The history of Parmigiani Fleurier

The House’s recent history includes many innovations and significant encounters.

The beginnings

Michel Parmigiani, a young watchmaker and restorer, opens his traditional watchmaking workshop. He restores antique timepieces and gives free rein to his creativity by creating complex horological pieces.

Recognition

Michel Parmigiani’s company, “Mesure et art du temps,” restores important timepieces from the Patek Philippe Museum and the Château des Monts. Michel Parmigiani becomes a recognized watchmaker and restorer.

The Sandoz Family Foundation

Michel Parmigiani has a decisive encounter with the Sandoz Family Foundation, which owns a very large collection of automatons and clocks. Entrusted with its maintenance and encouraged by the Sandoz Family Foundation, Michel Parmigiani considers creating his own brand.

Creation of the maison of Parmigiani Fleurier

The House of Parmigiani Fleurier is created and officially inaugurated at the Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne on May 29. With its rich blend of expert Swiss craftsmanship and watchmaking, the brand reflects the high caliber of Michel Parmigiani’s work.

The Toric QP

Michel Parmigiani presents the Toric QP Retrograde, his first wristwatch for Parmigiani Fleurier, whose bezel features alternating gadroons and knurling. This detail would become one of the brand’s aesthetic signatures. That same year, the rectangular-shaped Kalpa Hebdomadaire was created. Its volumes and proportions are based on the golden ratio, which has guided each of the brand’s subsequent creations.

 Birth of the manufacture

In order to create pieces that meet Michel Parmigiani’s quality criteria, the company decides to create its own manufacture. In May, the Sandoz Family Foundation acquires a highly renowned workshop that produces high-end watch cases, Les Artisans Boîtiers, which combines expert craftsmanship with cutting-edge production technology.

Acquisition of Atokalpa and Elwin

The nascent Parmigiani Fleurier watchmaking center acquires Atokalpa, a company specialized in making trains, pinions, and microgears. By 2005, the company is able to industrially produce balance wheels and springs, pallet forks, and escapement wheels. Later, Elwin, an expert in precision bar turning, joins the Parmigiani Fleurier watchmaking center, supplying all the hardware for a mechanical movement.

Creation of the company Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier

In January 2003, the company Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier is created, becoming the Parmigiani Fleurier watchmaking center’s engineering powerhouse. It specializes in making high-end watch movements in the “prestige” segment. Thanks to its research and development department, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier is able to produce an incredibly wide range of calibers.

Partnership with Bugatti

Parmigiani Fleurier signs a partnership with Bugatti, presenting a world first: the Bugatti Type 370, a timepiece assembled along a single axis, like a car engine.

 Creation of Quadrance et Habillage

In December, the Parmigiani Fleurier watchmaking center expands with the creation of Quadrance et Habillage, a company specialized in making high-end dials. Its expertise in guilloché work, épargnage, electroplating, transfers, and engraving ensures that each dial is unique.

The Tonda Hémisphères

The Tonda Hémisphères, featuring a dual time function, is presented, becoming the first travel watch in the Parmigiani Fleurier collection. Parmigiani Fleurier joins the Montreux Jazz Festival and celebrates the festival’s unique atmosphere.

Music is like watchmaking: it exists whenever a tempo is set – it becomes sublime only when we devote our heart and soul to it.
Michel Parmigiani

The Tonda 42 Tourbillon

Parmigiani Fleurier presents the Tonda 42 Tourbillon equipped with a 30-second tourbillon that enhances the accuracy of this prestigious watch. The Parmigiani Fleurier Collection for Women is launched with the introduction of the Kalparisma Nova, a rectangular-shaped women’s watch with refined feminine touches.

Michel Parmigiani’s 60th

The Tonda 1950 is presented to mark Michel Parmigiani’s 60th birthday, its name evoking the year the founder was born. The brand’s first ultra-slim watch embodies the fundamental aesthetic codes designed by Michel Parmigiani.

The Ovale Pantographe

Inspired by a pocket watch restored by Parmigiani Fleurier, the Ovale Pantographe is the first Parmigiani Fleurier watch with telescopic hands. That same year, Parmigiani Fleurier signs a partnership with the Musée de l’Elysée, dedicated to photography, to support and showcase the photographers of tomorrow. “When I was little, my father would say to me: ‘If you learn to look, art will reveal itself.’ To me, photography embodies this maxim completely, as its captures a fleeting moment, reflecting the precious nature of passing time. Photography reveals the art in the world which surrounds us.”
Michel Parmigiani

The Tonda 1950 Tourbillon

Parmigiani Fleurier presents the Tonda 1950 Tourbillon, which reinterprets the elegance of the Tonda 1950 caliber, adding to it the world’s thinnest flying tourbillon. This achievement is the result of a close collaboration between all the entities that make up the watchmaking center.

The Tonda Chronor Anniversaire: The first integrated chronograph

The maison unveils Hippologia, a table clock and automaton representing a mare and her foal galloping across the desert. This unique piece combines the expert craftsmanship of watchmaking, automaton creation, crystal work, and numerous decorative arts. Parmigiani Fleurier also presents its first integrated chronograph: the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire. This symbol of an accomplished manufacture and mastery of great technical skills is one of the 33 movements produced by the brand’s watchmaking center.

The Tonda GT

Parmigiani Fleurier launches the Tonda GT. That same year, the House wins the Innovation Prize at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix with the Tonda Hijri Perpetual Calendar, the first wristwatch based on the Islamic lunar calendar.

Guido Terreni

Where Michel Parmigiani brings heritage, skill and knowledge, Guido Terreni brings sartorial allure, and a sense of contemporary luxury in tune with the times we live in.

The Tonda PF

Launched on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Maison, the Tonda PF is a collection offering details, motifs and shapes of great finesse. This new refined wristwatch, whose shape has been designed to satisfy purists in search of a delicate high-end timepiece, pushes back the limits of craftsmanship and complication.

Stories in motion

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