The 2019 SIHH will soon be opening its doors, and the watchmakers from Fleurier will be presenting a new version of a watch made by Michel Parmigiani 21 years ago.
In 2017, at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), Parmigiani launched the Toric Chronometer, a contemporary reinterpretation of the first watch designed by its founder, Michel Parmigiani, in 1997, some 20 years earlier. Now, just a few weeks before the 2019 SIHH, the brand from Fleurier is back with a second version of this emblematic timepiece, the Toric Chronometer Slate.
The various functions are driven by the calibre PF441, an automatic movement with chronometer certification by the COSC. With the help of a double barrel, it supplies the watch with up to 55 hours of power reserve.
This new Parmigiani watch has a 41mm-wide red gold case. It is worn with a Havana-brown alligator-leather strap, equipped with a red-gold tang buckle, and is made in the Hermès workshops.
Price: 24,000 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
TIME SET TO MUSIC
The first two weeks of July are a musical landmark each year with the arrival of the Montreux Jazz Festival, an essential event for music-lovers, including for Parmigiani, which has dedicated two exclusive watches to the festival.
You don’t need to be a music fan to have heard of the Montreux Jazz Festival at least once in your life (even though you might not actually have been there). This unique event, created in 1967 and taking place in the first two weeks of July in Montreux, Switzerland, brings together highly diverse musical styles on its three stages. The programme for 2018 is a skilfull blend of genres, ranging from the UK group Massive Attack, the founders of trip-hop in the 1990s, to the Brazilian Gilberto Gil via N.E.R.D, the launchpad for Pharrell Williams, and not forgetting some icons from the 1970s (Deep Purple, Iggy Pop) and 1980s (Etienne Daho, Billy Idol), to name but a few. This year, for the 11th time in a row, the event is being marked by the collaboration of Parmigiani, which has seized the chance to design two Special Edition Montreux Jazz Festival Kalpa 2018 watches: the Kalpa Grande and the Kalparisma. The exclusive duo is limited to just five pieces each and has the words “Montreux Jazz Festival 2018“ engraved on the back.
The barrel-shaped cases are made of steel and measure 40.8 x 34mm for the Kalpa Grande and 37.5 x 31.2mm for the Kalparisma, which is also coated in 46 diamonds. The cases house the PF331 calibre, a self-winding movement providing 55 hours of power reserve.
Each silvery dial is decorated with a piano-keyboard pattern and gilded triangular hour markers with delta-shaped hour and minute hands above. The seconds are off-centred and shown in a blued sub-dial that also features the date in a fan-shaped window.
Price: 12,000 CHF (Kalpa Grande) – 15,000 CHF (Kalparisma)
By Sharmila Bertin
THE MOON CLOSE AT HAND
Nearly two years after the launch of the Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène, Parmigiani innovates by providing this poetic timepiece with a bouquet of stars.
In 2016, Parmigiani, the watchmakers based in Fleurier, in the Swiss municipality of Val-de-Travers, introduced the Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène. Its visually striking blue dial, decorated with a floral, mother-of-pearl motif, displayed an elegant moon phase in its upper part. Today, the brand has released a much more feminine and lyrical version of the timepiece: the Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène Galaxy.
While aesthetically the layout of the counters on the screen and the details that are the hallmarks of Parmigiani have stayed the same, the watch itself looks very different to its older sibling. The deep blue aventurine dial is inset with golden sequins, evoking a night sky scattered with stars. Two open-work Delta-shaped hands move around an hour rim featuring triangular, golden appliques to discreetly display the hours and minutes. A running seconds sub-dial with a crescent-moon-shaped counterweight follows a pearled circular scale. The lower part of the sub-dial opens onto a large date counter.
Opposite, at 12 o’clock, a majestic moon phase holds sway. The copper-coloured queen of the night, partially hidden behind a navy-blue cloud, has a smooth surface where its famous craters are set.
The various functions are driven by the calibre PF318, a mechanical movement running at a frequency of 4Hz (28,800 vibrations an hour) and with a double barrel (50 hours of autonomy). The mechanism is housed in a 33mm steel case topped with 72 diamonds that light up this watchmaking galaxy with their bright fires.
