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Parmigiani Fleurier

One of the more recent success stories of the Swiss watchmaking industry, Parmigiani Fleurier emerged from the close relationship between watchmaker Michel Parmigiani and the Sandoz Family Foundation.

About

How many years of watchmaking history does Parmigiani Fleurier have behind it? A newcomer to horology might look at the year that Parmigiani Fleurier was founded (1996) and conclude that the answer to this question is 25 years. Those more familiar with the landscape of modern fine watchmaking know otherwise. Brand founder Michel Parmigiani is a master watchmaker whose extensive background in restoration brings centuries of horological expertise to the company. His experience and encyclopaedic knowledge of historical watchmaking, combined with innate talent and creativity, drive every single timepiece of Parmigiani Fleurier.

Over the last two and a half decades, Parmigiani Fleurier has built up a reputation for discreet, elegant watches inhabited by exclusive movements that are impeccably finished. Even their most exuberantly designed timepieces, verging on the avant-garde side of watchmaking, are characterised by refinement of proportion and harmonious lines that meld curves and angles with an adroit eye.

While collections such as the oblong Kalpa and the ultra-classic Toric each have their staunch supporters, it is the Tonda — Parmigiani Fleurier’s contemporary design — that has seen the most widespread recognition and success (albeit in the same understated context that relates to everything about the brand). Sub-collections of Tonda include the sports-inflected Tonda GT and the recently launched Tonda PF, which leans towards an approach associated with fine bespoke tailoring, all muted hues and subtle textures.

Parmigiani Fleurier is one of the rare watchmaking houses with the ability to produce its own regulating organs (including balance springs) internally, along with dials and cases. From the movement to the case, everything that is the essence of a Tonda, a Kalpa or a Toric is made in-house. The entire process of movement conception, design and manufacture is integrated, as is machining. Elwin SA and Vaucher Manufacture are cousin companies of Parmigiani Fleurier. There’s also a partnership with Hermès, which supplies the leather straps — a luxury accent that perfectly complements the design of every Tonda, Toric or Kalpa watch.

Within the industry, Parmigiani Fleurier has received its share of accolades from watchmaking's insiders. Most recently, the Tonda Hijri Perpetual Calendar was awarded the prize in the Innovation category at the 2020 edition of the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève. Today, the maison has found its place and its audience: discerning collectors who know their watches and enjoy being part of an understated, exclusive community; restless seekers of a timepiece that offers something a little different from what the big institutional players can provide. Parmigiani Fleurier has created its own aesthetic, and its own niche. The arrival of Guido Terrini as CEO in 2021 augurs great things for the future of the Fleurier manufacture.


1996
Parmigiani Fleurier is founded on 29 May 1996.
2014
Parmigiani Fleurier unveils the world’s slimmest flying tourbillon: the Tonda 1950 Tourbillon.
2017
Parmigiani triumphs with two prizes at Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for the Toric Hémisphère Rétrograde and the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire.
2020
Hijri Perpetual Calendar won the Innovation Prize at Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève and the new Tonda GT Collection is launched.
2021
Guido Terreni is appointed CEO of Parmigiani Fleurier and launches the new Tonda PF Collection.
Philosophy

A highly regarded name in contemporary fine watchmaking, known for the quiet elegance of its timepieces, Parmigiani Fleurier builds on the 45 years’ experience of its founder, Michel Parmigiani, anchored in more than two centuries of watchmaking culture, technique and excellence. Michel was already one of the most skilled and respected clock and watch restorers when he created the brand that bears his name and that of his village. More than a mere practitioner of his art, Michel Parmigiani explores the very soul of watchmaking with an aesthetic forged from mathematical principles. The golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence are ingrained in every Parmigiani Fleurier watch.

Parmigiani Fleurier translates this with a modern sensibility that enables all forms of expression, from the most understated to the most sophisticated. Engraving, enamelwork and superlative movement decoration serve a sense of contemporary elegance that eschews all forms of excess. Guided by CEO Guido Terreni, Parmigiani Fleurier is a connoisseur’s choice, destined for men of taste for whom a timepiece must demonstrate consummate craftsmanship with the utmost discretion. It reaches into the past to create watches for today; watches of immense value made for the discerning eye.

