Nature and the golden number — learning to see and to recreate
« When I was little, my father would say to me: ‘If you learn to look, art will reveal itself’, and it has always stayed with me. Art is all around us; it is in nature, in the harmony of its proportions, and in the attention paid to each detail. A world of wonders is unveiled to those who have learned how to look.»
Michel Parmigiani
The natural world around us offers countless examples of harmonious proportions which are so aesthetically pleasing without the onlooker really knowing why. The stunning interlocking details of a snowflake, the spirals in a shell, or the delicate arrangement of seeds in a sunflower. All these examples illustrate the golden number, the perfect proportion between two measurements or volumes, defined by the ratio of 1: 1.618. This divine proportion, found in nature and formalised by science, is the foundation of the aesthetic harmony which Michel Parmigiani has sought out for each of his watchmaking creations. The volumes of the watch cases and their curves apply the golden number. The teardrop-shaped lug, part of the Parmigiani Fleurier visual identity, is the perfect example of this. Each ratio between sizes within the piece is governed by this proportion: the ratio of the bezel opening to the case diameter; the size of the counters versus that of the dial; the length of the minute hand compared to that of the hour hand… Each ratio of size is a simple expression or a multiple of the ratio 1: 1.618 – the golden number. It generates a perceptible, timeless harmony, which is aesthetically pleasing in ways that we cannot explain. That is the essence of Michel Parmigiani's design, incorporated into each watch produced by the brand since its inception.