If up until recently Parmigiani Fleurier had been a brand for the savant collector, the success of its Toric Hemispheres Retrograde at the 2017 Grand Prix D’Horlogerie de Genève firmly hoist the brand into the awareness of a much wider audience. Up against some of the watch industry’s heavy hitters, the independent watch company deservedly scooped the cherished Aiguille award for the hotly contested Travel Time category.
A quite astonishing and complex piece, the Toric Hemispheres Retrograde combines classic good looks with an innovative display, made possible thanks to its wonderful in house movement which beats away within. Featuring hours, minutes and small seconds, with second time zone, double day/night displays and retrograde date, in a clear and concise dial layout, and with two fluted crowns the adjustment of local time and the date as well as the second time zone is straightforward.
It’s encased in a 42.8mm round case of 18Kt rose gold, and the stepped bezel with a hand engraved knurled ring is a Parmigiani Fleurier signature detail which has been done by the hand of a single goldsmith for more than twenty years.
Under the sapphire crystal the dial is ivory colour with a finely grained textured finish. Augmenting the central hours and minutes two subdials display the small seconds, incorporating the local day/night indicator at the six, and at the twelve a dial for the second time zone, which also has a day/night aperture. A third central pointer is tipped with a red crescent and it indicates the date which is printed onto the dial, spanning from the two o’clock to ten, and the hand flicks back in a retrograde action at twelve midnight on the 31st day.
Inside, the automatic, self winding PF317 movement has been manufactured in house, and the sapphire caseback reveals the off-centre 18Kt gold rotor and the meticulous watchmaking for which Parmigiani Fleurier is renowned. With polished, rounded anglage defining its bevelled edges, screws which are deeply seated in perfectly polished chatons and Côtes de Genève striping it is an exquisitely appointed construction of mechanical horology, and with its two barrels delivers 50 hours of reserve when fully wound.
The award winning Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde is presented on a black alligator leather strap with 18Kt folding deployant clasp.