PERPETUATING MECHANICAL ART
In 2021, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its foundation, Parmigiani Fleurier launched one of the most ambitious and demanding projects in its history. La Rose Carrée is a pocket watch produced as a unique piece, based on a century-old grand sonnerie caliber from Louis-Elysée Piguet.
La Rose Carrée has now evolved into Les Roses Carrées “Collection Grand Feu,” an elite assembly of five unique minute-repeater watches at the top of the Parmigiani Fleurier range, representing the highest echelon of watchmaking craftsmanship and complication, set against a background of absolute exclusivity.
Today, on December 2, 2022, marking the occasion of Michel Parmigiani’s birthday, the brand reveals the first creation in this collection: the Rosa Celeste, a piece that pays tribute to Michel Parmigiani’s favorite color and to the age-old artisanal tradition of Grand Feu enameling.
Between the petals of these horological flowers, Parmigiani Fleurier embeds the noblest complication: a manually wound minute repeater caliber with a cathedral gong. Its skeletonization and beveling bring together the best of Parmigiani Fleurier’s watchmaking expertise and craftsmanship for a unique and poetic timepiece.
Les Roses Carrées “Collection Grand Feu” embody two of Michel Parmigiani’s fondest pursuits, which are the exploration of the Golden Ratio and the observation of it in the natural world. This prestigious collection represents a cosmology of roses linked to the great principles of the universe. It is a unique creation in which all of the Métiers d’Art mastered over the years by Parmigiani Fleurier are represented, including engraving, enameling, and the haute horlogerie mechanical art necessary to create watchmaking masterpieces that are timeless in both their beauty and the sound of their chimes.
THE ROSA CELESTE IN DETAIL
The timepiece’s 42-mm white gold case is entirely hand-engraved with the La Rose Carrée motif and has an officer’s back. The caseback and the hand-engraved with chiseled pattern dial are covered with Grand Feu enamel. The bezel, lugs and caseband are hand-engraved with the La Rose Carrée motif. These notches are hand-engraved into the hard metal in an algorithmic progression.
The Square Rose is in fact a fractal pattern whose development is based on the Fibonacci sequence, which is closely linked to the Golden Ratio. This mathematical principle that guides life has always been at the root of Michel Parmigiani’s creations and the sense of proportion that he brings to their design.
A hinge located at 2 o’clock on the reverse side of the two unique pieces articulates their officer’s back. The outer face of the caseback bears a large square fractal Rose, also hand-engraved and covered with multiple layers of blue enamel, Michel Parmigiani’s preferred color.
On the other side, this unique piece features a solid, white gold dial whose surface is hand-engraved with chiselled pattern. For both the dial and cover, the technique used is that of Grand Feu enamel.
The skeletonization of the PF355 caliber is directly inspired by that of the PF361 caliber, known as Chronor, launched in 2016 in a Tonda model that at the time constituted the pinnacle of the Parmigiani Fleurier collection. With its curves and counter-curves, harmonious inflections, deep chamfers, and 114 inward and outward angles, Rosa Celeste is the product of extreme achievement. The bevelling, polishing and surface treatments were carried out by hand by the bevellers in the Parmigiani Fleurier workshops.
This caliber, although hidden by a solid dial on one side and by its official back on the other, has been the object of an extensive and artistic skeletonization process. Usually made visible by the disappearance of the dial, this movement is here reserved for the owner and his or her closest confidants, a private and exclusive pleasure.
The shape of the bridges, the cut-out of their profile, and the size and extent of their openworking, are artistic signatures, aesthetic identifiers, and indicators of the care taken in the execution and details. Parmigiani Fleurier has taken this approach to the extreme.
The Minute Repeater
To the movement’s extreme aesthetic refinement, Parmigiani Fleurier has added horological substance on a comparable level. The noblest, most historic complication, the one most in line with Michel Parmigiani’s watchmaking practice as a restorer, has been chosen to animate Rosa Celeste: the minute repeater, with its cathedral-like sound.
The movement is suspended in the case and the heel of the gongs is physically connected to the case by a double screwing. The caseback and case middle have been redesigned to create resonance pockets and to lighten the case’s white gold mass. These two aspects contribute to increasing the acoustic quality of the repeater’s chimes and their range. A final quality criterion is that the ringing sequence automatically skips dead time. Thus, at 3:19, the three chimes of the hour are immediately followed by a double chime for the quarter-hour and again, without silence, by the four chimes for the minutes.
This device is still an exception in the world of minute repeaters, and an indispensable characteristic according to Parmigiani Fleurier. The maison’s legendary criteria for ergonomics and directly perceptible quality are also reflected in a running time of 72 hours, or three full days, another rarity for this complication.
Listen to the Minute Repeater
Hours, minutes, minute repeater
PF355 – manual winding with minute repeater on cathedral gongs, continuous chiming sequence
21,600 Vph (3 Hz)
No. of components:
Côtes de Genève, openworked bridges, hand-beveling and circular-graining
18k white gold
polished and hand-engraved with “La Rose Carrée” pattern
Ø 6.4 mm topped with cabochon-cut natural sapphire or citrine
ARunic anti-reflective sapphire
18k white gold, hand-engraved with “La Rose Carée” pattern, “Grand feu” enamel, interior engraving, “Rosa Celeste”, “PF” seal and Michel Parmigiani’s signature.
Hunter caseback engraving:
serial number, “Parmigiani Fleurier”, Swiss Made and « Pièce unique »
18k white gold
hand-engraved with chiseled pattern
blue “Grand feu” enamel
hand-applied, 18k gold, rhodium-plated appliques
Hours and minutes:
18k gold, rhodium-plated, skeletonized, delta-shaped hands
Blue alligator leather strap, double-sided, handstitched
18k white gold pin buckle with hand-engraved “La Rose Carée” pattern