The history of Parmigiani Fleurier

The 25-year history of Parmigiani Fleurier includes a host of highlights and milestones.

The beginnings

Michel Parmigiani, a young watchmaker and restorer, opens in 1976 “Mesure et Art du Temps,” a traditional workshop devoted to restoring antique timepieces. While plying this trade, he indulges his creative impulses by designing and crafting complex timekeeping creations of his own.


Michel’s company restores important timepieces from the Patek Philippe Museum and the Château des Monts, further establishing its founder’s growing renown as top watchmaker and in-demand restorer.

The Sandoz Family Foundation

Parmigiani Fleurier is created and officially inaugurated at the Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne on May 29, 1996. With its rich blend of expert Swiss craftsmanship and watchmaking, the brand reflects the high caliber of Michel Parmigiani’s work.

Creation of the maison of Parmigiani Fleurier

The House of Parmigiani Fleurier is created and officially inaugurated at the Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne on May 29. With its rich blend of expert Swiss craftsmanship and watchmaking, the brand reflects the high caliber of Michel Parmigiani’s work.

The Toric QP

The Toric QP Retrograde, the first wristwatch under the Parmigiani Fleurier brand, debuts in 1996, establishing the alternating gadroons and detailed knurling that would become one of the maison’s aesthetic signatures. That rectangular-cased Kalpa Hebdomadaire launches the same year, its volumes and proportions based on the golden ratio that has informed all of the brand’s subsequent creations.

 Birth of the manufacture

To ensure the quality of its pieces meets Michel Parmigiani’s strict criteria, the company embarks on a journey to become a true manufacture in 1999. In May, the Sandoz Family Foundation acquires Les Artisans Boîtiers, a respected workshop that melds precision manufacturing with manual craftsmanship to produce high-end watch cases.

Acquisition of Atokalpa and Elwin

The Parmigiani Fleurier watchmaking center expands in 2001 with the integration of Atokalpa, a specialized manufacturer of trains, pinions, and microgears. By 2005, the company is able to industrially produce balance wheels and springs, pallet forks, and escapement wheels. Elwin, a leader in precision bar turning, joins the same year the watchmaking center shortly afterward, supplying all the hardware for mechanical movements.

Creation of the company Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier

In January 2003, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier is created, its mission to develop the high-end movements for Parmigiani Fleurier watches at the highest level of technicity and finishing. Its research and development department is tasked with expertly producing a vast range of complicated calibers.

Partnership with Bugatti

Parmigiani Fleurier initiates a partnership with French luxury automaker Bugatti in 2004. The Bugatti Type 370, a timepiece assembled along a single axis like a car engine, is the world’s first innovation that results from the alliance.

 Creation of Quadrance et Habillage

In December 2005, the Parmigiani Fleurier watchmaking center expands with the creation of Quadrance et Habillage, a specialist maker of watch dials with unmatched expertise in guilloché épargnage, electroplating, transfers, and engraving.

The Tonda Hémisphères

The Tonda Hémisphères, with its user-friendly dual time function, launches as the first travel watch in the Parmigiani Fleurier collection. In 2007, Parmigiani Fleurier joins the Montreux Jazz Festival in the spirit of promoting horological and musical excellence.

“Music is like watchmaking: it exists whenever a tempo is set – it becomes sublime only when we devote our heart and soul to it.”

– Michel Parmigiani

The Tonda 42 Tourbillon

Parmigiani Fleurier presents the Tonda 42 Tourbillon in 2008, equipped with a 30-second tourbillon that enhances its accuracy. The Kalparisma Nova, a rectangular-shaped women’s watch with refined feminine touches, inaugurates the Parmigiani Fleurier Collection for Women.

Michel Parmigiani’s 60th

The ultra-slim Tonda 1950 is released in 2010 to commemorate a milestone, Michel Parmigiani’s 60th birthday, its name evoking the year of the founder’s birth and its design embodying his most fundamental aesthetic principles.

The Ovale Pantographe

Inspired by a pocket watch restored by Parmigiani Fleurier, the Ovale Pantographe is the first Parmigiani Fleurier watch with telescopic hands. It is presented in 2011. That same year, Parmigiani Fleurier signs a partnership with the Musée de l’Elysée, dedicated to photography, to support and showcase the photographers of tomorrow.

“When I was little, my father would say to me: ‘If you learn to look, art will reveal itself.’ To me, photography embodies this maxim completely, as its captures a fleeting moment, reflecting the precious nature of passing time. Photography reveals the art in the world which surrounds us.”

– Michel Parmigiani

The Tonda 1950 Tourbillon

Parmigiani Fleurier presents the Tonda 1950 Tourbillon in 2015, which reinterprets the elegance of the Tonda 1950 caliber, adding to it the world’s thinnest flying tourbillon. This achievement is the result of a close collaboration between all the entities that make up the watchmaking center.

The Tonda Chronor Anniversaire: The first integrated chronograph

The maison unveils Hippologia in 2016, a table clock and automaton representing a mare and her foal galloping across the desert. This unique piece combines the expert craftsmanship of watchmaking, automaton creation, crystal work, and numerous decorative arts. Parmigiani Fleurier presents also its first integrated chronograph: the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire. This symbol of an accomplished manufacture and mastery of great technical skills is one of the 33 movements produced by the brand’s watchmaking center.

