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Parmigiani Fleurier celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and from November 17– December 31, 2016, will present an exhibition of the brand’s highlights thus far at its Miami Design District flagship boutique. In its two decades of design and innovation, it has put forth a variety of watches, including 33 original calibers, all thanks to the skill and know-how of its in-house manufacture. On view in the Miami show will be 25 distinct movements and a variety of timepieces that best illustrate both the expertise and magic that can come from a watch brand when driven by the vision of a craftsman like Michel Parmigiani.
Parmigiani Fleurier was founded in 1996 by Michel Parmigiani—he himself was a master watchmaker. He began his career with a restoration workshop in 1976, dedicated to preserving the traditional artisanship of watchmaking (in the midst of the quartz crisis). “When one has had the chance to work on as many wonders of the past as I have done, it was simply impossible to believe that traditional watchmaking would die out,” he said many years later. After making the bold decision to design new watches and movements, Parmigiani still maintains a restoration workshop, keeping one aspect of his mind immersed in the rich history of the trade, and the other dreaming of the future.
Within that balance, and to coincide with the 20-year milestone, Parmigiani Fleurier has launched the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire timepiece. It is a new integrated chronograph movement, featuring an 18 ct. rose gold integrated movement (a first for the brand) with a split second and large date. The watch is available in a white or rose gold case—both limited to just 25 editions, all signed on the barrel by Michel Parmigiani.
“Since the very start of our watchmaking adventure, the idea of creating an integrated chronograph has always been close to my heart. This dream became a reality on the eve of our 20th anniversary, and this is no coincidence—it is a reflection of our development as a manufacture. To successfully create an integrated chronograph, one must first master its imposing, meticulous assembly of constituent parts; not just their manufacture, but also their operation and function at the heart of a caliber; one must appreciate both their limits and potential. For this reason, an integrated chronograph is necessarily the work of an experienced manufacture. The Tonda Chronor Anniversaire is a reflection of 20 years of work,” said Parmigiani.
Integrated chronographs require a particular level of skills replace by a manufacturer, especially on an industrial scale. This kind of watch, which some have called “The Holy Grail,” not only offers proof of Parmigiani Fleurier’s prowess, but also its promise in years to come.