Late last spring in St. Tropez, Parmigiani Fleurier unveiled its new Ovale Collection with quite a bit of fanfare. For those who are familiar with wonderful watches of yore, the Ovale series is based on an unusual watch, circa 1800, an oval watch with telescopic hands that Michele Parmigiani had the privilege of restoring. We featured this original watch here, and it is well worth re-discovering.
Now, Parmigiani releases the new Ovale collection based on this piece. The line includes a Pantograph Complication with telescopic hands that extend longer to indicate the time at the top and bottom of the oval case, and shorten to indicate the time at the shorter sides of the oval case. This watch is the star of the line thanks to the ever changing hands and the innovative vision that led to the assembly of this hand-wound watch. The most difficult part of the creation is cutting and assembling the telescoping hands. This was a process that took a full year of testing to perfect. It is done with riveting titanium segments together that can slide completely freely over each other to expand and retract with precise balance: a dance of hands if you will. The movement of this manual-wind caliber consists of two barrels and 267 parts. It retails for $55,000 – a steal for the mechanics alone.
Other timepieces in the line include the Ovale Tourbillon , featuring a 30-second tourbillon ($235,000), and the Ovale Hebdomadaire — created in collaboration with graffiti artist Andre’ Saraiva and selling for approximately $76,000. These timepieces are now making their way onto the market.