The Tonda GT

Parmigiani Fleurier launches in 2020 the Tonda GT. That same year, the maison wins the Innovation Prize at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix with the Tonda Hijri Perpetual Calendar, the first wristwatch based on the Islamic lunar calendar.

Guido Terreni

With over 20 years of experience in shaping the watchmaking industry, Guido Terreni joins Parmigiani Fleurier in 2021 to continue to build upon Michel Parmigiani’s brand and legacy. Where Michel Parmigiani brings heritage, skill and knowledge, Guido Terreni brings sartorial allure, and a sense of contemporary luxury in tune with the times we live in.

The Tonda PF

Launched on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Maison in 2021, the Tonda PF is a collection offering details, motifs and shapes of great finesse. This new refined wristwatch, whose shape has been designed to satisfy purists in search of a delicate high-end timepiece, pushes back the limits of craftsmanship and complication.

La Rose Carrée

Celebrating Parmigiani Fleurier’s 25th anniversary in grand style, La Rose Carrée is launched in December 2021. , This unique piece brings together an array of elite crafts and skills drawn from every atelier within the Parmigiani Manufacture — movement restoration, watch design, case making, dial making, engraving, enameling, to name just a few — in a single timepiece. In the olden days of watchmaking, this confluence of horological talent was called “Les Mains d’Or,” or “Golden Hands.” Based on a rare, complicated Piguet pocket watch caliber unearthed by Michel Parmigiani from his own extensive archives, La Rose Carrée is nevertheless thoroughly modern in its breathtakingly decorative execution — a 64mm pocketwatch with a Grande Sonnerie and Minute Repeater whose white-gold hunter-style case is embellished with a blue grand feu enameled “rose carree” (squared rose) motif evokes rippling blue waves and speaks to Michel Parmigiani’s inspirations from the natural world.

Watches & Wonders 2022

At Watches and Wonders 2022 in Geneva, Parmigiani Fleurier added to its collection with a world’s first complication, the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante, alongside other Haute Horlogerie timepieces including the first skeleton watch in the Tonda PF family and first Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon. Meanwhile, the Tonda GT collection welcomed new versions of the Tonda GT Chronograph Big Date and Tonda GT Chronograph Annual Calendar.

Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante

At the forefront of the Parmigiani Fleurier 2022 releases is a watch with a world premiere complication, the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante — a dual-time watch that operates with the sublime user-friendliness of a chronograph. The watch features two superimposed hour hands, one in rhodium-plated gold, the other in rose gold. Pressing a pusher at 8 o’clock moves the upper rhodium-plated gold forward in one-hour jumps to indicate the wearer’s local time, while the lower rose gold hand remains stationary to continue displaying the “home time” or reference time. Pressing the rose-gold pushbutton integrated into the watch’s crown instantly returns the rhodium-plated hand back to its original position — in the manner of a split-seconds chronograph hand — back atop the rose gold hand when the traveler returns home.

Tonda PF Skeleton

The Tonda PF Skeleton, one model crafted in 18k rose gold, the other in stainless steel and platinum reflects the collection’s core values of purity and restraint with an uncompromising eye for detail. Inside each is an entirely new movement, Caliber PF777, whose delicately openworked design allows for a graceful intermingling of both solid parts and open voids, allowing light to pour into its heart and illuminate its meticulously hand-chamfered latticework.

Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon

A highly sophisticated complication housed within the pure lines and elegant contours of its sandblasted 950 platinum case, the Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon is noble in both material and spirit. The dial, also made from 950 platinum, draws the viewer’s gaze to the circular opening that reveals the rotating flying tourbillon, the timepiece’s organic heart. Behind the dial and also showcased by the sapphire caseback, the new, in-house Caliber PF517 boasts automatic winding via a platinum micro-rotor and is finished to the very pinnacle of Haute Horlogerie standards. This discreet yet luxurious timepiece debuts in an exclusive limited edition of 25 pieces.

Tonda GT Chronograph

The Tonda GT Chronograph continued its tradition of combining understated elegance with high complication in two new models, one in 18ct rose gold, the other in stainless steel, both with 42-mm cases whose aesthetics are drawn from the Golden Ratio and both of whose dials feature new colors in the chronograph counters, Quantum Gray and Granata. The Tonda GT Chronograph in 18ct rose gold houses a self-winding, high frequency calibre (36,600 vph, or 5 Hz), which drives a 1/10-second chronograph function as well as a large central date display, with twin apertures at 12 o’clock on the silver-toned guilloche dial with triangular hobnail motif. The Tonda GT Chronograph in steel offers the same harmonious colors and textures on its dial, and the same classically knurled bezel, while containing a self-winding calibre endowed with an even higher level of complication, combining a chronograph with an annual calendar function, the latter enabling the wearer of the timepiece the luxury of not having to reset it more than once per year, at the end of February. The sophisticated movement beats at 28,800 vph (4 Hz) and is comprised of no fewer than 443 components, including a 22ct gold oscillating weight.

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