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Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Aérolithe Performance | SIHH 2017

Marina Milojević | 01.26.17 | 02:05 PM

On the occasion of the SIHH 2017 salon, the house of Parmigiani unveiled its new creation - the Bugatti Aérolithe Performance. This sporty elegant model is dedicated to one of the most beautiful car built in 1930’s, the ingenious Bugatti Aérolithe, designed by Jean Bugatti.

Bugatti Aerolithe 1935

This unique, and quite mysterious model, built in 1935, was no ordinary vehicle, but a sensational creation made of magnesium alloy, a brittle and inflammable, but also lightweight material. The Bugatti Aérolithe made its debut at the 1935 Earl's Court Motor Show in the U.K. and had one road test in 1936, but it was never sold by Bugatti. Shortly after it was first unveiled, the Bugatti Aérolithe vanished from the face of earth, leaving behind only some black-and-white photographs, and a few of rough blueprints. The car was most likely dissembled for materials during WW2…

Bugatti Aerolithe 1935

Inspired by the lost legend of Bugatti Aérolithe, Parmigiani has created a gorgeous new timepiece entirely from titanium. This sturdy yet extremely light material is found in the meteorites that race through Earth’s atmosphere. The cutting-edge laser technology was used to apply finishes on this exemely hard-to-machine material. The laser-engraved decorative pattern is visible underneath the crown and the pushers, where the intermediate ring displays an “inverted diamond point” pattern, which is impossible to create by removing  material with the usual methods.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Aérolithe Performance

The dial is split in two parts, and surrounded by a bezel with printed indications that are a nod to the exceptional performance of contemporary Bugattis. The textured pattern on the dial creates an illusion of depth, while the exterior is selectively laser sandblasted. There two large chronograph counters, at 3 and 9 o'clock. The stepped one at 3 o'clock is formed of three half-levels, each of which has a different textured effect. The Delta-shaped hour and minute hands, the red “1” numeral on the date and the double hand at 9 o'clock are all artistic symbols of Parmigiani Fleurier.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Aérolithe Performance

The double tachometer, which has km/h indications in red and mph in blue, is an obvious nod to the automotive world. The double tachymeter (km and miles) on the minute chronograph counter runs continuously in periods of 30 minutes. Therefore, if the wearer wishes calculate the pace for 1 kilometer during one hour of walking, he must consult the figure indicated by the dual-color hand and multiply it by two.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Aérolithe Performance

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Aérolithe Performance is mounted on a black leather strap inspired by the embossed pattern of Bugatti’s seats. The deployant buckle is finely textured to match the dial. The watch is powered by the proprietary performance is driven by the proprietary PF335 movement, fitted with a flyback chronograph module. It beats at a frequency of 28’800 vibrations per hour, and provides around 50 hours of power reserve. The watch measures 41mm in diameter, 12.77mm in thickness, and is water resistant to 20 meters of depth.

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Aérolithe Performance, reference number PFC329-3001400-XC14422, retails at €20,800. Photos courtesy of Parmigiani Fleurier.

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