In today’s watchmaking world, it is not unusual for the finest brands to create some one-of-a-kind watches from time to time to show off their technical prowess or strength at Métiers d’Arts. Both of these attributes, and more, came into play when Parmigiani Fleurier recently unveiled its La Rose Carrée unique piece.
As the 25th anniversary of the brand, founded by Michel Parmigiani, comes to a close, there seemed no better way to celebrate than with the introduction of a watch that also brings into play Michel’s extraordinary talents as a master watchmaker and restorer. The unique pocket watch not only boasts a stunning case, but also incredible mechanics. It is powered by an approximately 100-year-old Louis-Elisee Piguet movement that Michel had acquired in the 1990’s and then, a couple of decades later, set about restoring.
The Grande Sonnerie minute repeater watch was designed to encompass and celebrate Parmigiani Fleurier’s master of time and art. Conceived of by Guido Terreni, Parmigiani Fleurier’s CEO as of January of this year, the La Rose Carree could only be accomplished by the master restorer, Michel Parmigiani. The 64mm white gold watch took 12 months to bring to fruition and is a double hunter pocket watch with a squared rose pattern engraving painted in stunning translucent grand feu blue enamel. Inside the case: a black onyx dial on one side and a transparent sapphire case back showing the fine finishings of the restored movement. There is even an inscription engraved on the inner back of the case.
On the outer edges of the case, the same rose pattern is meticulously engraved for superb depth and dimension. The watch is finished with a square-link chain in a Rose Carree motif. As with most one-offs, this one was most likely spoken for, so the retail price or value has not been disclosed.
Why this watch matters? There just aren’t enough talented restoration master watchmakers able to work to this level of quality and precision. Additionally, there aren’t enough brands that would be willing to put an entire year into the making of a single timepiece. TO use a 100-plus year-old caliber is ingenious and is proof that mechanical watches are truly sustainable.