One of King Charles III’s favorite watchmakers, Parmigiani Fleurier, has a waiting list that is more than a year long. And the royal isn’t even the reason why.
Credit instead belongs CEO Guido Terreni, according to Bloomberg. In the two years since the executive took over, the watchmaker’s sales have tripled and its profile has risen to the point that it’s now being talked about alongside horological giants such as like Girard-Perregaux, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe.
Parmigiani Fleurier was founded in 1996 by Michel Parmigiani, a Swiss watchmaker renowned for restoring antique timepieces. Despite its relatively young age, the brand has become well respected among watch enthusiasts for its impressive pieces, including the stunning Toric Chronograph that Charles is so smitten with. Now, though, the brand is in the spotlight like never before.
Terreni has made some major decisions since taking over, but the biggest—and arguably most successful—was the choice to focus the company’s time and effort on a single watch—the Tonda PF. The executive redesigned and relaunched the sports watch during his first half-year at the helm. Interest in the model, which starts at 22,000 CHF (about $25,000) but can cost as much as 183,000 CHF ($205,000), is so high that the brand has had to double production. Parmigiani Fleurier doesn’t disclose how many watches it builds each year, but Bloomberg reports that the number is believed to be around 3,000 units. The brand did confirm to Robb Report that the Tonda PF and Tonda GT account for 98 percent of its sales.
Terreni, who was once president of horology at LVMH’s Bulgari, says that Parmigiani Fleurier’s recent success is due, in part, to its status as an independent. “It’s given us the freedom to have a very short decision process because I have the freedom to do what I want,” Terreni told Bloomberg. “This is very important because that’s how you keep pure the idea of what you want to do.” The brand is owned by the Sandoz Family Foundation.
Parmigiani Fleurier will continue to focus on the Tonda PF for the time being, according to Terrini. The brand unveiled the new Tonda PF Minute Rattapante at Watches & Wonders in March, just one year after debuting a GMT version of the model (at top) at the trade show. It remains to be seen what comes next for the watchmaker, but one thing is certain—collectors and enthusiasts will be paying close attention.