It is a rare joy to restore a work of watchmaking. To free it from the ravages of time and men is to reinstate it in a temporal truth essential to our memory.
– Michel Parmigiani
Restoration as a source of inspiration
Restoring pieces from the past has allowed Michel Parmigiani to acquire the expertise of hundreds of years of watchmaking knowledge. These vital skills saw him entrusted with the care of the Sandoz family’s collection before launching his own watchmaking brand. That is how the art of restoration became the foundation of the house of Parmigiani Fleurier.
The genesis of the Tonda Hémisphères
The idea for this model came from a pocket watch in Maurice-Yves Sandoz’s collection that had two movements and thus two time zones at its heart.
Michel Parmigiani noticed that each time zone could be set independently, correct to the nearest minute. After four years of research and development, Parmigiani Fleurier unveiled a mechanism that includes a motor movement and a “follower” module, achieving the same level of accuracy and optimizing the display’s legibility.
The secret of pantograph hands
In the late 1990s, Michel Parmigiani discovered the principle of pantograph hands on an antique pocket watch. While restoring it in the Parmigiani Fleurier workshop, the founder decided to recreate this same mechanism, unveiling the Ovale Pantographe in 2013, the House’s first watch with a retractable hand, making it the only manufacture to achieve this feat.
A 200-year-old complication
The Toric Capitole derives its complication from a pocket watch with a semicircular window created in the early 19th century by the Neuchâtel watchmakers Perrin Frères. While restoring it in the Parmigiani Fleurier workshops two centuries later, the company’s master watchmakers successfully reproduced this unique mechanism.
Restoring pieces of art
This restored automaton jerks forward thanks to a complex system of hammers that strike the animal’s abdomen.
The Pistol and its Songbird
When it is fired, a singing bird pops out of the barrel of this pistol, whistling a unique song.
This unique automaton moves like a caterpillar with convolutions as complex as they are fascinating.