As its first 2021 debut, Zenith launches Chronomaster Sport, an evolution of the bedrock Chronomaster, the Le Locle watchmaker’s most direct link to its historic El Primero automatic chronograph, which debuted in 1969.
Already sporty in its historical guise, the new 41mm steel Zenith Chronomaster Sport more directly –and boldly – displays its split-second timing abilities with the added utility of a wide black ceramic bezel etched with 1/10-of-a-second measurement marks.
The new bezel enhances the visibility of the timing function, linked to the El Primero’s 36,000 vph frequency, beyond even the clean black ceramic bezels found on the existing Zenith Chronomaster 2 limited edition references. As far as we’re aware, the new Chronomaster Sport is the only production sport watch that offers a 1/10-of-a-second timing scale linked to its central chronograph hand. When activated, the hand rotates once around the dial in ten seconds.
To underscore the robust nature of the new Chronomaster Sport, Zenith here uses the El Primero 3600, the movement Zenith debuted in that earlier Chronomaster 2. The caliber, with a newly blued column wheel and “new architecture,” is more efficient than earlier El Primeros, according to Zenith, and offers a higher power reserve, now rated to sixty hours. Zenith has affixed a new skeletonized rotor to the movement, visible through a clear sapphire caseback.
The new dial
In addition to adding a wide ceramic bezel with 1/10-of-a-second scale to the front side of the new Chronomaster Sport, Zenith has also enhanced the collection’s dial and bracelet to differentiate it from previous Chronomaster offerings.
Both dial options, matte white and black, appear to contrast more starkly with the three subdials. The steel case, with familiar pump-style pushers, now links to an integrated steel bracelet similar to those conceived by Gay Frères, which has historically supplied many of Zenith’s metal bracelets. Zenith also offers a sharp-looking blue or black rubber strap option with a steel deployant buckle.
As noted, Zenith is offering the Chronomaster Sport with either a white dial or black dial in two references. Whether the black or matte white dial, both with signature El Primero tri-color chronograph registers are blue, anthracite and light grey, each graduated to sixty.
Price: $10,000 (steel bracelet) and $9,500 (strap)
Specifications: Zenith Chronomaster Sport
Movement: Zenith El Primero 3600 automatic, frequency: 36,000 vph (5 Hz), power-reserve of 60 hours.Functions: Hours and minutes in the center. Small seconds at 9 o’clock, 1/10th of a second Chronograph. Central chronograph hand that makes one turn in 10 seconds, 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock, 60-second counter at 3 o’clock.
Case: 41 mm stainless steel with black ceramic bezel, water-resistance to 100 meters.
Dial: White or black matte dial with three different applied colored counters, hour-markers and hands are rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLumiNova
Bracelet: Steel, blue or black rubber bracelet. Double folding clasp with security mechanism.
Price: $10,000 (steel bracelet) and $9,500 (strap)
Panerai underscores its deep connection with divers of all types this week as it introduces the Luminor Marina 44mm − Guillaume Néry Edition (PAM01122).
Inspired by free diver and brand ambassador Guillaume Néry, Panerai has outfitted the new dive watch with a 44mm titanium case produced using Direct Metal Laser Sintering technology, which shapes titanium using a 3D printing process.
Referencing Néry’s deep-dives, Panerai is also adding sporty touches such as a rubberized coating on the bezel, crown and bridge lever, a convex crystal and a dial with an eye-catching dégradé effect that Panerai says emulates “the shades produced as sunlight filters through the depths of the sea.”
Water resistant to 300 meters, the Luminor Marina 44mm − Guillaume Néry Edition is powered by Panerai’s own Caliber P.9010, a fairly thin automatic movement equipped with two barrels for a three-day power reserve. Panerai built a quick-change feature into this movement that allows the wearer to easily adjust the time and date with in one-hour increments, with the hour hand connected to the date indicator.
In addition, Panerai has equipped the watch with an especially sporty strap made from black recycled PET material with white stitching and a trapezoidal pin buckle.
Panerai is also enhancing the package of the boutique-only watch with its first white rubber strap emblazoned with ‘Officine Panerai.’ In each gift box buyers will find a screwdriver that will assist the owner when removing the buckle to swap straps.
Panerai will make the new watch available in its own boutiques as a limited edition of seventy, each of which will be covered by a new seventy-year warranty. Price: $18,900.
