Collaborations between the world of horology and the automobile industry have always fascinated watch aficionados. Indeed there are several areas at which these two worlds converge. When it comes to sportscars, especially electric sports cars, the power-to-weight ratio often leads to interesting discussions.
Let’s look at the all-electric Pininfarina Battista hypercar that puts up 1,900 horsepower and 2,340 Nm of torque. This makes it the most powerful Italian production car to date and a mighty fast one too; zero to 100 kph takes less than 2 seconds and the top speed is recorded at 350 kph. But of course power in a watch is a very different story ― it is measured not in horses, but in beats or hours. So, when these beats join forces with car power, one can expect some “high output” specs. And that’s precisely what the all-new Bovet x Pininfarina Aperto 1 collab piece offers.
The partnership between Pininfarina and Bovet began in 2010 when the luxury watch brand’s owner, Pascal Raffy, met the chairperson of Pininfarina, Paolo Pininfarina, for the first time. In 2015, Indian conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra acquired Automobili Pininfarina, paying US$ 185 million for the Italian automobile designing company. Automobile design elements often inspire design of watches. This can include use of such materials as carbon fibre, titanium, and rubber, which are common in high-performance cars. Both industries place a high value on precision engineering and technical innovation. Just as cars have evolved with more advanced engines, suspension systems, and aerodynamics, watches too have seen advancements in movement technology, materials, and functionality.
The new Bovet x Pininfarina Aperto 1 comes in an ultra lightweight, sandblasted, 42 mm, Fleurier-type, grade 5 titanium case. A sapphire crystal on the front and the back keeps the movement safe, while the black, rubber-clad crown is positioned at 12 o’clock. The timepiece has an in-house balance wheel and a regulating organ at 8 o’clock. The openworked dial tells time through a pair of hands with Super-LumiNova inserts pushed up out of the centre ever so slightly.
The hands are joined by a suspended hour track on the outer periphery; the dial also sports a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock with a triple-sided hand and a power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock. Contrasting with the grey-toned background is the name of the brand; the collaboration with Pininfarina is mentioned on the inside of the crystal at 12 o’clock. The model comes with two variants ― a blue model and a yellow one. For this new iteration of the lightweight Pininfarina collection, Bovet has created an all-new movement called Calibre 15BMPF09-OW. This manual winding movement offers a 7-day or 168-hour power reserve. Each movement has undergone at least 10 hours of hand-finishing just for the plates and the bridges alone. The movement itself gets black and tantalum grey treatments, and merges at the centre of the movement.
The techniques used include: PVD or CVD coating (depending on the colour); bead blasting (challenging so as to not deform the components and to keep a uniform orientation of the grains); graining of the flanks; polishing of the bevels; polishing of stone gouges and screws; perlage, circular Côtes de Genève; polishing, and anglage. Turning the watch over showcases the open caseback with the power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock. Inspired by Bovet's patented Amadeo system, the wearer can change the straps in just a few seconds by simply activating the pushers to remove each strap and insert an alternative one. Furthermore, this watch comes with either a black or a blue rubber strap and a titanium ardillion buckle.