The celebrations of Pininfarina’s 80th anniversary continues with the presentation of the exclusive Ottanta Tourbillon timepiece that is bursting with innovative ideas and is the result of the collaboration with watchmaker Bovet.

The celebrations of Pininfarina’s 80th anniversary continue with the presentation of a masterpiece, result of the collaboration between Bovet and Pininfarina: The Ottanta Tourbillon.

The collaboration started during an initial meeting with Mr Pascal Raffy, the owner of Bovet and Dimier 1738 when Mr Paolo Pininfarina received the assurance of having found in Bovet the brand with which he would co-write a new chapter in history to magnify the legendary past of each House and proposing a shared vision of the future.

In contrast to the notion of a private label, the concept was based from the very start on an active and equal partnership, marrying the specific strengths of the designer and watchmaker while taking into account the constraints of their respective activities. Those behind the project felt that this was the only way to achieve a perfect symbiosis of technical virtuosity, performance and beauty without compromise.

As a tribute to the 80th anniversary of Pininfarina, the technical designers of Dimier 1738, created a tourbillon which makes one complete revolution in exactly 80 seconds, whereas traditionally this operation lasts one minute. To achieve this, they created an intersection in the going train. After the third wheel, the train is divided into two separate reduction trains: one powering the seconds-crown, which makes one revolution every three minutes, the other, specially designed, transmitting its energy to the tourbillon cage to ensure that it completes each of its rotations in 80 seconds; a solution both simple and ingenious. It will be noted also that the rim of the balance wheel has been designed in the shape of an ‘8’, centred in the ring representing the ‘0’, evoking once more with subtlety and attention to detail the 80th anniversary of Pininfarina. The upper pivot of the tourbillon cage carries a hand which naturally does not display the seconds but traverses eight segments, recalling the number of decades in Pininfarina’s history, and points to eight emblematic phrases penned by Pininfarina and engraved on the timepiece. The assembly is balanced by a specially designed Pininfarina screw.

The essence of the partnership between Bovet and Pininfarina resides in the decoration of this automatic tourbillion. Bovet provides its exceptional expertise in mechanical architecture and its mastery of multiple, age-old and modern decorative techniques, while the latter contributes its virtuosity in terms of design, elegance and colour associations.
In close collaboration with their counterparts at Pininfarina, the design team at Dimier 1738 developed exterior parts and a “motorisation” that merge into a single, coherent entity, managing to overcome considerable obstacles to create an overall effect of clarity and depth despite the extreme complexity of the movement. Experts in the art of showing materials and volumes to optimal effect, Pininfarina designers suggested using the widest possible range of nuances of grey, sensing that the adoption of a monochrome approach would have the effect of smoothing volumes while recourse to different colours would prove aesthetically unappealing.

To achieve unsurpassed refinement in terms of decoration, the engineers and craftsmen of Dimier 1738 analysed 56 decorative samples and shades of grey and anthracite. Many of these were specially designed and developed for this occasion. All were rigorously tested to guarantee technical and aesthetic results that are unalterable over time. In a final detail that symbolises the virtuosity of Dimier 1738 craftsmen, the surfaces of bridges on either side of the tourbillon cage feature circular bipolar Clous de Paris decorative work, a feat seemingly impossible to achieve until now.

The visual identifiers of both Houses are expressed to perfection by the watch’s exterior parts, which together evoke their most prestigious creations. The case is a revisited version of the already famous Amadeo by Bovet, proposed here in titanium and steel completed with black DLC covering. Two other versions with a white or rose gold bezel and case-back are also available. If this Amadeo case is uncompromised aesthetically, it remains a fantastic distillation of mechanical craftsmanship.

Two push-pieces on either side of the bow allow the upper section of the wristlet to be extracted. A “minute repeater” type slide releases the bottom bezel which pivots on a hinge at 6 o’clock. This operation allows the lower section of the wristlet to be released. The watch can then be removed and transformed into a miniature table clock resting on a stable support assured by the lower bezel. According to mood or necessity, the user can then reattach the wristlet and choose which face of the watch to display, or reclose the lower bezel and replace the upper section of the wristlet with a chain, turning this prestigious object into an elegant pocket watch.

In addition to Pininfarina’s active contribution to the design of the watch, eight emblematic phrases each reflecting one decade of the brand’s existence and signed by Mr Paolo Pininfarina himself have been engraved around the middle of the case. The work of engraving was the most demanding task in the manufacture of this case in terms of time and resources, to ensure that despite its size, the wording remained clearly legible to the naked eye.

The strap for its part is composed of two types of rubber whose surface reflects the block-polish and sand-jetted finish of the movement’s constituent parts. It has duplicate-moulded stainless-steel inserts ensuring harmonious integration with the case and an “alcantara effect” calfskin lining created specifically for optimal comfort. Fifty different operations were required for its manufacturing. Adding a final touch to this anthology, the dial has a brass flange with an anthracite colour finish and a rock crystal lower plate which reveals, in addition to the movement in its entirety, the power reserve hand and balance decorated meticulously in the same shade of blue as the Pininfarina logo, which appears also on the stitching of the sumptuous leather presentation case.

© 2010 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed