From Mine to Store: Parmigiani’s Dragon and the Pearl of Wisdom

Many watchmakers have paid tribute to the dragon this year, but few with the panache of Swiss brand Parmi­giani, whose Dragon and the Pearl of Wisdom is the latest addition to its Tempus fugit collection. The piece tells the ancient Chinese tale of a carp struggling upriver to reach the emperor before being transformed into an imperial dragon. Rich with symbolism, the automaton is also just plain rich: The CHF 3.5 million ($3.8 million) price accounts not only for the 14k gold, sterling silver, jade, rubies, carnelian, and rock crystal used in the piece, but also for its craftsmanship. “It took 22 artisans more than one year [and] 6,000 work hours,” sales director Flavien Gigandet said at January’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva.The Great ChaseThe Dragon and the Pearl of Wisdom builds upon a tradition that flourished in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the S

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