Movement: Automatic Caliber P.9010, 6mm thick, 28,800 vph, two barrels, three-day power reserve.
Case: 44mm by 16.2mm sandblasted DMLS titanium, safety lock crown protection device (protected by trademark) in sandblasted titanium, titanium bezel, crown and bridge lever with rubberized coating, sapphire crystal, twelve-sided screwed caseback, sandblasted titanium with DLC coating, engraved with the “70 Years Warranty” logo, water resistant to 300 meters.
Dial: Black with dégradé effect, sandwich structure with Arabic numerals and indexes in white SuperLuminova with green luminescence. Seconds at 9 o’clock, date at 3 o’clock.
Strap: Recycled PET, black with white stitching and trapezoidal pin buckle in titanium with DLC coating. Additional white rubber strap with luminescent “Officine Panerai” personalization.
The watchmaker’s new Queen of Naples Coeur 9825 is a rose gold valentine to love.
Breguet enhances the technicality of its annual ode to Valentine’s Day with a new invention that mimics a beating heart. The luxury watchmaker’s 2021 Reine de Naples watch, released in time for the lover’s holiday on February 14, features a minute hand in the shape of a heart that slowly expands or contracts as it makes its way around the elongated oval dial.
The hand on this Breguet Reine de Naples Cœur (Heart) edition is centered at the 6 o’clock position. Mimicking a beating heart, the hand stretches as it moves across the top half of the dial, and become more rounded as the hand reaches the lower part of the dial.
To propel the unusual minute hand, Breguet devised an oval-shaped cam (shaped to mirror the case) located under the dial. The cam controls two independent arms that together make up the hand. Each rotating arm moves at a different speed, creating the illusion of a beating heart.
The red heart-tipped hour hand points to minutes along the hours indicators, which are set with small hearts every five minutes. The watch dial itself is sapphire and finished with translucent white lacquer. The hour is indicated by a dot of purple lacquer within a window just above the minute hand.
Breguet enhances the romance here with a generous use of rose gold for the 36.5mm by 28.45mm oval case and sets diamonds along the bezel and again around the dial just beneath the crystal. The sapphire-crystal caseback allows a view of the new automatic caliber 78A0 that features an in-line escapement with a silicon escape wheel and balance spring. Though we were not provided with pictures of the movement, Breguet has undoubtedly finished the caliber to its usual superlative level.
The brand notes that the Reine de Naples, one of the brand’s most successful collections, is inspired by Breguet model no. 2639 made in 1810 for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, who commissioned it.
Breguet will make twenty-eight Reine de Naples Coeur watches and will offer them at its own brand boutiques. Look for each watch to be presented in an envelope clutch bag finished in grained calfskin leather and dyed vermilion red to match the strap. Price: $46,100.
Originally launched as a quartz watch, Maurice Lacroix’s archetypal Aikon series’ latest edition features an option with an automatic Swiss movement inside. The Aikon Venturer truly allows its wearer to venture because it is built rock-solid and is anti-magnetic, shock resistant and rated water resistant to an impressive three hundred meters.
The watch’s sporty look and diver-style overtones instill the robust feeling of a tool watch, but with style enough to wear anytime. At 43mm in diameter, the sapphire-capped stainless-steel case is full-figured but not huge, and actually quite comfortable on the wrist with either the solid-link bracelet or natural rubber strap.
With the brand’s deep technical background as a case maker and private label supplier to other (famous) Swiss brands, you can be sure that the Aikon is built with all the fine details that define a high quality watch.
Close inspection under a loupe reveals the finite perfection of those details that the naked eye appreciates as a whole, but may not individually dissect at a glance. Markers and printing are precise, as is the fit and finish of the bezel, strap, and case back.
Maurice Lacroix smartly adds convenience to the Aikon’s stylish design with a strap fixed to the lugs by means of the brand’s own Easy Change system, which has two bars fitted with protruding prongs. These make it possible to remove the rubber strap in two steps and to replace it with the finely articulated five-link satin-finished steel bracelet we’ve seen in earlier Aikon models.
Priced at $1,890 on the rubber strap and $1,990 on the solid-link stainless steel bracelet, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer is pound for pound (or dollar for dollar) as good or better than certain Greek Alphabet watches costing more than triple the price.
Zenith reaches back to 1969 once again with its latest Revival debut, the Chronomaster Revival A385, a near-exact 37mm reproduction of the original El Primero chronograph from 1969.
