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In the late 1990s Michel Parmigiani, founder of Parmigiani Fleurier, acquired a late 19th century grande sonnerie and minute repeater movement created by famed watchmaker Louis-Elisée Piguet.

That complicated movement, which was never encased in a pocket watch, remained on Parmigiani’s to-do list for restoration until earlier this year when Guido Terreni, the company’s newly named CEO, embarked on a project to help the brand celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary.

Terreni and Parmigiani quickly enlisted the Piguet movement as the heart of the project.

The Parmigiani Fleurier La Rose Carrée, a deeply artisanal grand sonnerie.

After nearly a year of painstaking restoration and artisanal craftsmanship, the Fleurier-based watchmaker has released the La Rose Carrée, a 64mm white gold double hunter pocket watch with the fully restored Piguet caliber set within a newly designed case coated in translucent grand feu enamel.

Named after the Rose Carrée or “squared rose” engraved pattern seen on the case and movement, the one-of-a-kind watch Is coated by three or four layers of blue grand feu enamel (applied by artistic enameller Vanessa Lecci) to add depth and rich color to the engraving work.

According to Terreni, the square roses pattern found throughout the watch follows the Golden Spiral, a derivative of the Golden Ratio, which has long been favored by Michel Parmigiani.

One cover opens to reveal the black onyx dial, white gold hands and a small-seconds subdial outlined in white gold. The second cover opens to frame the beautifully engraved movement with a mainplate and the bridges displaying the thematic Rose Carrée pattern.

The grande sonnerie and minute repeater movement, pictured here after restoration, was created at the end of the 19th century by Louis-Elisée Piguet.

 

Notable too is the blue-sapphire-set crown and an unusual square-link chain entirely handcrafted by Swiss traditional chain maker Laurent Jolliet.

For additional detail and a video about La Rose Carrée, check out the Parmigiani Fleurier website.

Girard-Perregaux updates its sporty steel Laureato with two grand feu enamel dials to create the Laureato 42mm Eternity Edition.

The Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Eternity Edition, showing green grand feu enamel dial.

The new glossy blue and green dial colors nicely complement the Laureato’s signature brushed and polished steel case and bracelet, a combination new for Girard-Perregaux when it debuted the first Laureato collection in 1975. At the time, integrated steel bracelet watches were novel among luxury watchmakers.

The Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Eternity Edition, blue enamel dial model.

The new Laureato 42mm Eternity Edition joins other Eternity models, including those within the brand’s La Esmeralda Tourbillon and Cat’s Eye collections. All the new Eternity models are meant to celebrate Girard-Perregaux’s 230th anniversary.

The Girard-Perregaux La Esmeralda Tourbillon “A Secret” Eternity Edition, which will be sold in seven different color enamel dials.

“With our Eternity Editions, much like the Infinity Editions that preceded them in 2020, we wanted to produce a limited number of watches that showcase our expertise for the enjoyment of generations to come,’ says Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux.

The Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Eternity Edition.

Girard-Perregaux makes the grand feu enamel dials at its in-house facility using a time-honored high-temperature firing process. Artisans mix metallic powders that they then dust onto the dial and fire in an 800-degree Celsius oven. This process is repeated up to ten times to achieve the desired glossy appearance.

Girard-Perregaux explains that flawless grand feu enamel dials will look new and brilliant for generations, hence their use for the new Eternity Editions.

The watchmaker’s artisans add a final guilloché sunray motif to the new dials to enhance its brilliance when seen in light. Note that the watch’s date display features white numerals on a dial-color disc, a feature that Girard-Perregaux says follows long-time “horological etiquette.”

Inside, the watchmaker places its excellent GP01800 automatic caliber with a pink gold oscillating weight and Côtes de Genève on the bridges. The movement also shines with hand-beveled edges, mirror-polished screws, circular graining on the main plate and engraved gilded text.

The Girard-Perregaux is making 188 of each of the blue or green-dialed Laureato 42mm Eternity Editions. Middle East retailer Seddiqi will sell both versions during December. After January 1, 2022, Girard-Perregaux will offer the watches globally through its retailers and on its e-commerce site. Price: CHF 13,460.

Just in time for the holiday season, Nomos adds new touches of silver and gold to its Orion collection.

The Nomos Orion 38 Silver, with gold-plated hands and indexes on a silvered dial.

Look for the new members of this minimalist Glashütte classic, namely the new Orion 33 Gold and the Orion 38 Silver, to inject a less-than minimal hint of luxury (or seasonal cheer) to the less-is-more collection.

On the Orion 33 Gold you’ll see gilded small seconds dial and applied indexes. The dial is galvanized and gold-plated.

