It was just about 21 years ago that Michel Parmigiani launched his eponymous haute horlogerie brand. A restorer of antique clocks, watches and objects of art, Parmigiani is an expert at the fine art of watchmaking. His vision for his own collection – based on purity, classic beauty and fine craftsmanship – became a reality in 1996. Since then, Parmigiani Fleurier has been creating some of the most alluring watches inspired by history and classicism.
One of the first timepieces introduced in 1996 by Parmigiani Fleurier was the Toric Chronometre, and that line eventually came to embrace the majority of the brand’s grand complications. Toric has become synonymous with all that Michel Parmigiani stands for, and represents the finest watchmaking standards and codes.
This year, the brand returns to its roots and unveils a new rendition of that first watch Michel Parmigiani designed. The new Toric Chronometre is a clean and classic example of sophisticated elegance. It offers hours, minutes, seconds and date.
The watch is powered by the PF331 proprietary automatic calibre that offers 55 hours of power reserve and beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. In typical Parmigiani Fleurier style, the 220 components are all meticulously decorated with bevelled bridges and Cotes de Genève motif. Two series-coupled barrels and 32 jewels complete the caliber. The watch is a COSC-certified chronometer attesting to its high standards of accuracy and reliability.
Beyond the fine movement and classic time indications, however, the looks of the watch are what seem to tug at heartstrings of purists. Offered with two different dial choices – a sumptuous white-grained dial or a rich black opaline dial – the Toric Chronometre features clean Arabic numerals, and a partially opened arc-shaped date aperture at 6:00. It should be noted that the grained dial, created by texturing and hand brushing the dial with a silver powder, is easily one of the most classically beautiful dials on the market. The outer minute track makes for a simple contrast and the javelin-style hands filled with Super-LumiNova, and slender seconds hand complete the dial with ease.
Offered in 18-karat white gold or rose gold, the three-part round case of this distinctive watch measures 40.8mm in diameter, and is beautifully stepped – offering an architecture that is at once ergonomic and sophisticated. A bezel made of alternating gadroons and knurling inspired by Greek columns offers a dramatic, yet fine flair. The knurling of this bezel is an iconic signature of the Toric line and is created by hand (by continuous manipulation of a wheel that notches the metal) by a single craftsman in Val-de-Travers.
The lugs of the watch are more succinctly curved so the Hermes leather strap fits easily and hugs the wrist comfortably. Finished with anti-reflective sapphire crystal and caseback, the watch is water resistant to 30 meters. Each watch is individually numbered. To mark the occasion of this newest rendition of the brand’s first watch design, a book has been created that outlines the mathematical and artistic inspirations, and more. The book includes sketches, and notes written by hand by Michel Parmigiani as he journeyed in taking the watch from start to finish.
It has little details like this that make Parmigiani timepieces appeal to the type of person ready to invest $200,000 on a luxury watch. No, and again, it is not trying to be. Price for your Parmigiani Ovale XL Tourbillon reference PFH750-1000600-HA3141 watch is $195,000 USD.Here is an intriguing watch which will no doubt be extremely attractive to a very niche group of watch fans. It isn’t that the Parmigiani Pershing 002 Review Tonda 1950 product itself is a niche-appeal thing (quite the opposite actually), but rather this meteorite snowflake edition of this will be one of the rarer and arguably more exotic variations. The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Meteorite is so rare, we watched it almost a year ago and it isn’t about the brand’s website (at the time of writing).In the vintage watch universe, the word “exotic” is used a lot, but rarely explained. More often than not, exotic is used to refer to a dial versus an entire watch. In reality, very few genuinely exotic (from a total design standpoint) classic watches are really that popular (many are laughed at — and perhaps justifiably so). Is it really true that most classic watches look exactly the exact same and therefore are highly conservative in vogue? Of course not. Folks oddly fetishize a number of the most ordinary, pedestrian designs in regards to a great number of classic timepieces. What often separates a more “interesting” from “classic” watch are mere colors independently. It’s, therefore, the fact that many “exotic” watches in the classic sense are otherwise normal or well-received watches with various dials or colours. That is about as exotic as many of the more conservative collectors seem to get (as far as I see it). I sometimes wish I watched more “bravery” in watch tastes. Though, I do admire not needing to be courageous considering the current prices.