Welcome to the Bugatti Chiron of watches. No, really – the Chiron Tourbillon is the first, all-new watch to come out of Bugatti’s partnership with Swiss watchmaker Jacob & Co. And like the car to which it pays tribute, it’s fantastically over-engineered and incredibly expensive.
By far its most astonishing feature is the miniature representation of the big Chiron’s W16 engine. Push the right-hand crown (the other two are for setting the time and winding the movement) and the tiny, solid-steel crankshaft starts to turn, making the pistons move up and down. Meanwhile two ‘turbos’ on either side of the engine spin.
In all the flying tourbillon movement, a clean-sheet design that took over a year to piece together, is made up of 578 different parts. J&C claim the crankshaft is “one of the smallest and most complicated watch parts ever manufactured”.
Happily the whole thing, suspended in the 41.7mm-across case by what looks like four shock absorbers, is completely on display. The top and sides of the watch are sapphire crystal, and the tourbillon is canted forwards by 30 degrees to make it easier to ogle.
Of course it’s expensive. Reportedly some US$280k. A lot for a watch, but still it’s probably not the most expensive one your average Chiron owner has in their collection.
STORY Tom Harrison