Quadrance Et Habillage
Down the road in La Chaux-de-Fonds, designated a UNESCO site for its historical role as the historic cradle of Swiss watchmaking, is the most recently acquired specialty company, and the latest horological discipline to be brought in-house by Parmigiani — Quadrance & Habillage, a maker of dials. Founded and incorporated into the Centre in 2005, this firm is responsible for the development, manufacture, and finishing of the face that each timepiece shows to the world. Its master dial makers begin with a numerically controlled machine that cuts the dials from materials as diverse as traditional brass to ultra-luxe gold to rare and fragile meteorite. To these raw disks, specialists apply surface treatments, coloring, and varnishes either colorless or tinted. Final stages include the largely manual process of adding transfers and placing the 3D elements such as indices and hands. Elegant dials in Parmigiani’s signature Abyss Blue and Grained White are among the lovingly executed faces of time that emerge from this atelier. The manually executed process of producing a Grained White Parmigiani dial, for example, is exclusive to the company, involving a single artisan rubbing silver powder onto a brass plate to produce a textured surface. The force and duration of the process, executed by hand with a horsehair brush, determines the luminosity and sheen of the finished dial and ensures that each one is unique.