A riff on the very first watch Michel Parmigiani ever designed, the new Parmigiani Toric Chonomètre (from $18,500) has been simplified and reproportioned into an elegant dress model that manages to retain a strong character. The original Toric was an ode to Greco-Roman architecture, taking elements such as Greek column bases and translating them into an intricate set of curves for the case. It also had a particularly complex bezel, featuring multiple rows of knurling and convex ridges, or gadroons. Company designers in recent years consigned the Toric to complicated pieces with extra thickness that could absorb the design’s large bezel area. The new design addresses modern tastes for larger dial-to-bezel ratios.
“It’s more contemporary,” says Florin Nicolescu, vice president of product development at Parmigiani Fleurier. “The knurls are larger. We got rid of one row but kept the two gadroons and changed the radius.” Spear-shaped hands and Arabic numerals are the obvious changes in the new Toric Chonomètre, but a host of subtle improvements lie underneath. The PF331 movement (Vaucher 4000) is chronometer-rated. The crown has been redesigned for better grip, and the date window is set off with a through-dial applique. Screws secure the bezel and case back—a measure to ensure the passage of the strict regional Qualité Fleurier standard in future versions. The lugs are laser-welded to the bombé case, and the clean lines speak to a very demanding polishing job.
Simple three-hand watches have become commoditized much more than other types, making the distinctive design of the Toric Chonomètre all the more valuable. “We really wanted to make the connection with our own past as much as we can,” adds Nicolescu. “It’s a timeless piece. When we generated the brief for the designers, we didn’t consider any other models. I think we have enough inside our own brand to generate [designs] and renew.”