SIHH 2014: Parmigiani Metro Collection


The Parmigiani Fleurier Métro collection is a range of men's and women's watches conceived for urbanites with a true metropolitan spirit.

A city's heart never stops beating, and the life found there is so full of potential and possibilities that any dream can become a reality. It is also an anonymous life, which can be either a blessing or a curse, and in the midst of the crowd, each man and woman is on an endless quest for a mark of exclusivity or distinction.

The Métrographe watch for men and the Métropolitaine for women are best described as they adorn the wrists of busy city dwellers, as they live and breathe every minute of the day.


For the wearer of the Tonda Métrographe, a new day has begun. The skyscrapers tower majestically above his head, lining his route to work. Having negotiated two of the centre's most chaotic pedestrian crossings, he raises his head and notices that the buildings have taken on a different aspect thanks to the new angle from which he observes them. And they are not the only thing that changes depending on the angle, he reflects, remembering with amusement that his watch, the Tonda Métrographe, can also be seen differently from two angles. Its left-hand profile is its conventional side: two iconic, teardrop-shaped lugs extend the end of the steel case, optimising its ergonomics. By contrast, its right-hand profile, nestled against his wrist, reveals its extravagant side: the two teardrops form a streamlined, fluid wave which almost entirely envelops the case, hugging the crown tightly. A subtly asymmetrical watch, he thinks with satisfaction, and indeed it takes a keen eye to discern this exquisite imbalance, this little touch of instability, in its fine lines. "A magic that escapes many", he muses, wondering whether he might be the only person among the crowd that morning to have noticed that the skyscrapers appear different as they get closer with each step. Perhaps… But his descent into the subway shakes him from his daydream, reminding him that he should fall in with the crowd if he doesn't want to trip on the stairs. As the train doors close, he starts the chronograph on his Tonda. This he does for amusement, for he has taken this journey so often he knows every second of it by heart. But a journey timed by the push of a button is always unique – otherwise it's just another, banal journey.

As the second meeting of his day begins, he realises he has forgotten to stop his chronograph. He presses the lower push-button, freezing time: three hours, twenty seven minutes and thirty five seconds, displayed with a startling clarity on three counters. If this had all been a journey on the subway, he would now be well beyond the city limits and out in the countryside. By contrast, here he is, in a neat side room on the first floor of an immense skyscraper. A tiny dot on the fresco. The thought makes his head spin. His finger hovers over the upper push-button, as if he would lose this measured portion of his day forever if he were to reset it. As the chronograph windows await his decision, he notices that the minute and hour counters, which are indicated by a coloured circle, form a slanted figure 8 on the dial. A symbol of eternity. Reassured, he presses the button, which returns him to zero.


She sets out at dawn, with an entire city to discover in a single day. Her schedule is full. The museum of history, the museum of art, the city centre monuments, the view from the top of a skyscraper, a meal in a typical old quarter restaurant... and that's just part of her itinerary. With all of her destinations marked on her tourist map like a constellation of jewels, she finds herself in the street outside her hotel, impatient to embark on her journey of discovery. The Tonda Métropolitaine on her wrist shows 07:08; she starts walking.

After just a few metres, a window grabs her attention: local life painted by street artists. The exhibition has only just opened; she hesitates... can she afford to deviate from her itinerary? Probably not. The Tonda Métropolitaine shows 07:12 and seems to be saying that her indecision has already cost her 2 minutes. Finally her curiosity gets the better of her and she heads inside the little museum. One hour later she emerges, her head full of questions and her curiosity more alive than ever. Must not loose track of schedule. If she were to keep it, she really should be heading to her second museum of the day. She tries to find her way back to the main tourist drag, but again she stops: a hidden church, a little marvel tucked away on the corner of the street. Gothic? Roman? Impossible to say. She disappears inside to find out. Emerging in a state of wonder, already she knows she'll be distracted by yet another treasure in a matter of seconds. She has given up trying to resist her curiosity; her original itinerary seems distant and irrelevant. 10:30, according to her Tonda Métropolitaine. 11:00... midday... 14:00... what does it matter? She's unstoppable. Hidden arcades, charming fountains, little cafés and hideaways, musicians, flea markets, building façades, bazaars... Riches everywhere she turns. So afraid is she of missing something that she devours this microcosm of the giant city with her eyes, as if tomorrow she might wake up blind.

