The creation of this exceptional clock draws its inspiration from the concept “tempus fugit” (times flies), providing an endless source of fascination. Whether long or short, friend or foe, time runs wild and free. The idea of “taming” it – not to gain mastery over it but rather to better appreciate it – this was the starting point of the amazing adventure which gave birth to the mare and her foal, an automaton and exceptional clock baptised “Hippologia”.
The Parmigiani Haute Horlogerie Manufacture has mastered the fine art of creating beautiful timepieces shrouded in mystery. Through its restoration work, Parmigiani is intimately acquainted with historical masterpieces, enabling it to hone its own creativity. This manifests itself in the form of unique timepieces, each a real piece of watchmaking bravura. In the past, the manufacture has already created many table clocks decorated with sculptures reproducing a dynamic movement. This year, Parmigiani Fleurier wanted to dream bigger and go further.
The brand conceived a creature which would take on a life of its own in the talented hands of a world-renowned automaton maker. Because the animal kingdom has long been associated with the history of Parmigiani, through the Maurice-Yves Sandoz Collection, the automaton takes the form of the noble Arabian thoroughbred, the desert horse prized for its courage and endurance. A tribute to the values of apprenticeship so dear to the manufacture which has made the transfer of knowledge a core value, the automaton maker creates a solid gold statue of a mare running with her foal. Silent yet larger than life, they move inside an oval glass cabinet representing the desert and its dunes, created by glassware specialist Lalique.
This clock features no less than 2200 components. Its base houses two mechanisms side by side, one connected to the automaton, the other to the time display. The system which triggers the automaton almost constitutes a third mechanism in itself. It was a year in the making. The window set with white and champagne diamonds shows the hours and minutes over three hours, as well as the scale which can be used to adjust the operation of the automata to the desired time. The mare and her foal are designed as a clock movement showcasing historical watchmaking expertise. The head, tail and hooves are cast in silver and hand-polished by a jeweller. The horses’ powerful bodies feature a hand-engraved decoration, while the finishes on the table clock mechanism are in the great classic tradition of Haute Horlogerie.
A magical encounter which sees many experts join forces – the designer, the watchmaker, the automaton maker and the glass specialist – “Hippologia” represents the ultimate in fine craftsmanship.