You’ve got a $3 million Bugatti Chiron in the garage. The pinnacle of hyper sports cars, it’s the fastest, most powerful, and exclusive production vehicle in Bugatti’s 110-year history—“a unique masterpiece of art, form and technique, that pushes boundaries beyond imagination,” as the marque puts it. So what do you wear on your wrist? Even a Patek Philippe doesn’t quite cut it.
So in 2019 Bugatti signed a partnership with Jacob & Co., the diamond-studded watch brand created by jeweler-to-the-stars Jacob Arabo, who counts the likes of Jay-Z, Drake and Cristiano Ronaldo as clients.
Though Jacob & Co. is quickly becoming an icon of avant-garde ultra-luxury watchmaking, with its latest creation for Bugatti, Arabo has shown that he’s also equal to the task of interpreting Bugatti’s impressive history, much as Bugatti’s own designers and engineers have done with incomparable creations like the La Voiture Noire.
La Voiture Noire is an $18.9 million (€11 million) one-off vehicle based on the Chiron, inspired by the legendary Type 57 SC Atlantic coupé from the 1930s. Specifically, the mystery-enshrouded all-black (aka “Voiture Noire”) personal car of company founder Ettore Bugatti’s son Jean, which disappeared in 1938 and hasn’t been seen since.
Last year a 1936 Type 57 SC Atlantic fetched a record $30 million at auction; Ralph Lauren owns a similar example, one of only four ever built. Jean Bugatti’s missing car is said to be worth more like $100 million.
The new one-off Twin Turbo Furious Bugatti La Montre Noire is the only timepiece that could possibly hold its own with La Voiture Noire. The case of the unique watch is made of 18-carat black gold, “invisibly” set with 344 natural black sapphires. “These shimmering shards of the night sky underline the homage of this unique timepiece to the greatest automotive mystery of all time,” as Bugatti puts it.
The $1 million La Montre Noire incorporates two “accelerated” triple-axis tourbillons into its groundbreaking design, which work to compensate for the effects of gravity on the precision of the grand complication movement, made up of 832 individual parts.
The incomparable monopusher chronograph is also equipped with an exclusive indicator in the center of the dial, inspired by pit boards in motor racing and indicating the difference in seconds in comparison to a reference time, as well as a decimal minute repeater.
Obviously this isn’t the sort of watch you just leave lying on your desk. Which is perhaps why Bugatti recently inaugurated another timekeeping-focused partnership, with Germany’s Buben & Zorweg, makers of the world’s most extraordinary watch safes, watch winders and multifunctional safe objects, some fitted with built-in humidors and bulletproof glass.
The two brands debuted the Grande Illusion Chiron 300+, an $119,000 sculptural multifunction watch safe crowned by the B&Z Flying Minute Tourbillon Clock, an homage to the Chiron super sports car’s dashboard instrumentation.
Featuring carbon fiber trim and Bugatti’s iconic horseshoe emblem, it can only be unlocked with a biometric fingerprint sensor or transponder chip, and features a drawer with a special compartment shielded from radio waves designed to keep the keys to your Bugatti safe from hackers and electronic interference.
“Bugatti must always offer the extraordinary, exceed even the wildest dreams,” as Bugatti President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann announced at the presentation of the new partnership. “In every respect”.
“We are proud to have found the perfect partner in Bugatti to shift boundaries and set new benchmarks,” adds Buben&Zorweg CEO Florian vom Bruch. Mission accomplished.
This article originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2021 issue of Maxim