Michel Parmigiani of Parmigiani Fleurier

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Michel Parmigiani, President and Founder, Parmigiani Fleurier, talks about the brand’s renewed focus on know-how and traditional watchmaking.

There have been some changes at Parmigiani last year. Can you tell us about them?
There is a wish to show this through our novelties this year—one of them is the integrated chronograph, while another is a concept that really improves the power reserve in a revolutionary way. There’s a refocus on know-how in terms of how technical and how important the manufacture is—it should be at the centre of what we do.It’s really about focusing on the manufacture side, the know-how, and stepping away a little bit from the lifestyle part.

Is there a reason for this? The general trend shows us that brands are associating with couture houses to add an element of lifestyle to their watches.
You’ve visited our manufacture; we don’t produce a lot of pieces. We are limited in the amount and volume because we want to do everything in-house. We feel that moving to the lifestyle [segment] requires one to produce more volume than we are ready to produce in the kind of specifications—quality and technicalities—we set for ourselves. So we feel that we address ourselves to an audience that is much more interested in the manufacture side and the ability to create a watch completely from scratch. That’s why we are stepping away from lifestyle to refocus on the core of our business.

Restoration is an integral part of Parmigiani. Are the processes easier or more difficult now?
The restoration is as difficult now as it has always been in terms of integrated know- how and techniques. But it remains very much at the core of Parmigiani and will continue to be so. We have a small team dedicated to restoration, but what’s interesting is that it’s feeding into the creative process of the new pieces as well. It’s also why we continue to operate it—not only because it’s something that I have always done, but also because it opens doors to a lot of different ideas.

Michel Parmigiani of Parmigiani Fleurier on the Brand’s Renewed Focus Areas

Tonda Chronor Anniversaire

Which has been the most memorable restoration?
There is more than one! The latest one is the Hippologia; this is something that is almost impossible to achieve. So being able to restore it is really an interesting project for me.


What is your vision for Parmigiani?
The vision is to put forward outstanding quality and really focus on that. So when we say that we want to step out of lifestyle and refocus, we want to refocus on the exceptional pieces—the really high-end standards of quality that we deliver, whether it’s components or watches. So we might have a wide range of products because we start at US$10,000, but most of the focus will remain on the high-end pieces. I have this vision to make the dreams of collectors come true. So a lot of what we’re going to do—besides delivering high-end quality to deliver high-end pieces—is also delivering bespoke pieces. So we’ll possibly develop that even more than what we already do. It’s something that I want to invest more time in.

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