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In a chat with Mitrajit Bhattacharya Parmigiani Fleurier, Founder, Michel Parmigiani dwells on the brand’s key launch–Metro Collection
What are the key launches of the year, and the unique piece?
This year, we are launching a new collection, called the Collection Metro. Metro for Metropolitan. It’s an urban spirit collection influenced with a sort of dynamic and young inspiration to it. There are a men and a ladies version. The spirit of this collection was to target the youth. It’s modern yet a classical watch. It’s timeless, not only designwise, but also in terms of competitive pricing. It’s more accessible to the younger public. This is important to the philosophy of the brand to have a wide, broad spectrum of customers. We’ve reached this accessibility through a more rationalised production. The finishing is as beautiful as ever and we do not at all compromise on the quality.
Is it an in-house calibre?
It’s a new calibre—rethought from scratch in order to make its assembly even more efficient. This is to make all the components more accessible for finishing, decoration, etc. Two are for the men and three for women.
What has been the response so far to the Metro Collection?
A very positive response we have received. People were surprised in a good way. Michel Parmigiani sees it as a way of making a younger crowd faithful to the brand sooner, and then of course, open to more complicated timepieces as time goes by.
Is there any other key launch coming up?
The other key launch is Pomellato. We have signed a partnership with Pomellato, the Italian jeweller. This partnership is a happy coincidence. Pomellato were out there looking for a watchmaker with whom to establish a partnership, and they chose Parmigiani. The philosophies and histories of the two brands are very close. Pomellato has a history of fine craftsmanship and everything is handcrafted. They supervise every detail of the production, and this is exactly where we stand true. We supervise, we are independent. We have a quality standard that’s extremely high, and itexplains why we had to establish our own manufacturer in some ways because our quality standards couldn’t be answered by suppliers. We’re very happy about the partnership. Concretely speaking, it’s a TONDA 1950 watch. This is our iconic model, it has all the DNA of the brand.
Is it a standard size, just one size and two designs?
We have three designs: white grained, black and blue. And there is a different set on it; it’s only in rose gold. But then TONDO 1950 is in rose and white gold and the Pomellato, only for ladies, is just rose gold.
Anything this year from Bugatti?
We do have a new Bugatti watch. Design-wise, it has always pushed us to our limits, as well as watchmaking wise. For Bugatti, it’s very different because basically, the essence of the partnership is to create a watch that is a reflection of a car, and it’s really so much more than just taking a watch and stamping a Bugatti logo and Parmigiani face-to-face. It’s really a research for a transposition from a car to watch. We are launching a watch—Bugatti Aerolithe. This is the name of a Bugatti car which was named Aerolithe. It’s mysterious because it actually disappeared. There was only one model and it disappeared, and then it was reproduced under a different name. What we do know about the Aerolithe is that it was in magnesium which is a fragile alloy—it couldn’t be welded, it couldn’t be stuck in a conventional way. There’s a spine and it goes all through the car to yield it together. We decided to reproduce this on the Bugatti Aerolithe watch, it’s a beauty, and it’s a magnificent dial and design.