Choosing to throw its hat into the ring at a point when the mechanical watch industry was still very much feeling the effects of near extinction during the Quartz Crisis, high-end manufacture Parmigiani Fleurier made its debut in 1996 with the Toric – a traditional, round, three-hand watch designed by the brand’s founder, master watchmaker Michel Parmigiani. It has gone on to host various different complications (everything from perpetual calendars to GMTs) and styles (from open dials to stone set cases).
For the design of the Toric’s case Parmigiani looked to ancient Greek architecture’s Doric columns, a seashell found on a beach in Malaysia, and ultimately the Golden Ratio, the equation of relative lengths that is commonly found in shapes considered to be aesthetically pleasing. Aside from the Toric, it can be seen throughout the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Piet Mondrian and Le Corbusier.
Since Parmigiani’s launch the company has gone from strength to strength and the Toric has found favour with the likes of HRH Prince Charles, who regularly wears a yellow-gold Toric Chronograph. Following directly on from last year’s Toric Chronomètre, a reboot of the collection that pays tribute to the 1996 OG, this summer Parmigiani released the Toric Qualité Fleurier. A simple officer’s style wristwatch, with three hands from the centre, a wide “smile shape” date aperture at 6 o’clock, and the model’s signature knurled bezel decoration. Found on nearly every Toric, although a few of the diamond-set ones omit it in favour of stones, the knurling makes up a pattern based on the Golden Ratio and is still imprinted using a lathe by the same Val-de-Travers craftsman who worked on the very first Toric.
The watch also features a hand-engraved guilloché dial with spiralling rice grain design and is powered using the in-house automatic PF331-QF movement. Both watch and movement are named for the Fleurier Quality Foundation – an independent quality-control body founded by Chopard, Bovet and Parmigiani in 2001 – and its movement certification test. To be awarded the certification, a candidate movements must:
1. Be entirely Swiss-made
2. Made using only traditional materials and finished to an excellent level
3. Pass COSC certification
4. Pass the Chronofiable shock and general resistance test
5. Pass the Fleuritest machine test mimicking daily wear
Self-winding PF331-QF with a 55-hour power reserve
40.8mm red or white gold; sapphire-crystal caseback; water-resistant to 30m
Black alligator leather made by Hermès