The Bugatti Aérolithe is one of the historical icons of the brand, and perhaps as well the most mysterious car ever. It was introduced in 1935, and despite being breathtakingly beautiful, it was probably too progressive for its time. It was crafted from a highly flammable magnesium alloy, which made that the chassis had to be riveted on the outside of the car. With a new double overhead-cam engine, and the also new T57 chassis, it was the most advanced car in the world at the time, but the public wasn’t having it, and this now legendary car simply vanished afterward. Its design and technology would live on in other legendary Bugatti’s such as the Atlantic. Parmigiani, Bugatti’s watchmaking partner, found in it the inspiration for a new flyback chronograph, which they named after the Bugatti Aérolithe.
The Bugatti Aérolithe chronograph is filled with beautiful details that are reminiscent of the design of the car. The lugs have the same aerodynamic shape as the back of the car, and under the polished bezel, you find three rows of a hobnail pattern, also known as Clous de Paris. The case of the watch is about as innovative as the magnesium alloy Jean Bugatti used in the Aérolithe because it is crafted from titanium, using the same laser technology that was first used on the Senfine Concept Watch.
The pattern on the dial and the strap of the watch resemble the texture of seats inside the Bugatti. The watch is powered by Parmigiani’s manufacture chronograph caliber PF335, which also features a flyback function. The watch’s tachymeter scale is in both km/h as well as mp/h. Truly innovative is that for lower speeds, the minute counter takes over the speed measurement function of the second’s hand. Featured in blue and red, the colors are also a tribute to the great marque that Bugatti is.