armigiani Fleurier presents Rosa Mystica, the latest in a series of five unique pieces in the “Grand Feu Collection”, introduced in December 2022 with the Rosa Celeste and its blue Grand Feu enamel. On this new creation, a magistral red Grand Feu enamel adorns the dial and the engraved “Rose Carrée” on the back of this exceptional novelty.
This miracle of red fire is embellished with a natural garnet cabochon on the 18-karat white gold case, adding finesse to the magnificence of the hand engraving.
Rosa Mystica and the other creations in the Grand Feu collection are an ode to traditional craftsmanship. The enamellers, engravers, chain makers and many others are artists, they are the “golden hands” devoted to the Maison Parmigiani Fleurier that shape and tame the material with mastery.
Between the petals of this horological flower, Parmigiani Fleurier has concealed a manually wound minute repeater calibre with cathedral gongs. Its skeletonization and beveling bring together the best of Parmigiani Fleurier’s watchmaking expertise and craftsmanship in a unique and poetic piece.
Rosa Mystica and Rosa Celeste carry all the hallmarks of La Rose Carrée pocket watch. With Rosa Celeste, these details have been taken to a higher level of wearability and simplicity, making these pieces unique. This model also heralds a series entirely dedicated to the celebration of handmade watchmaking craftsmanship according to Parmigiani Fleurier. “Les Roses Carrées” will be the name and the thread that ties these pieces together.
In this execution, the watch case is mounted on a hand-sewn alligator leather strap in red, the reverse side of which is also in alligator leather. With a diameter of 42 mm, the case is cut from white gold blocks. The bezel, lugs and caseband are hand-engraved with the La Rose Carrée motif. These notches are engraved with a chisel into the hard surfaces of the metal, one inside the other in an algorithmic progression. This work requires extreme precision, an impressive investment of time, and a steady hand that is ensured by years of experience.
A hinge, located at 2 o’clock on the reverse side of these unique pieces, articulates the hunter caseback. Its outer face bears a large square fractal rose, also hand-engraved and covered with multiple layers of colored enamel. On its other side, these unique pieces feature a dial of solid white gold, with a surface engraved by hand. Countless small carvings are made with immaculate regularity throughout the breadth and depth of the dial. Once the surface has been prepared, the enameler takes over and applies the same shade as on the hunter caseback, striving for an identical level of nuance and a play of light made possible by the depth of the work done by the artisanal engraver.
In both cases, on the dial and the cover, the technique used is Grand Feu enamel. Each gold element is first covered with enamel from crushed glass, ground finer in each layer, pigmented with metallic oxides and shaded with the color of the base metal. The firing process is carried out at a high temperature, 800 degrees Celsius, and must be controlled and repeated for each of the six layers applied. Each firing melts and glazes the enamel but also runs the risk of re-firing the lower, already glazed layers. The precision of the temperatures, times, materials, and pigments plays a crucial role here.
To the movement’s extreme aesthetic refinement, Parmigiani Fleurier has added horological substance on an incomparable level. The noblest, most historic complication, the one most directly in line with Michel Parmigiani’s watchmaking practice as a restorer, was chosen to enliven Rosa Celeste: the minute repeater. But striking the hours, quarters and minutes on demand was not enough for these rare timekeeping roses.
The gongs on which the sound is produced are cathedral gongs. Their exceptional length, spanning one and a half trips around the movement, brings a deeper, richer sound, a more sustained vibration and a more palpable intensity. In order to allow this potential to be fully expressed, the case has been carefully designed to optimize the sound of the movement.
The movement is suspended in the case and the heel of the gongs is physically connected to the case by two screws. The caseback and case middle have been redesigned to create resonance pockets and to lighten the white gold mass. These two aspects help increase the acoustic quality of the chiming and its range. A final quality criterion is that the chiming sequence automatically skips dead time. Thus, at 3:19, the three chimes for the hour are immediately followed by a double chime for the quarter-hour and again, without silence, by up to four chimes for the minute.
This device, which is unusual in the world of minute repeaters, is an indispensable characteristic for Parmigiani Fleurier. The Maison’s legendary criteria for ergonomics and directly perceptible quality are also reflected in a running time extended to 72 hours, i.e. three full days, another rarity for this complication.
The movement, although hidden by a solid dial on one side and by its hunter caseback on the other, has nevertheless been the object of an artistic and extensive skeletonization. Usually made visible by the disappearance of the dial, it is here reserved for the owner and his or her closest confidants, a private and exclusive pleasure that speaks to the unique nature of Grand Feu Collection. The shape given to the bridges, the cut-out of their profile, and the size and extent of their openwork are artistic signatures, markers of aesthetic identity and indicators of the care given to execution and details.
Parmigiani Fleurier has taken this approach to the extreme. The skeletonization of the PF355 caliber is reminiscent of that of the PF361 caliber, known as the Chronor, which was launched in 2016 inside a model that was at the time the pinnacle of the Parmigiani Fleurier collection. With its curves and counter-curves, harmonious inflections, the depth of the chamfers and its 114 inward and outward angles, Rosa Mystica and Rosa Celeste are the product of unparalleled achievement. The beveling, polishing and surface treatments are all done by hand. Thus, beauty, rarity and substance unite in the new Rosa Mystica.