Beneath CEO Guido Terreni, Parmigiani Fleurier is on a roll. After a few years of fans pondering the query, “With all that they’ve going for them, why hasn’t PF achieved breakthrough success?” the model has now launched a string of winners and appears to have constructed a strong basis for continued prosperity.
How did they do it? “Higher product” is the apparent and simplistic reply, however clearly there was an important deal that needed to occur behind the scenes to push Parmigiani excessive.
Over the previous weeks, I’ve had the good alternative to probe PF’s current successes extra deeply throughout two conversations with Mr. Terreni: the primary an open-ended dialogue throughout his current go to to the West Coast, and the second a extra structured interplay whereas serving as a panel participant for Terreni’s keynote session at Watches and Wonders 2023.
I informed them so
Earlier than entering into these conversations in additional element, let’s take a step again to this time in 2017, once I supplied a totally unsolicited analysis in Collector’s View: Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe On The Wrist And What It Tells Us About Parmigiani in regards to the model’s points, and instructed actions to deal with them.
The issues as I noticed them:
- Too many notes: a scattered product line with no clear middle of gravity
- Product-based considering: technically primarily based creation unlinked to a transparent view of the meant buyer’s needs
- One of many crowd: a failure to transform PF’s many property into a particular level of differentiation from opponents’ choices
And my (admittedly considerably high-level) prescriptions:
- Play to win: choose the one or two (not 5 or ten) methods wherein you’ll be totally different, and higher, than opponents to your meant prospects, and go all in on these
- Develop into storytellers: first, inform the tales of your prospects’ identities and aspirations and make it clear the way you match; second, stress how PF attracts on its traditions in restoration and the historic timepieces in its treasure trove
- Focus and win: slash the product line again to 1 or two core traces that function North Stars to your id
- Design, design, design: refresh Parmigiani’s feel and look and current a coherent set of visible cues throughout the road
Seeing and doing are two various things
I realized a very long time in the past that I don’t possess distinctive powers of discernment; I’m fairly positive that many observers, each exterior and inside Parmigiani, noticed a minimum of a few of these points and regarded potential options. How did Terreni rapidly attain his personal analysis and take decisive motion?
Instantly upon taking cost on January 26, 2001, Terreni stopped all growth on deliberate future introductions and began asking his new colleagues some easy sounding, however demanding, questions:
- Who’s our shopper?
- What are our values as a model?
- What are our design codes?
Of those, Terreni felt that the query of “whom can we need to serve” was probably the most urgent to reply first, and after contemplating the views of his colleagues arrived at a view of what he calls the “non-ostentatious, non-homologated” shopper: somebody who’s refined and personal, but has confidence in their very own tastes and doesn’t really feel compelled by typical knowledge.
With that basis, Terreni then thought-about Parmigiani Fleurier’s values and property and rapidly (and appropriately, for my part) selected to anchor on the values he noticed within the agency’s historical past in restoration:
- A deep historic understanding of, and appreciation for, conventional watchmaking methods and issues
- Mastery of a number of strategies and types and the flexibility to decide on amongst them
- A holistic view of the watch and every thing in it, from mainplates to fingers to customized screws
- Selflessness and understatement: a realization that the watchmakers of the previous devoted themselves to creating stunning actions or elements that will seemingly not bear their names and that few, if any, individuals would ever see
He then turned his consideration to the agency’s design codes, asking his crew to create a listing of the visible themes that make a watch a Parmigiani. Once they returned with a presentation on the technical options of PF’s actions, he charged his designers with defining a easy, elegant unifying look primarily based on the Tonda line.
Some Terreni viewpoints from our first dialog:
- “I begin with design”
- “Designers work higher beneath stress and with tight constraints. When you enable somebody to design something, they are going to, and we don’t have time or assets for that”
- “A model is totally different from an unbiased watchmaker. The unbiased seeks to specific himself; a model should set up and maintain continuity in design”
- “Be prepared to discard a design course that doesn’t instantly have interaction you. It’s higher to be born good than to need to work at enhancing a weak begin”
- “Readability is crucial factor”
When you perceive the shopper definition, values and property, and up to date design pointers, it turns into pretty easy to grasp the watches which have come out of Parmigiani’s accelerated growth program that started after Terreni’s preliminary 90-day evaluation.
The Tonda PF Microrotor, GMT Rattrapante, and newly launched Minute Rattrapante are all clearly members of the identical household. The themes of restraint and subtlety are evident within the openness of the dials, the micro-guilloche that seems virtually flat in some mild situations however pops to life in others, the easy oval PF medallion on the dial, the brief, skinny baton indices, and on the difficult watches, supplemental fingers that seem and disappear on the push of a button to impart the specified info and cleverly built-in, formed pushers.
On their supple bracelets, these watches embody what Terreni calls “impeccable informality.” And relating to understated sophistication, utilizing platinum bezels on the Tonda PF line’s metal circumstances is a kind of little luxuries that solely the wearer is prone to learn about and admire.
Not all my watch friends are fully satisfied by the open look of the Tonda PF dials, and even I desire the GMT and Minute Rattrapantes with their third fingers deployed into view so as to add visible curiosity; however Parmigiani’s goal prospects will, I feel, discover the up to date classicism of those watches each engaging and enduring of their enchantment.
As you would possibly count on, our preliminary dialogue ranged past merchandise and design. Terreni plans to streamline distribution, transferring from 200 to 75 retailers worldwide whereas retaining an emphasis on multi-brand retail ideas akin to shop-in-shop reasonably than going the freestanding mono-brand boutique route. For a model whose meant buyer is an unbiased thinker of various pursuits, the multi-brand mannequin makes nice sense to me; and clearly Terreni believes that Parmigiani’s merchandise will greater than stand the problem of being in contrast with different makers’ watches.