Her Tonda Métropolitaine shows 5pm - suddenly it's time to think about catching her plane. Turning around, she is stunned to realise that she is 500 metres from her hotel. She hasn't even left the district where she started. Dazed, a little confused, almost disappointed, part of her refuses to believe it. Has she really made so little progress? Can it really be already 5pm? She stares intently at the amarante dial of her Tonda Métropolitaine. As she does so, to her surprise it begins to change. The dial is not only amarante, she realises; it is filled with a myriad of little waves which illuminate the piece and contrast with the matt surface of the small second circle. She also notices that the circle is surrounded by a fine gold ring of barely a hair's breadth - something she had previously missed. Finally, she observes that the numerals that have punctuated her day are slightly raised, with a rounded form that pleases her eye. All this beauty, so close to her yet unobserved. She had never taken the time to notice it.

She smiles as she ponders her day, her journey of 500 metres which took in no skyscrapers, no official museums, no imperial monuments, no chic restaurants. And yet, she reflects, she didn't miss a single part of the real spectacle, the true hidden beauty visible to those who really look. She turns around and heads back, feeling light and happy.


The Métro Collection is the first Parmigiani Fleurier watch whose lines and essence embody the spirit and magic of the world's great cities, their inhabitants and the frenetic pace that governs their movements. The collection features "Métrographe" watches for men and "Métropolitaine" watches for women.


Both the men's and women's versions of this round steel timepiece are characterised by their long proportions, which confer elegance. The watch features a modern, urban design which is more refined than the brand's other classics, and reminiscent of the Tonda 1950. The calibre 3000 movement and its housing have been designed with extreme precision to produce a slim, refined case middle.

The subtlety of the Métro collection - a slight imbalance which gives it its character - comes from the fact that the watch is asymmetrical: it has two different profiles. Its left-hand profile, which is devoid of a crown, is the classic, conventional side, and displays the brand's iconic teardrop shape. By contrast, its right-hand profile features elongated lugs which extend to the crown, reaching around it to envelop the chronograph push-buttons on the men's version.
This asymmetry confers on the watch its subtly stylish identity; a touch of modernity that overturns conventions.


The aesthetics of the dials in the Métro collection use the principle of contrasts to highlight a particular aspect of the piece.

On the men's Tonda Métrographe, the chronograph complication is underlined thanks to the highlighting of its minute and hour counters. The grey counters, which sit on top of snailed discs, stand out against the white grained dial; on the black dial version they are outlined with Superluminova material which picks them out in the daytime and renders them luminous at night. The two counters form a slanted figure 8, a characteristic sign of the Parmigiani Fleurier brand.

On the Tonda Métropolitaine, feminine curves soften the piece's modern lines. The straight outline of the case finds its contrast in the "flinqué" finishes on the dial, which take the form of undulating waves. The numerals and index are inlaid, standing out in rounded relief from a two-dimensional background characterised by straight lines.


The Métro collection sees Parmigiani Fleurier introduce a new concept featuring straps and bracelets in leather and steel.

The grained calf leather with Hermès signature produces a very distinctive effect. Its edge is of a different colour and polished, giving it a perfectly smooth surface in contrast with the rest. For example, a caramel-coloured strap features a bright red edge; a black strap is edged in white; étoupe is twinned with a grey edge for a subtle contrast. Whether bold or less pronounced, the principle of contrasts is used to distinguish each of the straps, making them immediately recognisable and enhancing their aesthetic appeal.

Each version of the Tonda Métro, both men's and women's, is also available with a steel bracelet of remodelled deisgn. In keeping with the spirit of the collection, the bracelets' proportions have been redesigned to produce a slimmer, elongated and more streamlined appearance for a more aesthetically pleasing case. The links which form the profile of the steel bracelet feature Parmigiani Fleurier's iconic teardrop shape. Each link has unique dimensions, and is precisely calculated to ensure optimal ergonomics and perfect continuity between the case middle and the bracelet.

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