As one of very first automatic chronographs, and the very first operating at a high frequency of 36,000 vph, Zenith’s A385 debuted alongside the Zenith A384 and A386. The A385 was notable for its smoked brown gradient pattern, which Zenith revives on this new release.
To accurately echo the original, Zenith says it conducted a “reverse engineering” of the 1969 watch to create the new model. As a result, each part of the A385’s 37mm tonneau-shaped stainless-steel case (even its pump-style pushers) mimics the original. The only differences here are the domed sapphire crystal, which replaces an acrylic version, and a clear sapphire back that replaces instead the original’s closed solid steel caseback.
The clear back offers a view of the newer El Primero caliber, Zenith’s 400 chronograph movement with column-wheel, that powers the watch.
But it’s the dial here that draws eyes, and Zenith has nailed the attractive brown gradient dial, which notably features a vignette effect that blackens towards the edges. This colorful slight of hand appears to deepen the dial, mimicking the light-bending effect of a domed crystal, but without the dome.
To further deepen the nostalgia, Zenith adds the same red chronograph central second hand and silvery-white chronograph counters found on the original model.
Zenith offers the Chronomaster Revival A385 in two options. One is equipped with a steel “ladder” bracelet, a modern remake of the Gay Frères bracelets Zenith utilized on those original models. The second option is a light brown calf leather strap that will develop a patina over time.The Zenith Chronomaster Revival A385 is available at Zenith Boutiques and online shop, as well as at authorized retailers.
Price: $7,900 (leather strap) and 8,400 CHF (approximately $9,500) for steel bracelet model.
Case: 37mm steel with sapphire back, 50 meters water resistance.
Movement: El Primero 400 automatic column-wheel chronograph with 36,000 Vph (5 Hz), power-reserve of 50 hours.
Functions: Hours and minutes in the center, small seconds at 9 o’clock. Chronograph: Central chronograph hand, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. Tachometric scale. Date indication at 4:30.
Dial: Smoked brown gradient dial with white-colored counters. Rhodium-plated, faceted hour markers and hands, coated with beige Super-LumiNova.
Bracelet: “Ladder” bracelet with stainless steel double folding clasp, or light brown calf leather strap with protective rubber lining and a stainless-steel pin buckle.
Price: $7,900 (leather strap) and 8,400 CHF (approximately $9,500) for steel bracelet model.
Omega kicks off the New Year with a gift to legions of Speedmaster fans. The watchmaker this week releases a Speedmaster Moonwatch with a new caliber, new bracelet and clasp, a newly detailed minute track and a choice of Hesalite glass or sapphire crystal material (for new steel-cased models).
Still very much the Speedmaster Moonwatch fans have come to revere since its qualification by NASA for manned space missions in 1965 and its trip to the moon in 1969, the new generation Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is now equipped with co-axial, manual-wind caliber 3861. Omega has used the caliber previously only in a few limited edition Speedmasters.
First seen in 2019, the co-axial caliber 3861, with its silicon balance spring, will now protect the Moonwatch from extreme magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. This is a much higher level of protection than that offered by the caliber 1861 Omega utilized for decades to power its Speedmaster Moonwatches.
In addition, Omega now ensures that the entire watch is certified as a Master Chronometer, the brand’s own high-level specification that promises accuracy to five seconds per day.
On this update, Speedmaster fans will recognize the historical Speedmaster’s asymmetrical case, stepped dial and double bevel caseback. Closer inspection reveals the dot over 90 and a dot diagonal to 70 on the anodized aluminum bezel ring, both details expected by Speedmaster purists. Fans will however note a difference within the minute track around the dial, which is now split by three divisions, as opposed to the five divisions used on previous models.
Around the wrist, Omega has added a new five-link brushed steel bracelet and a new Omega clasp (with new oval pusher) set with a polished brand logo on a satin-finished cover. You might have seen this bracelet previously on the recent Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition watch.
In a 42mm steel case, Omega offers the new watch with either a Hesalite crystal ($5,950 for a strap and $6,300 on a bracelet) or with a sapphire crystal and clear caseback ($7,150 on a bracelet and $6,800 on a strap). A 42mm Sedna gold model ($34,800 on a gold bracelet and $24,600 on a strap) and a Canopus white gold model with silver dial ($45,300 on a bracelet and $30,400 on a strap) are also available.
