Parmigiani Fleurier produces some exquisite watches but it is not a brand you often expect to generate much in the way of excitement; elegance and faultless horology being more the cornerstones of Michel Parmigiani’s brand.
So the surprise of witnessing two genuine shocks during their 2016 SIHH presentation cannot be overemphasised. First up was a piece celebrating the brand’s 20th anniversary, the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, a split-second chronograph with solid gold movement that gives Parmigiani something to rival Patek Philippe’s big hitters.
If that were not enough Parmigiani Fleurier’s movement house Vaucher also announced an R&D project years in the making that is now nearing commercial reality. Senfine is a silicone escapement with an entirely new architecture. The aim of the project has been to create a friction-free, low-power consumption escapement that will radically change the power reserve of watches.
In two years time, when Senfine is used for the first time inside a commercially available Parmigiani Fleurier watch it aims to offer a power reserve of 70 days from a single, standard barrel. This is one of those rare game changers that everyone else will have to have an answer to or face being left behind.