Young Watch Making Tradition
The dream of every traditional watch making firm is probably to craft unique pieces and assemble them manually, where all the components are manufactured by the same company; however, only a handful of brands in the world can say that they actually do. One of these exceptional cases is Parmigiani Fleurier, one of the youngest makers of fine watches in the world that works to the Swiss tradition.
Thanks to the hospitality of Berger Jewelers, AMURA Yachts & Lifestyle talked with Michelle Parmigiani, President of Parmigiani Fleurier, during a visit to Mexico to launch the brand.
Michelle Parmigiani started making unique pieces 30 years ago, working in restoration and often going against prevailing trends. As a result of his passion and perhaps a crazy idea, he spent a lot of time working in what was mechanical watch making and he always wanted to work for himself.
Through his freedom and independence, he started to make unique pieces, restore and work in collaboration with one of the best firms. In the 1980s, he joined forces with one of the wealthiest Swiss families who have the most important collection of watches in the world (Sandoz Foundation). He did a lot of restoring] for them
The family said “We cannot allow you to remain in the shadows; we have to launch a brand together to maintain the Swiss culture and tradition, the savoii faire of everything that is craftsmanship and true Swiss watch making.
So they launched Parmigiani in 1996 and today it is one of the most exclusive manufactures in the world. The firm makes all the important components of a watch, the case, the dial, the hands and the parts; not only does it make the parts, but it also manufactures the machines used in the watch making process.
This way we have total independence to make a reference in high end watch making in the long term. You have to make the whole watch yourself because it allows you to project your prestige because you can keep better control that allows you to maintain exclusivity".
He confirmed that today, their production stands at 5,000 pieces and through their way of working, they maintain direct contact with their clients and therefore can produce personalized pieces.
According to Michelle Parmigiani, "what we contribute to the world of watch making is very simple. We are independent, we have more personalized contact, we can make unique pieces, we have the design capability and the designer is very much alive”.
The man in charge of design, all the innovations and the development of the mechanism is precisely Michelle Parmigiani. Today, most firms have a watch maker, not a designer; the founder still exists today and is working at the firm.
Text: Ricardo Vázquez / Enrique Rosas ± Photo: Parmigiani