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The most mechanical thing about the Pininfarina Battista? The timepiece created to go with it.
Where the Battista is a 1874bhp, 1697lb ft, £2m, all-electric taste of the future, the Battista Tourbillon is a reassuringly traditional combination of cogs, springs and other miniature mechanicals: you wind it up, it tells you the time.
Luca Borgogno, Automobili Pininfarina’s chief design officer, said the timepiece was created to mark both 90 years of Pininfarina as a design house and the arrival of the Battista, its first offering as a car maker.
The Battista Tourbillon is a striking-looking device, with extensive use of sapphire crystals to make the internals visible. Various features of the car – the wheel spokes, the ‘E-Heart’ battery gauge – are echoed in the timepiece, which has an asymmetrical dial to form a ‘9’ and ‘0’ to mark Pininfarina’s anniversary.
But Borgogno said it wasn’t just the visual details that linked the car and the timepiece; it was also the attitude.
‘It’s their approach to the design in general, to the materials, the fit and finish, even some rule-breaking. For example, it’s the first time in Bovet history that they’ve had an asymmetric face,’ he told CAR. The collaboration started around a year ago, when the design of the car was near-complete.
‘Pieces that are normally completely flat, we gave them treatments that are more car-like, so for example the eyebrows that are on top of the two dials, they have the same kind of feeling of the exterior of a car, with some shapes that are more three-dimensional.’
Like the car – which makes extensive use of sustainable and recycled materials – the timepiece embraces unusual shapes and finishes, including a vegan-friendly rubber strap. And both companies put heavy emphasis on hand-finishing and limited production runs (only 150 Battistas will be built; Bovet doesn’t make more than 1000 timepieces a year).
It was the first collaboration between the two companies, but won’t be the last, said Borgogno. ‘We are learning a lot from them, about materials, about how they handle them. We would like to use some of their crazy technology for future products. I think it was the same for them. This type of approach was really appreciated by them. It was a mutual improvement.’
Meanwhile, Borgogno said he was delighted with the enthusiastic reception the Battista had received, including winning the Concorso d’Eleganza at the recent Villa d’Este gathering of super-rich car collectors.