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Parmigiani Fleurier brings new life to c.1900 Louis-Elisée Piguet pocket watch

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Parmigiani Fleurier has left the best until last for its 25th anniversary year with the unveiling of a unique white gold double hunter pocket watch it has named La Rose Carrée.

The 64mm timepiece is powered by an original movement made by legendary watchmaker Louis-Elisée Piguet somewhere between 1898 and 1904, at the peak of his creativity and craft.

A reminder of the sophistication of these pioneering watchmakers comes in the complications of the movement, which include a grande sonnerie and minute repeater.

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The movement has been fully restored in the Parmigiani Fleurier restoration workshop overseen my Michel Parmigiani.

Mr Parmigiani acquired the movement in the late 1990s, but had not done any work to it in over 20 years.

CEO Guido Terreni gave the green light to use it in a special project to mark the company’s 25th anniversary using the most talented craftspeople in the maison.

It look around a year to restore the movement and make the white gold case engraved with a geometric motif known as Rose Carrée.

“We were trusted with a movement that’s exceptional by its complications, by the number of components and by its quality,” says Francis Rossignol, who works with Michel Parmigiani at the restoration workshop. “Our aim is to embellish it, to enhance its aspects, but our job is to always remain in the background.”

Christie Girel, another member of the team, marvels at the original finishes and complexity. “This is indeed an outstanding movement,” she says. “Louis-Elisée Piguet made very fine movements, for the best brands. Finishings, horizontal-grainings, the balance wheel, the mainplate are perfect, even under a microscope, from the smallest to the largest part.”

It’s also extraordinary by its functionality, Ms Girel continues. “A grande sonnerie chimes the number of hours at the top of every hour. At every quarter, it chimes the number of quarters. And as a minute repeater, it chimes the number of hours, quarters, and minutes on demand,” she adds. “The acoustics of the movement, the sound it creates as it chimes is sheer pleasure to the ear.”

Mr Parmigiani set out to make the case look like rippling water of a blue sea.

“The blue of La Rose Carrée expresses the color of a body of water as one would see it from the sky – with all the nuances and subtle changes in the shades of blue according to the various depths,” he describes.

With the pattern established, between three and four layers of blue grand feu enamel were applied by artistic enameler Vanessa Lecci.

She added depth and color to the engraving work, while ensuring the enameling appears the same on both covers.

The black dial is a sophisticated bridge to modern day Parmigiani Fleurier, even including its new PF logo on a black onyx background along with white gold hands crafted in a Delta shape, and a small seconds subdial outlined in white gold.

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