Terreni can also be specializing in sustainability, however not as a fad; he informed me that Parmigiani will, as an example, transfer to artificial strap supplies when and in the event that they maintain the identical attract and impart the identical or higher sporting expertise than conventional pure supplies.
Parmigiani and Terreni at Watches and Wonders 2023
I’ve already talked about the Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante, considered one of my prime two watches at this yr’s Watches and Wonders. Along with the traits it shares with the opposite Tonda PF watches developed beneath Torrani, it, together with the GMT Rattrapante, has the added advantage of presenting a well known small complication in a contemporary and stylish manner.
With the GMT, it was the flexibility to show native and residential time individually with the push of 1 button, after which snap the 2 hour fingers again along with the push of one other. The Minute Rattrapante is a good more energizing tackle countdown watches akin to pilot’s and diver’s watches, made easy.
If, as an example, you might be cooking and need to set a timer for 22 minutes, 4 pushes on a button listed to five-minute intervals and two pushes on a one-minute advance button will magically make a “goal time” hand seem and advance to precisely 22 minutes from now. Over the subsequent whereas, you’ll be able to look at your wrist every so often and see the slice of time remaining slender, and when the working minute hand “catches up” (as a buddy famous, the true translation of “rattrapante”) with the goal hand, your meals needs to be prepared.
When you let the pot boil a bit longer, you’ll be capable to see by the widening slice of dial between the 2 fingers how a lot additional time has elapsed; and if you’re accomplished, a fast push on the crown makes the goal time hand vanish again beneath the working minutes.
How pretty! And fully in keeping with Terreni’s need to current basic issues in new methods; or as he says, “modernize the historical past of watchmaking with out merely repeating the previous.”
The Parmigiani Fleurier Keynote at WWG 2023
It was my privilege to affix Mr. Terreni at Watches and Wonders this yr as a member of Parmigiani Fleurier’s keynote panel, moderated with aplomb by Wei Koh.
The subject of the keynote, and the focus of PF’s presence at Watches and Wonders this yr, was fairly outstanding: a strictly restricted group of three units of three calendar watches, displaying Gregorian, Islamic, and Chinese language calendars.
If it appears a daring factor to focus a whole commerce honest’s consideration on a complete of 9 watches, it’s! Considered via the lens of Parmigiani’s buyer imaginative and prescient and values and property, nevertheless, all of it begins to make sense.
Every particular person watch attracts inspiration from Michel Parmigiani’s experiences restoring basic calendar watches; and specifically with the Chinese language calendar watch, the motion building offers a extra full depiction of the Chinese language seasons than any prior try. They’re additionally watches made for a discerning wearer; actually not everybody will discover watches depicting the dates and seasons in cultures past their very own to be compelling, even when they’re technically superb.
Parmigiani and Terreni, nevertheless, are making a bigger level. Timekeeping is a human invention, and over historical past, totally different cultures have chosen to prepare their conceptions of the years and seasons in a different way. Every of the three watches offers a window into a singular tradition; and Parmigiani have labored to make sure that every watch reveals respect for its respective tradition, as an example rendering the moon on the Islamic watch in white steel reasonably than in coloured gold.
As a set, I feel these three watches have one thing even better to convey: that understanding others’ worldviews can result in better empathy, connection, and the discount of the schisms that divide us.
That’s clearly manner too huge a job for 9 watches to attain, however I’ve to admire Parmigiani’s intent and the way in which they’ve translated it into mechanical artwork. I used to be additionally very impressed with the spirit of hope and optimism that Mr. Terreni evidenced all through the dialogue, and his skill to weave collectively disparate threads into cogent arguments.
I think about that the customer of every of those units of three watches will match the proto-customer persona envisioned by Terreni: discreet, understated, self-confident, and self-aware.
It’s one factor to see issues the place they exist, and to stipulate some attainable cures; it’s one other altogether to have the flexibility and spine to determine particular actions quickly, make robust selections, unify a crew round a transparent imaginative and prescient and technique, and get to market rapidly with profitable merchandise in an business well-known for its lengthy lead occasions.
Mr. Terreni has my respect for conducting all of the above in a remarkably brief time frame; it has been my privilege to get to know him, and I stay up for his – and Parmigiani Fleurier’s – continued success.
For extra info, please go to https://parmigiani.com/en/tonda-pf-minute-rattrapante/
Fast Info: Parmigiani Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante
Case: 40mm x 10.7mm satin completed stainless-steel case with platinum knurled bezel; ARunic anti-reflective entrance sapphire crystal and rear sapphire crystal; water resistance 60m; polished and satin-finished stainless-steel bracelet
Dial and fingers: Hand-guilloché sand gray dial with utilized rhodium plated gold indices and brand; gold skeletonized delta-shaped fingers
Motion: Automated winding PF052 micro-rotor; 48-hour energy reserve; 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Features: Hours, minutes, and proprietary minute rattrapante
Value: USD $30,600
Manufacturing Years: 2023 onward
You may also take pleasure in:
Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe On The Wrist And What It Tells Us About Parmigiani
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante: A Design Nerd’s Favourite Journey Watch
All-New Parmigiani Tonda PF Assortment: Elegant Simplicity, Even When Difficult
Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor In Metal And Platinum On-The-Wrist Evaluation: A Up to date Chameleon That Stands Out By Becoming In
Leave a Reply