For its 25th anniversary last year, Parmigiani debuted La Rose Carrée, a grande sonnerie pocket watch that was entirely hand engraved and enamelled in blue.
While it was a one-off creation, the pocket watch has spawned a collection of five minute repeaters, Les Roses Carrées. Each of the five will be unique and the very first is La Rosa Celeste, a minute repeating wristwatch that takes after the pocket watch in both decoration and detail.
As is typical of Parmigiani’s top-of-the-line compilations, La Rosa Celeste is impressive in both its decoration and complication, but it has an unusual modern feel. Although the case is intricately engraved, the clean dial gives it a contemporary feel, so it doesn’t have the old-fashioned ornateness that such watches often possess.
With the lavish engraving and generous enamelling, the case makes a statement on the wrist, even more so with its size. At 42 mm in diameter and over 13 mm high, La Rosa Celeste is a big watch, a little too big to be as elegant as its decoration. But the size is no doubt also meant to give it presence, which it will surely have.
La Rosa Celeste is finely crafted and artisanally decorated, which inevitably means it is expensive, or CHF600,000 to be exact. That’s a hefty sum but par for the course for a watch like this.
Repeating roses and blue enamel
Of all the elements of the watch, the dial is the simplest in terms of style. It’s almost minimalist with small, square hour markers and lance-shaped hands. But it is executed elaborately – the dial surface is hand engraved with a granular, “chiselled” pattern and then finished in translucent blue enamel.
Notably large at 42 mm in diameter and 13.39 mm high, the case is 18k white gold. Almost every surface has been engraved with the repeating square rose motif first seen on the grande sonnerie pocket watch, right down to the flat bases of the lugs.
And like the pocket watch, this has a hinged hunter back engraved with the same square rose pattern and then covered in translucent blue enamel.
Under the hinged back sits the cal. 355, one of Parmigiani’s in-house minute repeating calibres. Classically styled like most of Parmigiani’s movements, the cal. 355 is distinguished by its cathedral gongs that are longer than usual and result in a more sonorous chime. It also has a 72-hour power reserve, an usually long running time for a traditionally constructed repeating movement that isn’t a recent debut.
Unlike past iterations of the cal. 355, this example has been skeletonised to reveal most of the moving parts. In contrast to the elaborately decorated case, the open working of the movement is all about clean lines, with the bridges carefully straight grained on top to emphasise the polished, rounded bevels along their edges.
Key Facts and Price
Parmigiani Les Roses Carrées ‘La Rosa Celeste’
Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 13.39 mm
Material: 18k white gold, engraved
Water resistance: None
Dial: Hand engraved with translucent blue enamel
Functions: Hours, minutes, and minute repeater with cathedral gongs
Winding: Hand wind
Frequency: 21,600 per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 72 hours
Strap: Alligator with pin buckle
Limited edition: Unique piece
Availability: From Parmigiani or its authorised retailers
Price: CHF600,000 before taxes
For more, visit Parmigiani.com.
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