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Parmigiani

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Parmigiani Fleurier - Mechanical perfection anno 1996

Michael Parmigiani, founder and creative head behind the eponymous brand, has long been known in the world of luxury watches. As early as 1976, at the zenith of the quartz crisis, the Swiss-born watchmaker began manufacturing and elaborately restoring historical timepieces in Couvet, Switzerland, thus developing a profound knowledge of watches at an early stage.

Exactly 20 years after Parmigiani began his horological career professionally, he dared to take the step into independence. He received important support from the friendly Sandoz family, whose watchmaking centre now houses the brand's manufactory. Today, the Foundation also owns a large part of the company.

Only two years later, in 1998, Parmigiani presented to the world public its first calibre developed by its own manufactory, the PF110. At the beginning of the new millennium, the integration of various production centres began in order to increase the production depth considerably. This was followed by the integration of a number of well-known companies specialising in micromechanics, the manufacture of movements, dials and cases. The companies are now grouped under the name "Manufactures Horlogères de la Fondation".

Today, the manufacture is fully integrated, with the result that every step, from the conceptual design to the final finishing, can be carried out under its own roof. In this way, the manufactory works absolutely autonomously and independently.

Parmigiani Fleurier is also a founding member of the Fondation Qualité Fleurier (FQF) and hence committed to the preservation of the traditional Swiss watchmaking art. The seal of quality is only awarded to a handful of selected watches, which are for instance 100% manufactured in Switzerland. Other brands involved include Chopard and Bovet.



Parmigiani Fleurier – Collections:

Bugatti

Bugatti and Parmigiani entered into a partnership in 2004, culminating in an own collection. True to the automotive role model, the watches in this collection meet only the highest aesthetic and technical standards.


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Kalpa

Watches in the Kalpa collection are particularly famous for their Tonneau shaped cases. They are joined by the stylishly executed drop-shaped lugs and delta-shaped hands.


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Pershing

The "Pershing" collection takes its name from the Italian luxury shipyard of the same name. It is therefore not surprising that the watches embody a successful combination of sportiness and luxurious elegance.


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Tonda

Derived from the Italian word for "round", this collection, which is by the way the most extensive of the brand, is all about the artistic creativity of the brand. The result is an exciting blend of classic shapes and imaginative colours.


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Toric

Toric watches were the first watches produced by the brand and still enjoy a correspondingly high status. They are stylistically based on ancient Greek columns, which is reflected in their knurling and gadroons, which run like a common thread through the collection.


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Parmigiani Fleurier - in numbers

1996: Foundation 1996

The foundation stone of the company is laid.

30: 30 developed movements

Since its foundation, the manufactory has developed almost 30 in-house calibres.

950: Palladium 950

In 2005, Parmigiani enchanted the watch world with an innovative world first: a watch made of palladium 950. Palladium is considered the little brother of platinum and is characterized by its silver-white shimmer.

36,000: 36,000 vibrations per hour

When it comes to high-frequency mechanical timepieces with high oscillations, the inclined reader may quickly think of Zenith's El Primero or Grand Seiko's Hi-Beat movements. But with the Tonda Chronor, Parmigiani also has a serious competitor up its sleeve that reliably performs its work with 36,000 semi-oscillations per hour.

390: Bugatti Type 390

A truly extraordinary construction and a masterpiece of modern watchmaking: the Bugatti Type 390. With a flying minute tourbillon, the smallest ball bearings in the world and two barrels for an 80h power reserve, the manufactory has succeeded in making a big hit. The transversal position of the movement is also unique.



Parmigiani Fleurier – Chronology


1976: Michael Parmigiani opens his first workshop in the midst of the quartz crisis.

1980: A fateful encounter: He meets the Sandoz family.

1996: The brand is officially launched.

1999: The brand launches its first watch, the "Toric QP Retrograde". This watch already contained the knurling and gadrooning, which are so characteristic of the brand today.

2000: With the support of the Sandoz Foundation, the brand’s vertical integration is strongly promoted. With the incorporation of "Les Artisans Boîtiers", the brand can now manufacture its own first-class cases.

2003: "Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier" produces exquisite movements for the brand. Other high-end brands such as Richard Mille, Corum and Baume & Mercier also benefit from this technical excellence.

2004: Parmigiani Fleurier enters a prestigious partnership with super sports car manufacturer Bugatti.

2005: With "Quadrance et Habillage", one of the most respected dial manufacturers in the world is added to the brand’s manufactory.

2006: After Bugatti, Hermès, the epitome of luxury and elegance, joins the ranks of Parmigiani cooperations. Since then, the company has been manufacturing leather watch straps for watches.

2011: In celebrations of Parmigiani's 60th birthday, the "Tonda 1950" model sees the light of day. Four years later, it gets equipped with the world's thinnest flying tourbillon.

2016: The brand celebrates its 20th anniversary.

2018: Parmigiani revives the Kalpa collection with the "Kalpa Chronor" at the Geneva watch fair SIHH. The movement, named PF365, is made entirely of gold.

 

Why buy a watch from Parmigiani Fleurier?

Many watch manufacturers can look back on more than a hundred years of history. Parmigiani is certainly not able to do this, yet its own designs are bursting with technical sophistication and craftsmanship.

At first glance, it becomes clear that history is no guarantee for quality and Parmigiani impressively proves that only the here and now counts. The iconic Kalpa models, in particular, have had a decisive influence on contemporary watchmaking and have become true design classics of the manufacture, all in the spirit of traditional watchmaking.

Thanks to its unique organisational structure, the brand achieved world fame in just a few years. With almost 30 calibres developed in-house, six successful collections and numerous world premieres, the brand can now look back on a history that outshines many other, also much older houses.

 

Cooperations and Partnerships

For many years, Parmigiani has consciously worked with other brands to create lasting partnerships. The aim is to share common values of craftsmanship, the unwavering pursuit of excellence and continuous joint innovation.

It all began in 2004 with the French super sports car manufacturer Bugatti, to whom Parmigiani Fleurier dedicated its own eponymous collection. Shortly afterwards, the company Hermès followed, which from then on produced the extremely high-quality leather watch straps for the watches.

Other partners include the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Musée de l'Elysée, a renowned photography museum in Lausanne.