In 2019, Bugatti and Jacob & Co. signed a multi-year partnership to create unique, never-before-seen timepieces. These watches are true to the spirit of both companies, while taking watchmaking to impossible heights. To inaugurate this partnership led by performance, two timepieces were created. These watches, based on the Twin Turbo Furious and the Epic X Chrono, were directly inspired by the unique design and spirit of Bugatti hypercars. In 2020, Jacob & Co. and Bugatti introduced the Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti 300+, the Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti La Montre Noir, and the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon.
Just like the other versions of the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon that have been released thus far, the latest iteration also features a tonneau case that is inspired by flowing lines of the Bugatti Chiron. The movement, which includes the “engine block,” is intended to duplicate the Bugatti engine. It’s placed under a massive sapphire crystal on display for all to see.
Here’s where it gets interesting: push the right-hand crown of the timepiece and the engine comes to life – the crankshaft turns and the 16 pistons pump up and down, just like a true internal combustion engine. Two “turbochargers” (down from four in the actual Chiron engine) on the side of the engine block spin while the engine runs, adding to the visual impact.
Incredible to see and unbelievably complicated to realize (the movement is comprised of 578 components), the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon timepiece has done something no one has ever even attempted before – to seamlessly marry engines and watches.
The power reserves for the animation and the power reserve for timekeeping are different, yet both are wound through the winding crown, clockwise for the movement, counterclockwise for the engine animation. The power reserve indication for timekeeping even has the universal gas pump symbol on the side of the gauge at nine o’clock.
The movement is completely suspended in four places, with what looks like actual automobile shocks from the Chiron. The movement is, in fact, floating inside the case — you can see it move up and down. Framing the engine block are two “exhausts,” completing the engine theme of the design.
The crowns for the watch are on the back of the case – the left crown sets the time, the middle crown winds both the movement (60 hours of power reserve) and the animation, and a push of the right-hand crown starts the animation. The suspension of the movement caused an additional challenge for the movement designers, as they had to create (and patent) a special automotive-style jointed transverse system so the crown posts aren’t damaged by the movement going up and down inside the case.
The 18K White Gold case of the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon Baguette Black and Orange is designed to match the styling of the Chiron hypercar. It is paved with 190 baguette White Diamonds, 109 baguette Black Sapphires and 42 baguette Orange Sapphires. The crowns and pushers are set with an additional 60 Black Sapphire baguettes.
The movement, engine animation, tourbillon and power reserve are easily visible through the sapphire crystal top. Most captivating, of course, is the engine block animation. The crankshaft driving this is one of the smallest and most complicated watch parts ever manufactured, made out of one solid steel piece. The pistons, challenging to fabricate in their own right, are mounted onto the crankshaft at varying angles to maximize the show.