The brand is known for its elegance and the technical excellence of its movements Parmigiani Fleurier is a flourishing independent watch company that creates timepieces of exceptional quality, originality and design. The driving force behind the company is Michel Parmigiani, a watchmaker with a passion for horology and design. He grew up in a valley in the Canton of Neuchatel, a secluded region of Switzerland where, from childhood, he came into close contact with watchmaking craftsmen. Choosing to train as a watchmaker, he initially concentrated on restoration. Soon museums and private collectors entrusted him with their most prestigious horological treasures, including the exceptional Sandoz timepiece collection. His friendship with the Sandoz family developed and his passion for horology and his creative ideas won him the backing of the Sandoz Family Foundation. It offered him the opportunity to establish his company in 1976. He continued restoration work and created timepieces for other companies. The foundation acquired a majority shareholding in Parmigiani Mesure et Art du Temps, which eventually led to the creation of the Parmigiani brand. The company took part in SIHH for the first time in 1997 and, in the following year, it developed its first mechanical, hand-wound, shaped movement. It was developed and crafted entirely by Parmigiani Fleurier and provides an eight-day power reserve. In 1999, the company began to make acquisitions in the fields of case manufacturing, micro-mechanical engineering and precision profile-turning, creating a rich pool of resources with a broad range of technical know-how. This helped to establish Parmigiani Fleurier as one of Switzerland's rare, but comprehensive and effective, manufactures in the field of haute horlogerie. Thanks to the support of the Sandoz Family Foundation, the Parmigiani brand, born 10 years ago, is known today for the elegance of its designs and the technical excellence of its movements. By 1999, the company was producing almost 1,000 watches a year. This year, production should reach 4,000 watches. At SIHH, Parmigiani Fleurier launched the Kalpa Tonda 2006 collection, with a new shape and a new spirit. Its ergonomic design ensures maximum comfort, accentuated by the curve of its lugs. Kalpa Tonda models are available in two sizes, 39mm and 42mm, and fitted with the company's own self-winding movement. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the founding of Mr Parmigiani's company the Kalpa XL Hebdomadaire Squelette has been created, in an exclusive limited edition of 30 pieces. It features one of Parmigiani's hand-wound movements, skeletonised to enable the full beauty of the decorated plates and bridges to be appreciated. It clearly demonstrates the path pursued by Mr Parmigiani for the past 30 years, and especially the meticulous decorative finishing on every component. This year, for the first time, Parmigiani has launched a ladies' collection which reveals a new stylistic expression. It explores the universe of haute horlogerie, of jewellery and gem-set jewellery watches. Subtle curves and streamlined profiles testify to the company's ability to rise to a new challenge. Five women played a role in giving life to these new collections - Anne-Laure Parmigiani, watchmaker, gemologist and engraver; Nancy Thomas, long-haul airline pilot and official pilot of the Parmigiani Fleurier hot-air balloon; Michelle Veyna, president of Parmigiani Fleurier USA; Catia Hoffmann, international sales manager of Parmigiani Fleurier, and designer Carol Vallat. They represent more than just the face of these creations; they embody the essence. The Kalpa Grande, Donna and Piccola models in gold or steel are all clothed in diamonds. For women who appreciate complicated watches, the collection includes the Kalpa XL Tourbillon, with eight-days of power reserve, a power reserve indicator and a diamond-set case and dial. There is also the round Toric Retrograde Perpetual Calendar Luna Blu. Its white gold case is available with or without the 1.6-carat brilliant-cut diamonds and 3-carat baguette-cut diamonds. The date is shown on a retrograde scale on the dial, with brilliant-cut sapphire dots between the numbers.