While both Orion models will still be made with a hand-polished dial and applied indexes, the smaller model is now available with a steel case (instead of silver) and a gold-plated dial. The larger model, also cased in steel, will gleam with a silver-plated domed dial and gold-plated indexes and hands.

Both new Orion debuts are powered by the excellent Nomos Alpha manual-wind caliber, which boasts a 43-hour power reserve. And either watch can ordered with a custom engraving. Price: SEE WEBSITE

 

Alpina has updated a bygone mechanical caliber design to launch its Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture with a ‘bumper’ rotor that pings back and forth, rotating 330 degrees instead of the 360-degree modern standard for automatic movements.

The new Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture, with a movement utilizing a ‘bumper’ oscillating weight.

A version of this type of to-and-fro oscillating ‘bumper’ weight was used in many early automatic Swiss watches starting from the late 1920s into the 1960s and could be found installed into watches from Omega, Universal Genève, Jaeger-LeCoultre–and Alpina.

Alpina made this ‘bumper’ caliber in the 1950s.

The new Caliber AL-709 on this new Alpina watch, which is visible through the clear sapphire caseback, mimics the watchmaker’s own vintage ‘bumper’ movement from the 1950s.

According to Alpina, the two calibers share “the same geometry and the same inspiration.” However, while the vintage version rotates 120°, the new one rotates 330°. In addition, Alpina has replaced the springs used in the vintage designs with more efficient blades.

Alpina has placed its retro-bumper caliber into an existing 42mm steel cushion-shaped case from its Startimer Pilot Heritage collection.

The case nicely combines a circle in a square with rounded edges. A smartly satin-brushed and polished case middle further emphasizes the case’s dual geometry, which to my eye feels more inspired by watches from the 1970s than from those made in the 1950s.

A view of the AL-709 automatic movement, with a ‘bumper’ rotor.

Alpina has built its AL-709 caliber with an extended diameter that reaches to the edge of the round inner caseback, in part to underscore the watch’s Heritage message.

The dial also adds to the vintage look with its 1950s style cues, notably the three matching hands.  Alpina also wisely places the watch’s crown at 4 o’clock, which enhances the case’s cushion profile. The 42mm case size and the sporty red accents add a contemporary edge.

Alpina is limiting the new Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture to 188 pieces, each with a brown calfskin strap with off-white topstitching. Price: $2,850.

Specifications: Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Manufacture

(Ref. AL-709SR4SH6, Limited edition of 188)

Movement: Automatic AL-709 Manufacture caliber, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 alt/h.

Case: 42mm by 13.25mm brushed and polished stainless steel, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, see-through case back, water-resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Silver color with vertical brushed finishing, black minutes and seconds graduation, silver color indexes and hands with red luminous treatment.

Bracelet: Brown calf leather strap with off-white stitching.

Price: $2,850.

 

Scottsdale-based Oliver Smith Jeweler is partnering with Parmigiani Fleurier to create twenty bespoke watches to help celebrate the jeweler’s fortieth anniversary.

The 42mm watches, fifteen steel-cased Tonda GT models and five of its more complicated sibling, the Tondagraph GT, each feature a customized brown guilloché dial with cream-colored subdials and chapter ring.

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tondagraph GT specially made with Oliver Smith.

“I really wanted to partner with Michel Parmigiani because of his creative genius. His skill as a restorer of antique timepieces was clear at a young age, and he’s come about his success as a watchmaker extremely organically,” says Oliver Smith, Founder and Creative Director at Oliver Smith Jeweler.

“I appreciate how Michel takes inspiration from patterns in nature, like the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci sequence, in developing the proportions of his pieces. He takes that natural world into the balance of his watches,” Smith adds.

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda GT specially made with Oliver Smith.

Each dial is guided by Michel Parmigiani’s Golden Ratio principles. The dials each sport open-worked Delta-shaped hands framed by fluted bezels and unmistakable teardrop-shaped lugs. Fifteen Tonda GT pieces have been produced. Only five Tondagraph GT models have been made, each numbered individually 1-5.

Inside Parmigiani Fleurier fits its own excellent calibers. The Tonda GT is powered by the PF044 automatic movement, which is finely finished, has a power reserve of 42 hours and is water resistant to 100 meters. The Tondagraph GT features the PF043 movement and combines an annual calendar and a chronograph.

Both models are fastened by a matching steel bracelet with folding clasp buckle, a new design from Parmigiani Fleurier first seen in last year’s Tonda GT novelties. For extra versatility, Oliver Smith and Parmigiani Fleurier include an additional interchangeable black rubber strap with deployant buckle.

Prices: $17,700 (Tonda GT pieces) and $23,200 (Tondagraph GT models, each numbered individually 1-5).