By using a mechanical watch-inspired analog gauge cluster instead of a display, the geniuses at Bugatti not only gave the $4.1 million Tourbillon hypercar the coolest cockpit ever but also made the car lighter.

The recently revealed Bugatti Tourbillon hypercar is a mechanical masterpiece. Under the leadership of Mate Rimac, Bugatti made some really bold decisions to make its newest offering stand out from all the other multi-million hypercars money can buy. Undoubtedly, the hybrid powertrain with a naturally aspirated V16 is a marvel of engineering. However, Tourbillon’s jaw-dropping analog gauge cluster is a true highlight of the $4 million hypercar. While some might think of it as a very expensive and unnecessary gimmick, let me tell you that it was quite a smart move to equip the Chiron replacement with a mechanical watch-like instrument cluster.

Over a little more than a decade, instrument clusters in cars have transformed from simple analog gauges with very basic digital readouts to highly sophisticated digital displays capable of delivering a wealth of information. Most modern cars have all-digital gauge clusters that boast high-resolution, cutting-edge technology and customizable layouts. Even Porsche, a brand known for valuing its purist patrons, fell prey to the trend and gave the face-lifted 911 an all-digital gauge cluster. However, Bugatti decided to go against this trend by using a completely analog unit.

The Tourbillon does have a single display and its hidden.

Bugatti made an interesting choice to name its newest hypercar, the Tourbillon – a crucial mechanism used in high-end mechanical watches. But it makes perfect sense. Not only does it rhyme with the automaker’s previous two models, but it’s also a subtle reference to Bugatti’s French heritage. It was developed by Swiss-French watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet and patented by Breguet on 26 June 1801. French for “whirlwind,” the mechanism eliminates the influence of gravity on the accuracy of mechanical watches. It’s quite evident that Bugatti’s new hypercar is deeply inspired by the world of horology, and the analog gauge cluster is the single most important component that pays tribute to its inspiration.

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The three-dial gauge cluster that appears to float inside the steering wheel is designed to look like a skeletonized mechanical watch. The entire unit is completely analog, with the gears and other components on display. Everything from the speed to the engine status, fuel, speed, rpm, and even battery capacity are indicated by the clocks. But it’s not just a stylistic exercise. Crafted out of titanium, the entire unit only weighs 700 grams, which is incredibly light for a full-fledged instrument console.

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According to Mate Rimac, the analog gauge helped Bugatti shave off unnecessary weight as an all-digital console traditionally weighs around 1.5 kgs (3.3 pounds). It’s the genius of the 36-year-old Bugatti CEO to equip the Tourbillon with a component that helps in weight-saving while also making it the talking point of the hypercar.

Via Facebook / @Concepto watch factory

Tourbillon’s gorgeous gauge cluster is made of a total of 600 individual parts mixing titanium and precious stones and assembled with a precision of 50 microns. The speedometer alone has 250 components. The unit was developed and constructed by Concepto, the movement manufacturer based in La Chaux-de-Fonds. In fact, Concepto Watch Factory is an unsung hero of the Swiss watchmaking industry; it’s a supplier of mechanical movements for some of the biggest watch brands, including Jacob & Co. and Bulgari.

The factory of Concepto. Via Facebook / @Concepto watch factory

The company has around 160 skilled craftspeople and other employees who are responsible for producing around 30,000 mechanical movements and other time-measuring objects each year. Let’s hope this starts a new trend of sophisticated analog gauge clusters, at least in multi-million exotic cars.

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Written By
Sayan Chakravarty, a Senior Writer at Luxurylaunches, brings over 10 years of automotive journalism expertise. He provides insightful coverage of the latest cars and motorcycles across American and European markets, while also highlighting luxury yachts, high-end watches, and gadgets. An authentic automobile aficionado, his commitment shines through in educating readers about the automotive world. When the keyboard rests, Sayan feeds his wanderlust, traversing the world on his motorcycle.