Porsche Design applies the principles behind the Porsche car configurator to its wristwatches.
Few topics rev up collectors as much as watches and automobiles. Porsche Design has known this ever since Ferdinand Alexander Porsche designed the first Porsche Chronograph 1 in 1972. It was the first-ever all-matte-black watch, and it set the stage for five decades of cutting-edge wristwatch creativity from his then-new studio, Porsche Design.
This year, Porsche Design has launched a program meant to inspire budding F. A. Porsches who, like Professor Porsche, want to design and wear a wristwatch inspired by –and infused with – Porsche’s automotive legacy.
Watch collectors and Porsche owners can now create a customized Porsche Design chronograph that perfectly matches the Porsche 992 or Porsche 911 of their dreams – or the one in their garage.
With the new Porsche Design Custom Built Timepieces program, fans can combine an almost endless array of colors, materials, fonts and displays using the new Porsche Design online watch configurator. The configurator, found directly on the Porsche Design website, offers options and operations far exceeding any other online watch customization program, effectively placing the Porsche enthusiast directly behind the leather-covered wheel, with a clear roadmap toward designing a truly individualized watch.
Porsche Design released the streamlined online configurator this September after six years of development. The process itself echoes the customization process that Porsche has offered buyers of its famed 911 for years, but expands the type and breadth of options from which a buyer can choose when creating a dream chronograph.
For more than thirty years, Porsche customers have been able to enhance their personal dream car with many individual details through Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, even to the point of designing a one-off vehicle.
This experience has now been expanded with the ability to design a Porsche Design chronograph based on an individual’s personal taste or Porsche 992 vehicle configurations. It’s an experience that ultimately ends with the customer taking ownership of a Porsche they designed themselves.
“As with the online car-design process, the watch is digitally visualized down to the smallest details and customizations are shown to the customer in real time. The customer begins by selecting the case of the watch and then continues choosing from more than 1.5 million configuration possibilities,” explains Gerhard J. Novak, General Manager Timepieces, Porsche Design Group.
“Once the customer has finished designing the chronograph, an individualized configuration code is created, and from there it is sent, or brought in, to any authorized U.S. Porsche dealer where the order is placed. Delivery takes between eight to twelve weeks.”
The rendering of the watch is based on CAD data from the designers at Studio F. A. Porsche in Zell am See, Austria, and the Porsche Design engineers in Solothurn, Switzerland.
“It quickly became clear that these custom components had to be interchangeable without the need to develop a new watch each time,” explains Rolf Bergmann, Managing Director, Porsche Design Timepieces AG. “Offering a wide range of options while manufacturing small quantities of custom-built timepieces is possible thanks to the sequential production process transferred from Porsche sports car production. The principle of zero-defect tolerance was a necessary prerequisite for the implementation of a watch concept like this.”
A New Engine
Key among the components of the customer-designed watch is an entirely new engine.
Porsche Design developed a new movement to serve as the engine for the online-designed timepiece. The new Caliber WERK 01.100 is a COSC- certified chronograph movement that now enters serial production for the program.
But the WERK 01.100 offers Porsche Design customers more than simply its novelty.
“For the first time customers can individualize a part of a Porsche Design COSC-certified movement by choosing the winding rotor that features the various wheel designs of the latest-generation Porsche 911,” Bergmann says. “The color on the rotor edge can also be customized to match the color on the outer edge of the wheels of the 992,” he adds.
Customers select their choice of rotor design after choosing which case to place it into. Porsche Design offers a 42mm case based on the one it used in Chronotimer Series 1. The user can opt for a glass-bead blasted natural titanium or a black titanium case coated in titanium carbide via a PVD-process.
Next, the customer chooses his or her strap.
Bands can be titanium or leather and are offered in three sizes with up to 300 different configurations. All leather straps (with butterfly clasp) are crafted from the same hides Porsche uses for its car interiors and come in the fourteen official interior colors of the current Porsche 911 series. Leather wristband stitching is offered in the nineteen different colors of genuine Porsche yarn.
Porsche Design has created dial options for the program that start with the matte black look of the current Chronotimer Series 1, with its minutes counter at the top of the dial, hour counter at the 6 o’clock position and running seconds at 9 o’clock.
But the user can add color using one of many colorful inlaid ring options, with colors based on those used on the current Porsche 911, to frame the black dial to either complement or contrast the choice of strap.
