Ambassador of elegance

Concorso d’Eleganza Pininfarina at the Castello del Valentino in Turin, Italy

It would be hard to assemble more emblems of elegance than those brought together at the beautiful Castello del Valentino in Italy. For this occasion Paolo Pininfarina was joined by friend and owner of BOVET 1822 & DIMIER 1738, Pascal Raffy. The two men share the same taste for mechanical genius, aesthetic refinement and the preservation of heritage – values of true luxury. This shared quest for excellence drove the two men to create a fine timepiece collection that has been enchanting collectors for the past five years. Unveiled in 2010, the iconic Ottanta Tourbillon – developed and manufactured by BOVET 1822 – was chosen at the time by Pininfarina to celebrate 80 years of exceptional design.

Pininfarina and BOVET 1822 welcomed collectors from around the world to exhibit both classic and sports vehicles covering more than eight decades of automobile legend. The sophistication of prestigious bodywork and the elegance of the cars’ gracious drivers who came to present them, were surrounded by the lavish decor of the 17th century Valentino Castle.

In addition to the private collectors, Pininfarina exhibited some rarities from their own museum. These included the famed Lancia Aurelia B24, film icons such as the Duetto (The Graduate) and the Nash Ashley (Sabrina), and a plethora of sports cars including the Ferrari P4/5 and 612.

A jury of eminent design experts was assembled to present the competition’s various awards. Among them featured names such as Flavio Manzoni, Director of Design at Ferrari, and Karim Habib, Chief Designer at BMW, as well as representatives from specialty auto design publications. In addition, Pascal Raffy had the honor of being named President of this prestigious jury by the House of Pininfarina.

The quality and level of conservation and restoration of the competing cars was such that the jury’s deliberations were long, and fired by passion and emotion for this exceptional platform. In the end, it was Mr. Gino Coen and his spectacular Cisitalia 202 from 1947 that took home the coveted BOVET Award for the Most Elegant Car, presented by Pascal Raffy himself.

The Cisitalia 202 certainly has one of the most beautiful body shapes in automobile history. It was the only car present to have been exhibited at the MOMA in New York City and to be considered as a contemporary work of art. This vehicle presents the surprising peculiarity to be modeled in a single shell of aluminum making it well known in the world as a “rolling sculpture”.

It is also Pascal Raffy who gave the Best in Show Award to Mr. Corrado Lo Presto for his Lancia Florida I from 1955. An absolute revolution in terms of automotive design, the Lancia Florida is recognized for being the inspiration for American prestige cars from the mid-fifties to present day. Finally, Paolo Pininfarina gave the Chairman Award to Anne and Bob Lee for their Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet from 1952. Produced in a limited edition of eighty, this legendary sports car also boasts an enviable hit list of various car races in the fifties including a win at the Carrera Panamericana in 1951.


In addition to the many jewels of automobile history for Pininfarina, lovers of elegance and mechanical brilliance were given the opportunity to discover the five timepieces in the current BOVET by Pininfarina collection. Three tourbillons and two chronographs illustrate the common vision of the two Houses in defining the most beautiful expression of time, consistent with the finest tradition. Much quieter than their counterparts on four wheels, their mechanisms inspired surprise and wonder through their ingenuity and high-quality finishes.