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Precision instrumentation can find its way to the halls of haute horlogerie from unlikely sources. Atokalpa, based in the town of Alle in the Swiss Jura, specialized in making machine parts for the Swiss military when it was founded in 1989. After its addition to Parmigiani Fleurier in 2000, however, the company began an evolution that would earn it, and Parmigiani, a rare distinction as one of the few Swiss watch manufactures making its own balance springs- one of the most fragile yet vital components in a watch’s movement. Atokalpa, in fact, boasts the capability of producing all the components of a watch’s all-important regulating organ — 20 components that range from the spring to the pallet fork to the escapement train wheel. Like its fellow companies and following the Swiss Made philosophy of Parmigiani Fleurier, Atokalpa supports its nation’s industry by either making its own machines in-house or requiring them to be built within Switzerland to rigid specifications. But the mechanized stage is only part of the process, which also hosts a decoration workshop employing artisans that apply high-end finishes, by hand, to the array of components made there.
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