More dramatically, the watch collector then opts for either a brushed bezel or a black tachymeter bezel set with minute markers in the style of the design-defining classic speedometer developed by F. A. Porsche.
Each custom-built timepiece can be further individualized with a laser engraving on the back of the case as well as on the exclusive watch box, according to Bergmann.
“If desired, the corresponding car visuals, a graphic logo or the fonts and lettering featured on the rear of the customer’s car can also be applied to the watch box,” he adds.
Porsche and Porsche Design
While watch collectors have long heard about buying “a racecar for the wrist,” from makers of auto-influenced watches, Porsche Design is confident that its new online configurator comes closest to the truth of that metaphor.
“Customers who order their own custom-built Porsche Design chronograph will take a piece of the Porsche sports car lifestyle with them when not behind the wheel,” notes Novak.
The direct relationship between the watch and the car is undeniable, he adds.
“The experience of designing a Porsche Design masterpiece based on the current 992 generation is one-of-a-kind – from the rotor and bezel to the genuine Porsche leather straps,” he adds. The program will be expanded to include additional Porsche models in the near future.
The six-year project required a deep restructuring of Porsche Design watchmaking and development, he explains.
“The greatest challenges certainly were in regards to the order and production processes; after all, this had never been done before. The idea of a “sports car on the wrist” was different for every customer, and it required us to rethink our entire process. Everything from engineering, sourcing and production had to be adjusted. To do so we tapped into the brand’s heritage and pulled key learnings from Porsche’s unique automotive production expertise.”
North American Launch
Thus far, with only a few months of processing orders, Porsche Design says reactions to the program have been very positive.
“The very first order we received after the program launched in the United States was actually from a Canadian customer,” Novak reports. “He had heard about the custom-built timepieces program and reached out to see if he could design a watch to match his 992 and place an order in the U.S. He will actually be picking up his “sports car for the wrist” at an East Coast dealership in the coming days.”
“We are looking forward to continuing to introduce the program to new Porsche Design and Porsche customers alike,” says Novak.
Indeed, customization has been a buzzword among high-end watchmaking for the past few years, and several watchmakers have embraced the possibilities of made-to-order watches, mostly with very limited color or material options.
Novak points out that as Porsche itself has enjoyed a positive customer experience with personalized automobiles, Porsche Design’s careful development of the process with timepieces makes perfect sense. “Introducing this unprecedented level of personalization in the luxury watch segment was a natural next step for us,” he says.
“The timepieces business unit is extremely important for Porsche Design globally and in the United States, and we believe we are keeping pace with the general desire for more individualization in watches.”
For Porsche, that customization perfectly unites its automotive realm with the burgeoning watch division of Porsche Design, as supported by its German engineering and Swiss manufacturing facilities.
“Not only does the program highlight the connection between Porsche sports cars and Porsche Design timepieces,” says Novak, “it embodies the premium aesthetic, attention to detail and optimal performance expected of all things associated with the name Porsche.”
Porsche Design Custom-built timepieces are priced starting at $5,150 and, depending on the selections made, can range up to $11,600.
Franck Muller’s new Vanguard Line Cut emphasizes lightness and curves with a micro-blasted matte gray titanium case, dial and bracelet.
As the latest model within Franck Muller’s winning Vanguard collection, the Line Cut offers collectors a matte-finished contemporary option within Vanguard, known for its wrist-hugging tonneau-shape and trademark elongated numerals.
The new collection broadens the appeal of Vanguard, which Franck Muller has expanded considerably in recent years with racing designs, skeleton models, gem-set editions and several seriously complicated calibers.
Franck Muller equips the new Vanguard Line Cut with a simple two-hand time-telling function, which serves to emphasize the sleek, curved matte gray case and its curved black ‘line cut” along the sides.
Furthermore, Franck Muller then matches the cut to the black outline of each of the dial’s long, hand-applied numerals.Ironically, while the dial projects depth, the case remains relatively thin, here measuring only 9.8mm from front to back. By Franck Muller standards, that’s ultra-thin.
Franck Muller watchmakers have fit the new watch (which is still in limited release) with an extra-flat automatic movement.
Specifications: Franck Muller Vanguard Line Cut
Reference: V 41 S AT REL LINE CUT FM 708
Movement: Franck Muller Automatic, 21,600 vibrations hour, 42 hours power reserve, Côtes de Genève, circular graining, rhodium plating.