Price: 16,200 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
THE SKY, THE STARS AND THE TIME
This new timepiece designed by Parmigiani is an invitation to explore the stars, unveiling a face studded with gold leaf and surrounded by diamonds
It is now possible to touch the stars. Well, not physically, but if you let your imagination go to work and with your eyes fixed on the new Tonda 1950 Galaxy. As its name suggests, this timepiece by Parmigiani contains the starry vault and is dressed in precious materials such as gold and diamonds.
This “sky” evoking a fine summer’s night was made of aventurine, a term that is wrongly used to refer to goldstone (aventurine glass). Whereas mineral aventurine is a coloured chalcedony from the quartz family, and a work of nature, goldstone is made by man. It was discovered by accident in a glassworks in Murano in the 17th or 18th century. In a workshop on this famous island to the north of Venice in Italy, an artisan accidentally dropped copper filings in some molten glass. The dazzling result, which was later made to a formula that was kept secret for decades, was named aventurine glass or goldstone.
The dial on the special edition Tonda 1950 Galaxy features a glass disc that is tinted and covered with tiny copper fragments, on top of which a pink-gold hour rim is set. With their slender, rectangular silhouettes, the indices converge towards the centre, where two hands are placed. These luminescent hour and minute hands are made of pink gold.
This precious timepiece is attached to a link strap, and the 39mm-wide pink gold case features a bezel covered in 84 diamonds. The crystal glass back reveals the workings of the calibre PF702 made by Parmigiani and which drives the time functions.
Price: 39,000 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
REV UP YOUR ENGINES
What if you could wear a car on your wrist? Parmigiani has done just that with its Bugatti Type 390, a timepiece in tribute to the Chiron
Parmigiani has been the car brand’s partner since 2004 and had ample opportunity to unveil timepieces oozing car design and mechanical engineering, just like the Bugatti Type 370 that came out at the same time as the Bugatti Veyron 16.4. This year the watch brand is launching an unusual new timepiece that won’t go unnoticed: the Bugatti Type 390 in tribute to the incredible Bugatti Chiron.
Bugatti Type 390 is a real engine on your wrist that focuses on performance, power and reliability. It reflects the Chiron’s signature looks in the engine/interior/bodywork design and a case reminiscent of the shape of the world’s most powerful and fastest car. Parmigiani has given it a cylindrical movement with a traditional time display. The hours and minutes are joined by an 80-hour power reserve and a 60-second flying tourbillon. The new in-house PF390 calibre has been patented and lies in the cylinder dominating the structure to feed information to the dial through an endless screw (cylinder containing spiral ribbing). This new watchmaking engine is no bigger than the regulator on its 60-second tourbillon that also provides the seconds: 25×37.5mm. The entire watch has a light structure with a cylindrical horizontal build.
What’s appealing about the Bugatti Type 390 is its quirky white or rose gold case (42.2×57.7mm in diameter) and its pitch black dial that contrasts with the luminescent rose gold applied markers. Parmigiani called upon Hermès for the classic and chic black alligator strap. Only 10 collectors can get their hands on this racy little number. Are you in the running?
Price: 295,000 CHF
By Isabelle Guignet
When he created the first model in the Toric collection, Michel Parmigiani, the founder of the brand of the same name set up in 1996, took inspiration from the field of art, and even of history and nature. He borrowed the straight ribs and fluting on antique Greek columns and the contours of shells in designing the bezel for the Toric timepieces, which included a type of gadroon around a ribbed, hollow strip. This visual signature has been applied to all the collection, including the new Toric Chronomètre watch.
With a slim case that has been slightly reworked to embrace contemporary aesthetic codes, it is 40.8mm wide and available in white or rose gold. It houses the calibre PF331, manufactured by Parmigiani, and visible through the sapphire case back. This self-winding mechanism, certified as a chronometer by the COSC, runs at 28 800 vibrations per hour (4Hz), and its double barrel provides a power reserve of 55 hours.
The dial on the Toric Chronomètre model is dressed in a black that is as deep and intense as lacquer or a grained white with delicate silvery tints. It features an hour rim with Arabic numerals along the minute track circling the chapter ring. At the centre of this disc with its simple aesthetics are a couple of javelin-style golden hands for the hours and minutes, along with a second hand. The date is displayed against a black or white background in a wide counter at 6 o’clock, at the bottom of the dial, showing the date over three days.
Price: 18 500 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
The brand founded in Fleurier has renewed with a mechanical concept dating from the 18th century to design a limited edition model with a surprisingly shaped case and, above all, hands.
