Test Bench

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti 370 Type

A mechanical challenge

The Watch Quote™ - October 15th, 2004



Already known for his passion for mechanical challenges and leading edge manufacturing technology, Michel Parmigiani launched a completely new and different timepiece.

Developed from an entirely revolutionary concept for watch-making, taken directly from automotive technology, the Bugatti Type 370 imposes its aesthetic with parts arranged like a transversal engine. The result: An architectural masterpiece, and a very limited edition wristwatch that The Watch Quote™ is now pleased to present...

Parmigiani Fleurier

Avant-garde manufacture


Michel Parmigiani, born in 1950, grew up in the Val de Travers, a valley in the canton of Neuchâtel. From early childhood, he was fascinated by the art of horology and found fertile ground for his appreciation of the watch maker’s philosophy and refinement by restoring renowned timepieces. From this formative experience emerged a true talent for creation. In 1996, the Sandoz family played an active part in the creation of the Parmigiani Fleurier brand by giving its workshops the necessary means for high quality production. And so Michel Parmigiani launched his first collections.

As an entirely independent industrial complex, the Parmigiani Fleurier centre enabled the brand to guarantee the unique and exclusive character of its creations. All components and plates were developed, manufactured, decorated, assembled and encased within the manufacturing workshops. The complexity of execution of the Bugatti Type 370 case goes far beyond the making of a traditional wristwatch. Its design, in eight parts, six of which are welded and two attached, represent a true technical challenge. All of the case parts are mounted and aligned on marble for welding. It takes hours to position and weld all these elements without deforming them.

Technology Bugatti TYPE 370

A masterpiece directly inspired by the car



“An engine block on the wrist that also tells the time“ Michel Parmigiani’s original idea at the start of the Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti adventure appealed to the auto company right away. The concept gave birth to a highly complicated assembly, which highlighted the revolutionary mechanism’s beauty. An 18 carat white gold case, in eight sections, enables the movement to be viewed through six sapphire crystals. Realising the design calls for the use of sophisticated, made-to-measure tools without precedent in the history of horology. To protect the transversal movement and guarantee optimum shock absorption, the Parmigiani Fleurier production shops perfected a system comparable to an automobile chassis.

Automotive and horology terminology:
one and the same passion for mechanics.



Declutch: Generally, the friction of time-setting enables the indexing of the hands on the dial. This function is usually carried out by the hour hand by simple pinching of an axis. In the case of the Bugatti Type 370 it is extremely difficult to produce; a spiral spring mechanism presses a disk to enable the time setting on a complex axis.

Universal joint: under the movement of the transversal axis, the universal joints enable the link between exterior function (setting the time or winding the watch) and its interior function. The movement is mounted on Silent blocks and the universal joints avoid a rigid link between the interior and exterior movement of the watch.

Differential: To ensure the watch’s autonomy, a differential was developed to link the teeth of the spring drum and the ratchet wheel. To optimize engagement of the differential with its satellite, it was essential to improve the precision of the teeth and use new manufacturing processes.

Wheels: Extremely refined, the movement wheels were designed with the aesthetic of a wheel rim. The design is as close as possible to the celebrated original double rim Bugatti iinvented n the 1930s.

Silent blocks:The structure of movement arranged on the five plates is held in the case by four Silent blocks that allow the absorption of vibration and protection of the conical gearing of the exterior constraints. These shock absorbers were a first in high precision watch-making.



Revolutionary time-setting and winding.


Le «The Starter»:An instrument in the form of a pen sets two crowns beneath the case into action. Its diametric system delivers constant force to the universal winding stem. The time is set by manual rotations of the other end. The design of the starter took over three years.

Technical specifications

Bugatti Type 370



Movement: Two spring drums in series, angling, all painstaking work, fine sanding of the plates, lines drawn on the rims.
21,600 alternations per hour, autonomy 10 days, dimensions: 21mm, 32 rubies.

Universal Joints on the mechanical winding and time-set transmissions: Conical cogwheels with conical teeth for the return. Autonomy with conical differential with conical teeth. Movement mounting on silent blocks with five plates by a brace and micro-nuts.
Wheels in rim form.
Dynamometric starter.

Functions: hours, minutes, autonomy.

Dial: Silver-plated 18carat gold surface with appliqué rods in luminous finish.
In the centre, varnished appliqué in H red, black or wisped down rhodium finish.

Hands: Hours and minutes in “Delta” type Parmigiani Fleurier, rhodium-coated or blue steel, with luminous finish.

Case: 18carat gold. Number of parts: 8. Number of sapphire crystals: 6

Bracelet : Hermès H red leather or black.

Starter : Dynamometric system tool in aluminium and steel with time-set and movement winder ferrules on both sides.

Water resistance: 30 meters.

Limited edition of 50 per year for each dial colour (100 in total)

Recommended retail price: €200,000

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