds so much better than “worm screw”. You know like the shittiest sort of steering wheel mechanism cars used to use. OK, sort of cool and in line what I would expect from PF for a Bugatti watch. But the hands are way to small and the black skeleton hour markers seem to be nearly invisible. I know, I know, it’s a toy not really a watch so I should stop evaluating it like a watch.

  • Tea Hound

    Because I’ve always wanted to wear a working model of the Open All Hours cash register right there on my wrist, and I will fight to the death for my right to pay 295,000 CHF for the right to do so.

    G-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-ranville!

  • IanE

    Completely bonkers, but I love it (oh dear, what does that say about me?!). You can keep the car though, it would never fit in my garage.

  • AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken

    “[A] watch designed to go with the latest Bugatti Chiron hypercar” …

    And it does: Both are technologically impressive, ridiculously expensive, and – in the real world -wildly impractical. It’s a perfect match, really.

  • Shirley Furby

    I like technical pieces but this just screams I’m rich look at me.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      It screams something to me as well but i can’t write it here.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I wouldn’t be seen dead with this nightmare on. I’m going to pretend i ever even saw it.

  • SuperStrapper
    • Ulysses31

      Seizure warning…

      • SuperStrapper

        Epileptic? Or sticker shock.

  • Greg Dutton

    Technically impressive; impressively ugly.

  • Ross Diljohn

    Well that’s One reason to not buy a Bugatti that does not start with poverty.

  • Ross Diljohn

    By all means keep me updated on the price…hahahahahaha…sorry I blacked out after laughing so hard.

  • Mikita

    Bugatti is a Hublot in a car world: Breitling for Bugatti, Ralph Lauren for Bugatti, Parmesani for Bugatti, Montecrappa for Bugatti, etc.
    P.S. Nice hair trimmer.

    • SuperStrapper

      I can’t tell if you’re insulting bugatti or complimenting hublot.

      • Mikita

        Insulting both, most probably.

        • SuperStrapper

          Shame. But understood.

    • WINKS

      Isn’t it rather Breitling for Bentley?

      • Mikita

        Indeed. Got mixed Bentley and Bugatti.

        • egznyc

          That would be Bugl(e)y.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      I think it was Breguet. In the fourseater.

    • There’s no Hublot equivalent in the car world. The closest would be Ford Edsel which was considered overhyped and overpriced, on top of being unattractive, immediately after its launch.

  • SuperStrapper

    With all the pomp and circumstance aside, the wee video blurb posted tells most of the story I think: its actually not all that remarkable. The arrangements are gearing are interesting, and for the most part the finishing is superb (although, who is responsible for this bit: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/739a858f48cf2490d269dff94991cde0b125b05d95ef3b6e3d3e923ebced5512.png ?)

    But with the tourbillion basically hidden from any actual on-wrist viewing, the wrist presence is essentially a static view. There is no engineering artistry in motion to captivate the observer. Quite underwhelming.

  • WINKS

    Over-(insert desired word here) doorstop.

    • SuperStrapper

      Yes, this is about as overachieving a doorstop could possibly be.

    • Pete Pete

      maybe this doorstop would be even better with a genuine rubber b strap?

      rubber b – the world’s finest rubber straps which are so fine indeed, that any criticism is simply unthinkable (check out the comment section of our sponsored posts on abtw if you don’t believe it)™

  • MEddie90
  • Dinkee, H. O.

    A timepiece aimed at far too high above the tax bracket of the audience here, as your betters can tell by a quick glance down at the comments.

  • Greg Williams

    This timepiece is not for me, even if I had the car I would not buy the watch because it is not legible. That said, it’s existence makes more sense to me than the Tonda 1950 in steel that was released recently. This watch will attract attention and there is plenty to fascinate the owner so you get something for your $300k. The Tonda really gives you nothing for $10k.

  • Marius

    In related news, hypercar manufacturer Lada just announced a collaboration with hyper-watch manufacturer Squale. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7d47e89f23b876df000804cb3b1f18942e6e4dfc1685cc8206125236cede7f87.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7f54349a39f49da0f9253589c20208aa132f312027a583b54995476d2bf714de.jpg
    Just like the Lada Niva, the Squale Tristano GMT (aka The Impoverished Gentleman) also appears to have been beautifully and exceedingly over-engineered, so as to get the attention of even the most bored and spoiled watch and car lover.

    The Squale Tristano GMT (aka The Impoverished Gentleman) is a borderline insane arrangement of exceedingly niche engineering solutions. Here’s a random selection, just so you can appreciate what you’re getting yourself into when you try to wrap your mind around this watch. There’s a planetary gear system, a worm screw “angle transmission,” a co-axial triangular barrel coupling system, a 12° articulated case, a torque limiter, a bevel gear differential, rod clamp that eliminates the setting lever, yoke and yoke spring, the world’s smallest ball bearing, and a flying tourbillon with variable moment of inertia balance wheel, and a Breguet overcoil. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b9d8ce378141f5eb8ff83131b76f681ba63ff87a82de3312daa0f0403f808050.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d698ac7efeb5c10687694a03b325687360406a20148689bb65146dc3bd34a237.jpg
    It appears that when watchmakers are faced with the challenge of creating a watch that goes with a hyper- or supercar, they think big and think as far out of the box, as they possibly can. It’s their great, often once in a lifetime opportunity to create something completely bonkers and get away with it – just think of the double-balance Janis Trading Chevy Nova, the Gentleman Warfare Ford Pinto, the Monta OceanKing Trabant that came with both a tourbillon and a carrousel for no good reason whatsoever, or, of course, this Squale Tristano GMT (aka The Impoverished Gentleman). It’s a brand flexing its muscles, and that’s all good! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/875c2c2bb4aaa77b88ee10a28b683c7dd28d25dbc9eafd29b796d118a04918e2.jpg

  • Kuroji

    I like the mini diff. Too bad you can’t see it when the watch is assembled.
    I don’t understand the multiple mentions and silly marketing names for the worm gear. That’s a totally normal way to get ratio reduction and a 90 degree output angle. It may be the case that you don’t see it in watches much, but that’s hardly a good reason to get all silly about it. A spiral bevel gear setup probably would look cooler.

  • egznyc

    I am intrigued by this feat of engineering but I would never want to wear it. Not only ’cause it’s way too much money to spend on a friggin’ watch …

  • Ranchracer

    Silly, cartoonish watch for a silly, cartoonish car.

  • Ulysses31

    A fiendish feat of engineering. I find that part impressive. The result, though, is an ugly watch. That is somewhat less impressive. True mastery comes from a demonstration of engineering and design prowess working in concert.

  • Ian john horwood

    overpriced folly, too ugly to boot.

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.