When you are familiar with Swiss luxury watch brand Parmigiani Fleurier, you may think you have seen it all from them. However, you have not. Today the brand unveiled its first tourbillon in the Toric line. Let me start off by saying, there is a superb sophistication to this piece.
“Like everything that Parmigiani Fleurier creates, the all-new Toric Tourbillon Slate watch is the epitome of elegance and timelessness, but with a bit of contemporary interpretation. Owned by the Sandoz Foundation, the Parmigiani brand was founded in 1996 by Michel Parmigiani, a clock restorer and master watchmaker. Because of his rich background restoring vintage clocks, Parmigiani has an innate love of classic beauty and superb craftsmanship, and strives to bring those ideals to the forefront in all of his timepieces.
The new Toric Slate Tourbillon marks the first time that the tourbillon escapement (that compensates for errors in timekeeping due to the effects of gravity when the watch is in certain positions on the wrist) can be found in the beloved Toric collection. The Toric was the first watch case Michele Parmigiani created and is almost immediately identifiable thanks to the knurling pattern on the bezel. That case motif was actually inspired by the Ancient Greek Doric columns.
While the brand refers to the dial of the new timepiece as slate, that is just a reference to the rich gray color, not the material. The slate gray dial is superbly hand guilloched in an alluring barley grain pattern that complements the knurling on the 5N 18-karat rose gold case. The stylized numerals are applied — meaning that each numeral has a tiny foot on its back and is placed into a slot on the dial to be held in place (versus having printed numerals on the dial).
The hour and minute hands feature Super-Luminova coating for easy night-time reading, and there is a minutes track on the outer edge of the dial. Like all Parmigiani Fleurier watches that boast straps, this Havane leather strap is made by Hermès. Many watch collectors have an affinity for a complicated watch such as the tourbillon that actually looks super clean and sophisticated in design, belying the haute horlogerie mechanics inside. The movement of this watch consists of 207 parts and 29 jewels — all assembled by hand. The watch retails for $130,000.”
Portions of this article by Roberta Naas first appeared on her Perfect Timing column on Forbes.com.