What is a pantograph? The pantograph is an “instrument for the mechanical copying of a plan on the same or an enlarged or reduced scale” (OED), a draughtsman’s instrument with articulated arms to make enlargements or reductions of a model. This definition helps us to understand the unusual shape of the hands at the centre of the Ovale Pantographe by Parmigiani.
The brand based in Fleurier has taken inspiration from an oval pocket watch dating from 1780, with a movement covered in counter-relief engravings and depicting acanthus leaves. The guilloché cover, adorned with indigo blue and set with small pearls, hides a white face crossed by hands formed by a kind of flexible lattice work. Connected to the movement is a system of sensors inside a device called a cam that controls the hands, extending or retracting them. Parmigiani has taken up this ingenious system and adapted it to its Ovale Pantographe model, while taking into account the additional constraints involved in a contemporary wrist watch when compared with an 18th century pocket watch.
The Ovale Pantographe case has an oval silhouette, and is 45mm long, 37.3mm wide and 12.5mm thick. It is available in two gold colours – pink or white – and like all the Parmigiani classic collection features long, delicately prominent and angular lugs. The oval-shaped setting houses a manual winding movement in the form of a gold barrel: the PF111 calibre. Running at a frequency of 21 600 vph (3Hz) and providing a power reserve of 192 hours (8 days), it drives the hour, date and power reserve functions.
On the silver opaline watch face, decorated with a guilloche barleycorn pattern, are two hands equipped with a black “pantograph” body and placed at the centre, showing the hours and minutes. The date is shown in a panoramic window opening onto three dates, at 6 o’clock, while the power reserve is set at 12 o’clock.
This timepiece made by Parmigiani is available in a limited edition of 50 pieces.
Price: 85 000 CHF (limited edition) – 55 000 CHF (model with smooth watch face and blue hands)
By Sharmila Bertin
Parmigiani – Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène
The moon’s coppery light glows in a large bevelled display at 12 on the Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène’s blue dial. The russet hue highlights craters formed by lunar seas created by layering tracing. The small seconds lie opposite at 6 with a date display that smiles like the man in the moon.
A lotus flower blossoms in the heart of the intense blue or mother-of-pearl white dial. Its stylised petals are made of two layers of mother-of-pearl: one satin-finished and one polished. Luminescent, rose gold delta-shape hands burst from the bloom to track the hours and minutes along gold triangular markers.
The time, date and moon phase functions are brought to life by a self-winding calibre by Parmigiani inside the 33mm steel case.
Price: 12,300 CHF (steel) – 15,600 CHF (diamond and steel)
By Sharmila Bertin
Colette on Rue Saint-Honoré has become a destination in Paris since opening in 1997. The concept store bursts with different worlds and hosted one of the first exhibitions by graffiti artist André Saraiva, a.k.a. Monsieur A, in 2002. When Le Baron nightspot opened in 2005, the artist reinvented himself as a Paris club owner. Parmigiani has drunk in his aura and used his talent to adorn 11 white gold Tonda 1950 watches. What do they have in common? Aside from their self-winding movement, Paris, Love and New York are decorated with the artist’s signature font in blue and red on the dials. This limited edition, exclusively available from colette, plays on colour combinations and materials. The straps (shagreen or boa), made by L’Atelier du Bracelet Parisien, a nod to the City of Light, echo the nuances of graffiti and the black, blue or white lacquer dials. Price: 23,300 € (diamond “Paris” watch) – 19,900 €. Dan Diaconu
The brand based in Fleurier, in the Neuchâtel canton, is so deeply rooted in the watchmaking scene that we often forget it’s not even 20 years old. Founded in 1996, it epitomises its founder Michel Parmigiani’s passion for well-made watches as you can see in the classic Tonda collection which launched in 2011. This year, the timeless Tonda 1950 has slimmed down (its 39mm rose gold case is just 8.4mm thick) and lightened up with a diamond-rimmed mother-of-pearl dial. The opalescent disc lies on a bronze dial bearing twelve rose gold indices beneath two delta-shape luminescent hour and minute hands. The seconds stand in their own blue-tone counter at 6 o’ clock. The time functions and 42-hour power reserve are brought to life by the ultra-thin self-winding PF701 calibre which you can see in action through the partially openwork case back. Price: 44,900 CHF