December 1, 2022
Bugatti Aérolithe Performance

Hiding his work from his father Ettore, Jean Bugatti built the Bugatti Aérolithe, creating it from a highly flammable magnesium alloy that made welding impossible. The body was designed in two parts joined by an ingenious riveted dorsal seam. Shortly after it was unveiled in 1935, this incredible car which fell from the sky – hence its meteorite-inspired name – disappeared from the surface of the earth, its brief passage marked by just a few photographs.

When creating the Bugatti Aérolithe Performance, Parmigiani Fleurier was inspired by its beauty and mystery; the 41mm case is made entirely from titanium, using laser technology to apply finishes beyond the capability of conventional machining. Underneath the crown and the pushers, the intermediate ring displays an “inverted diamond point” pattern, which is impossible to create by removing material with the usual methods.

Bugatti Aérolithe Performance
The dial is split into two parts, and this continues onto the angled section of the bezel, where the indications are a nod to the exceptional performances of modern-day Bugattis. Its textured central section creates a beautiful sense of depth. The ends of the diamond points in the pattern are polished to give the centre a subtle brilliance, while the exterior of the dial is selectively laser sand-blasted.

The counters at 3 and 9 o’clock have keen angles and are finished with a circular satin grain. Once again, lasers were used as satin-finishing within a recess would be impossible. The stepped counter at 3 o’clock is formed of three half-levels, each of which has a different textured effect. Finally, the rhodium-plated indications were formed using a technique which builds up the material by focussing a high-intensity laser beam on it.

There is a nod to the world of high-speed pursuits in the double tachometer, which has km/h indications in red and mph in blue, in reference to the signature colours of Bugatti. The double tachymeter (km and miles) on the minute chronograph counter runs continuously in periods of 30 minutes. So, if you wish to calculate the pace for 1 kilometre during one hour of walking, the figure indicated by the dual-colour hand must be multiplied by two.
To kick off the new year, Parmigiani Metrographe announced two new timepieces utilizing their unique “Galaxy” method of texturizing dials. The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Galaxy Gold Bracelet and also the Tonda Métropolitaine Selene are the newest unofficial (possibly official at some point) “his and hers” dress watch offerings from the brand. Interestingly, pricing is considerably lower than the previously published Tonda 1950 Galaxy Set.To create these stunning and statement-making dials, Parmigiani Fleurier utilize a method that needs dropping “Aventurine,” that is a hybrid aluminum and aluminum substance, into the midnight blue dial producing everything looks like celebrities — hence, “Galaxy.” As for me, I find this decoration intriguing with an almost poetic charm, and I am excited to find these extra models brandishing the unique technique.If the dial looks familiar, that’s because two decades ago, Parmigiani Fleurier released the original Tonda 1950 Galaxy Set, that came on a glossy black leather strap with a diamond bezeled rose gold case. While the Tonda 1950 Galaxy Gold Bracelet may bear a brand new reference number, it’s the exact same watch as before with the star of the series being the new slick solid rose gold bracelet with folding clasp. While I don’t necessarily want to spend too much time delving into the technical aspects of a watch we covered (you can read all about it in the link above), the accession of this bracelet gives this view a far more handsome look.

Bugatti Aérolithe Performance

The Delta-shaped hour and minute hands, the red “1” numeral on the date and the double hand at 9 o’clock all bear the stylistic hallmarks of Parmigiani Fleurier. Other striking elements contributing to the personality of this timepiece are the famous lugs featuring the dorsal seam of the Bugatti Aérolithe, the strap inspired by the embossed pattern of the manufacturer’s seats, and the deployant buckle, which is textured to match the dial.

The Bugatti Aérolithe Performance is driven by the proprietary PF335 automaticmovement, which boasts a flyback chronograph module and a 50-hpur power reserve. It is decorated with “Côtes de Genève”.

Bugatti Aérolithe Performance