This watchmaking marvel, an oval watch with telescopic hands – created by English jewellers Vardon and Stedman – came into the restoration workshops of Parmigiani Fleurier in 1997.
This piece really caught the imagination with its two hands extending and shortening as they skimmed the numerals.
This was the inspiration behind the Ovale collection, characterised by the Pantographe complication whose hands (also known as "pantographs") perform a subtle dance. These hands use the same principle as the pantograph – multiplying a length by a given factor to obtain movement on a larger or smaller scale. The measurement of the cam at the centre of the movement provides the information required to move the hands and the module as they pursue their course around the dial.
The main challenge posed by this piece lay in the cutting and assembly of the delicate telescopic hands composed of fine segments of aluminium. To rivet these together, the skill is in identifying the characteristic "tink" which occurs when the material is altered, precisely signalling the end of the operation. At this point, the segments slide over each other freely, without the slightest play.