Case: 41mm by 50mm by 9.10mm micro-blasted grade 5 titanium, water resistant to 30 meters.
Dial: Gray titanium PVD, matte gray hand-applied numerals with black contours.
Bracelet and buckle: Micro-blasted grade 5 titanium.
Omega supports the Orbis eye-hospital charity with a new steel-cased DeVille Trésor, available with or without a diamond bezel.
The 40mm watch sports a domed gradient blue dial, polished hands and applied 18-karat gold indexes that are also domed to match the dial.
To clearly reference Orbis directly on the watch, Omega has replaced the number 8 on the date indicator (at 6 o’clock) with an Orbis Teddy Bear.A second reference to the mascot can be seen on the seconds hand, colored to match the Teddy Bear.
Sales of either the diamond-set or polished bezel version of the new watch benefits Orbis, an international non-profit NGO committed to preventing avoidable blindness in the world’s poorest regions. Purchasing one of the new Omega Trésor watches funds the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital and its team of medical professionals.
Omega has placed a luxury version of its Calibre 8511 with 60-hours of power reserve inside each watch. The caliber is the manual-wind version of Omega’s in-house ‘Master Co-Axial’ movement. It features a the Omega Co-Axial escapement, strong anti-magnetic properties, a free-sprung balance with silicon balance spring and two barrels mounted in series. The luxury designation means the movement features an 18-karat red gold balance bridge.
Both watches have a blue leather strap with polished buckle. As an added bonus, Omega has created a presentation box and a Teddy Bear key holder that will arrive with the watch.
As we noted last week, Parmigiani Fleurier celebrated the 70th birthday of its founder, watchmaker Michel Parmigiani, with a seventy-piece limited edition steel Toric Heritage watch in honor of the first watch he designed.
The new watch’s blue dial is decorated with eye-catching, radiating Grain d’Orge guilloché, a pattern also found on the gold rotor. Inside, the in-house COSC-certified Caliber PF441 features two barrels and seven hand-beveled bridges.
As is standard with Parmigiani Fleurier, the movement within the 42.8mm steel-cased watch is finished to haute horlogerie standards, with Côtes de Genève stripes, spiral-wound and circular-graining on the plates alone. The watch’s solid 22-karat rose gold rotor, visible through the clear sapphire caseback, features the same Grain d’Orge guilloché engraving seen on the dial.
The company chose to echo its founder’s first watch in large part because the Toric design (which was updated in 2017) reflects Michel Parmigiani’s own history and interests.
Michel Parmigiani was born in the Swiss canton of Neuchatel and grew up with a devotion to both watchmaking and architecture. He has described the Toric case as a design inspire by the famed Fibonacci mathematical sequence and by the Golden Ratio that has inspired thousands of years of art and architecture.
According to Parmigiani, every aspect of the Toric’s design starts with the Golden Ratio, including the relationship between the hands, the fluted angles in the crown, the length-to-width ratios, the rate of curvature of the lugs as they taper away from the case, even the caseback design and placement of the sapphire crystal.
While he opted to formally study watchmaking (at the Val-de-Travers watchmaking school in the La Chaux-de-Fonds Technicum) Parmigiani started his career restoring historical clocks, pocket watches and related objects. Among the clients who came to Michel for restoration and maintenance was Switzerland’s Sandoz Family Foundation, which owned a significant collection of historical automata and clocks.
Parmigiani eventually established his own restoration workshop, attracting a list of haute horlogerie clients that also included the Patek Philippe museum.
“I remember feeling a bit like a pariah, starting this adventure against all advice,” Parmigiani says in a press release. “Restoring antique timepieces saved me from nihilism. Working, as I was during this period, on so many wonders from times gone by, made the idea that traditional watchmaking might disappear absolutely unthinkable to me. Restoration gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my watchmaking dreams, despite the naysayers.”
The Sandoz foundation encouraged Parmigiani to create his own watch brand– with their full support. This was the beginning of Parmigiani Fleurier, which launched in 1996.
Today, Parmigiani Fleurier encompasses five specialized Swiss firms. Each of the factories also produces parts for other haute horlogerie clients, including La Montre Hermès, the watchmaking division of the celebrated French leather goods house, which is a co-owner of the Vaucher movement manufacturer.
Parmigiani Fleurier will make seventy examples of the new Toric Heritage watch. Price: $17,700.