December 9, 2022
Parmigiani store Miami

Recently in Miami, Parmigiana Abu Dhabi unveiled an intriguing traveling exhibition of world first movements and watches that trace its watchmaking prowess and celebrate the brand’s 20th anniversary. The exhibit remains open in the Miami Design District boutique until the end of the year.

In an oval layout in the center of the store, Parmigiani Fleurier displays 25 of 33 of its movements developed in house over the course of two decades.  Among the incredible highly technical movements, conceived of by master watchmaker and founder of the brand, Michel Parmigiani, is the now famed Bugatti 370 caliber with revolutionary transverse movement, and the highly coveted Ovale Pantographe with telescopic hands that was years in the making.

Parmigiani store Miami

Michel Parmigiani began his career in watchmaking 40 years ago in 1976, when he opened a restoration workshop. Specializing in restoring some of the most complicated clocks, watches and automata of all time, Parmigiani’s knowledge of the intricacies of watchmaking grew, and he honed his skills into a craft worthy of the finest museums. 

In fact, in the 1980s he was employed to maintain and service the timepieces in the Maurice-Yves Sandoz collection.  That was the start of a relationship with the Sandoz family that would eventually grow into a business arrangement. In 1996, Michele Parmigiani, with help from Sandoz, acquired the resources necessary to start his own brand.

Actually, for comparison’s sake we’ve got some images of this conventional white (non-meteorite) dial steel Tonda 1950 watches (which cost almost half as much), and also you can see how challenging it is to spot the difference if you did not know what you were looking for.This discussion is watch nerdery in its apex, and I’m OK with this. Why else do you purchase a $10,000+ watch if you do not obsess over its own details? I will, however, say this to a degree, the watch manufacturers have compelled us collectors to be this pedantic because of this a glacially slow product refresh cycle. I do however mean that when new variants of this Tonda 1950 case come out, do they need to always be in the same finish with the identical dial and some light changes such as materials? In the “vintage” days of watches, doing things like this has been nearly common practice. I believe more variety among watches now (particularly exclusive luxury watches), might lend itself well to more inspired consumers thanks to the greater level of both variety and rarity.The reason why the snowy meteorite version of the Tonda 1950 has real “exotic dial” potential is because the underlying watch is versatile in its usefulness. No, it is not a sports watch or some thing your non-watch-interested peers will agree is that a fantastic use of cash, but it is a fantastic all-purpose dress/formal watch. It also appears to come from a nice brand, has a slick design, and if you flip the case over to flaunt the movement — you never need to be worried about looking like a cheap bum. Parmigiani proceeds to create truly beautiful movements which are also functional. This one has just the time with subsidiary seconds, and is made to be a comparatively thin automated motion as a result of the use of a micro-rotor.

Today, 20 years later, the brand lays claim to 33 original calibers and dozens of complex collections. The first wristwatch made by Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire was the Kalpa Hebdomadiare, an iconic tonneau shaped watch that has become an icon for the brand. Over the years, other signature pieces became all-important statements of technical prowess. Among them the Tonda Hémisphères, which displays two time zones, each one accurate to the minute, and, as mentioned, the Ovale Pantograph and others.  A highlight of the exhibition is the piece that was unveiled earlier this year at SIHH: Tonda Chronor Anniversaire – the brand’s first integrated chronograph caliber.

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire

At a lavish champagne cocktail event on a warm fall evening, Parmigiani Tonda Metropolitaine Selene North American celebrated the launch of the exhibit. General Manager at Parmigiani Americas Inc., Thierry Collot, welcomed guests and eloquently discussed how many things in life can happen in 20 years. For Parmigiani Fleurier, 33 movements – with 10 world firsts – didn’t just happen – they were lifelong dreams realized for the wrist.