Parmigiani Fleurier Brings The Past To Life With La Rose Carrée

My first trip over to Switzerland covering this industry had me visiting the town of Fleurier, to see the watchmaking facilities of Parmigiani in action. It was an eye opening experience and an incredible look at a brand I was relatively unfamiliar with at the time, and it included a jaunt over to Le Locle, home to the watch museum within a house called ‘Château des Monts’. As impressive as the work within the manufactory was, it was the heritage pieces within the museum, some of which had been restored and maintained by the brands founder, Michel Parmigiani, that left the biggest impression. 

Parmigiani Fleurier has steadily flourished in the subsequent years, with watches like the Tondagraph GT and Tonda PF ushering in a new direction for the brand under the leadership of newly appointed CEO Guido Terreni. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Parmigiani Fleurier’s founding in 1996, and to mark the occasion, Terreni undertook a special project with Michel to showcase their adept hand at restoration, and the result is the La Rose Carrée seen here.

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This restoration began life with a very special movement, created at the closing of the 19th century by grand complications watchmaker Louis-Elisée Piguet. Michel had acquired the movement in the ‘90s, and this anniversary provided the perfect opportunity to bring it back to life. This isn’t just any movement, it’s a grande sonnerie and minute repeater with over 330 components. It’s been beautifully re-built within Michel Parmigiani’s restoration workshop by a team of watchmakers and the result has been placed within a double hunter pocket watch. In total more than 10 specialists were involved in the creation of La Rose Carrée

Not only is the full restored movement a sight to behold, the accompanying case, dial, hands, and chain offer a unique take on the squared rose theme. Hand engraved patterns recount the golden ratio rendered under layers of blue grand feu enamel while a serine black onyx dial resides underneath displaying the hours, minutes and running seconds.

The simplicity of the dial betrays the complexity of the movement within, which features a grande sonnerie and minute repeater. The former means every hour is welcomed with a chime of the number of hours, and chimes of the quarters at every quarter hour. The presence of a minute repeater means the user can chime the number of hours, quarters, and minutes on demand. Pretty handy stuff, but alas, the water resistance is listed as none.  

In total the La Rose Carrée is a beautiful reminder of the work done by Michel Parmigiani and company, and should serve as inspiration to visit the museum in Le Locle, should you ever find yourself passing through the region. Parmigiani Fleurier.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent the past decade covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seikos to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for classic cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.
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