Collections

Tonda

With its rounded lugs, guilloché dial and fluted bezel, Tonda epitomises the modern at Parmigiani Fleurier. The Tonda GT is sporty without forgoing elegance while the Tonda PF emphasises refinement in slim, complication watches. A contemporary collection par excellence, Tonda asserts its presence simply and discreetly.

Toric

The architectural Toric owes its proportions to the golden ratio, its fluted bezel to the capitals of Doric columns and its guilloché dial to careful observations of the natural world. Parmigiani Fleurier’s first collection, Toric is instilled with the defining aesthetic of the brand and host to the most exclusive complications.

Kalpa

Parmigiani Fleurier contains a circle within a rectangle in the Kalpa collection of form watches whose arches and curves are grounded in a mathematical aesthetic which, though never patently visible, is present at every glance. A masterwork of balance and proportion in the service of a most harmonious tonneau shape.

Watches

Modern watchmaker

Nestled among the hundreds-of-year old historic Swiss watchmaking maisons is Parmigiani Fleurier, a luxury watchmaker that, in terms of age, is a relative newcomer. Established in 1996, it is the brainchild of Michel Parmigiani, a precocious watchmaker and watch restorer, and the Sandoz Family Foundation, a former client of Michel Parmigiani and who encouraged him to start his own brand. Today the maison operates from its Fleurier headquarters and five production sites in Switzerland, with collectors able to buy its designs around the world, most notably at what it calls its Studios, currently in Paris, London and Miami. The brand has also collaborated with mechanically-minded partners – such as Bugatti, from Molsheim, France, and super yacht maker Pershing - adding an exciting range of top seller designs to its core lineup.

Bugatti Type 390

The Bugatti Type 390 is among the most complicated watches that one can buy from Parmigiani Fleurier. Inspired by the free flowing chassis of the Bugatti Chiron, watch boasts an 80-hour power reserve that’s powered by a seven-layer tubular movement - which includes a tourbillon at the end of the cylinder. In an 18ct white gold case with a black dial and rose gold indexes, the watch also comes with an Hermès strap.

Parmigiani x Pershing

Like Parmigiani’s relationship with Bugatti, the maritime partner is super yacht makers Pershing. Although the watches are no longer available to buy today, they are still very much talking points, with a host of seller outlets out there where one can buy on the secondary market. Among the most interesting designs is the Pershing 002 chronograph, with the rose gold version especially eye catching (and comes paired with the rubber strap for men and white alligator for women).

Kalpa Hebdomadaire

The Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire (formerly the Parmigiani Fleurier Ionica), or the name given to the signature rectangular or tonneau shape, is one of the founding forms of the Parmigiani house. It speaks to the vintage watch restoration roots of Michel Parmigiani, and is one the most popular and best seller watches in the Parmigiani lineup. The shape has spawned a diverse and enticing collection, including the namesake Kalpa Hebdomadaire XL models. Not to be missed is the hand wound PFC 101-1001200-HA1241, with its grille like dial that recalls luxury classic cars and is among the more eyecatching models one can buy. Or if you are looking to buy something more sporty, there is the Kalpa Kalpagraphie range, which includes the stainless steel PFC 128-0001400-B00102 with an automatic and chronograph movement, or the more luxury version PFC 128-1001400-HA1441, with a rose gold case (and which is also an automatic chronograph). Meanwhile the women’s lines are equally top seller pieces, courtesy of the Kalpa Piccola range, which includes the PFC 160-1020700-B10202 in rose gold and trimmed in diamonds from bezel to bracelet; or the Anniversaire PFC 186-0020400-XC2422 with a gold quartz movement, which pairs a lilac mother of pearl dial on a white strap. The Kalpa Piccola models are all quartz, which tends to be more a top seller movement with women.