Prix Gaïa 1995 – Michel Parmigiani. Craftsmanship-Creation category
He was awarded for the restoration of prestigious historical pieces and for his skills as designer and assembler of pieces with highly complicated pieces for his own company.
All-rounder watchmaker, specialized in micromechanical assembly
- Restoration of historical pieces and creation of movements or other complete watch pieces.
- Restoration of Breguet's Sympathique clock.
- Creation of the Parmigiani Fleurier watch collection.
After spending three years at the Watchmaking School in Fleurier, Michel Parmigiani started a complete watchmaker training with a specialization in micromechanics at Technicum in La Chaux-de-Fonds. After his studies, he partnered with Marcel Jean-Richard and participated in the restoration of unique pieces. And so, he has had the opportunity to work on splendid pieces issued in a span of 450 years of watchmaking history.
At only 25 in 1975, he embraced a new challenge and founded his own company, Parmigiani mesure et art du temps, at a time when Swiss watchmaking was undergoing major difficulties. Since then, he spent all his working time restoring historical pieces and creating movements or other complete watch pieces for other prestigious brands. Famous museums, such as the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and other significant private collections, such as the one belonging to the Sandoz family, entrusted him with their centerpieces to be restored by his particular skills.
One of his greatest achievements is when he restored Breguet's Sympathique clock in 1991. Before that, experts had maintained for a long time that the exceptional clock could not be repaired. With the help of his staff, he carried out the restoration with success and thus was the splendid creation revived.
In 1996, the Sandoz family's Foundation bought shares in Parmigiani mesure et art du temps thus making it possible for the brand to create Parmigiani Fleurier watches. This heralded the creation of many pocket watches, miniature clocks and wristwatches in his workshops.
Among the unique pieces designed by Michel Parmigiani, there is La Fleur d'Orient, a piece with mechanical and aesthetic complications that have required over 20,000 hours of work.
An unparalleled center of expertise equipped with a comprehensive and entirely independent set of industrial tools today guarantees Parmigiani Fleurier uniqueness and exclusivity.