The History of Parmigiani Fleurier

On May 29th 1996, the brand Parmigiani Fleurier is founded. It is born from the trust woven between Michel Parmigiani and the Sandoz Family Foundation who have acknowledged his talent as a watchmaker.

The early stages of Parmigiani Fleurier meet a strictly artisanal approach where Michel Parmigiani makes table clocks and unique pieces for collectors. In 1999, Parmigiani Fleurier’s first wrist-watch is created, the Kalpa Hebdomadaire (formerly the “Ionica”), and this piece changes the work approach. With its iconic tonneau shape movement and 8-day power reserve, it represents the brand’s first component miniaturisation and creates therewith a strong necessity in industrial partners.

Very soon, the decision to create a perfectly integrated manufacture becomes obvious to master the quality of the components and put into practice Michel Parmigiani’s demanding standards that are so difficult to obtain. Bringing together five entities that were assembled in less than 6 years, Parmigiani Fleurier’s watchmaking hub is an extensive center of know-how that enables to conceive, manufacture and perfect every single watch component. From the smallest gear wheel to the entire escapement (which is the doing of very few watch companies); from the minute details of the dial to the case in its every shape.

Presented in 2010, the Bugatti Super Sport illustrates the state-of-the-art organization of this competence center. In record time, the various entities initiated a dialogue aiming towards the production of this motor-bloc on the wrist, measuring the constraints, suggesting the parries and inventing solutions in concert to result in a creation resembling no other and a world-first.

As the Parmigiani Fleurier collections bloom, the brand pursues its work on singular and exceptional pieces. In 2011, Michel Parmigiani presents the Hegirian Calendar which relays the lunar cycles of the Muslim calendar and accounts for the astounding complexity of their irregular succession without the slightest manual correction. The knowledge of watchmaking mechanisms and the curiosity to set out in the unknown remain at the fundamentals of the watchmaking approach.

In 2011, a brand reinforced by its learnings – by its digressions sometimes as well as by its successes – presents the extra-flat caliber. With a micro-rotor embedded in the depth of the movement (the key to its slenderness), the Tonda 1950 line is a return to the fundamental aesthetical codes of Michel Parmigiani, elegant, classic, sober. Its width of 2,6 mm allows the movement to house many complication to come without disturbing, or hardly, the profile’s slenderness. This is the case of the Tonda 1950 Tourbillon presented in 2014, world’s flattest flying tourbillon.

In 2016, Parmigiani Fleurier presents the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, the first integrated chronograph which is the Grail of an accomplished manufacture and a summit of technicity. Today the brand totals 33 movements manufactured within its watchmaking center. This is more accomplishments in 20 years than certain brands reach in a century. Parmigiani Fleurier is not done creating, surprising and glorifying watchmaking art.