Legendary Swiss watchmaker Michel Parmigiani's latest timepiece, the Toric Chronometre, is one of the most elegant watches he's ever created, doing away with bells and whistles to produce a masterpiece of elegant simplicity. A contemporary interpretation of the first watch Parmigiani Fleurier ever designed 20 years ago, the Toric designs pay homage to the Doric column, the purest symbol of ancient Greek architecture, and is nothing less than "a convergence of the bonds that unite nature, mathematics, and architectural geometry."
Lofty principles that make for a lust-worthy timepiece. The new Toric Chronometre is immediately recognizable by its signature bezel, which alternates knurling and another esteemed form of decorative edging called "gadrooning." There is only one craftsman in the watchmaking mecca of Val-de-Travers, Switzerland skilled enough to produce the bezel to Parmigiani Fleurier's exacting specifications. While referencing the first Toric timepieces, the Chronomètre features a more delicate and elegant case curved to sit more snugly on the wrist.
The end of the strap and its buckle have also been redesigned with the lugs rendered more ergonomic, making the watch more comfortable to wear, while the crown has been given more prominence. The case, available in white or red gold, encloses Parmigiani's COSC-certified PF331 proprietary movement, with beautifully decorated components on view through the exhibition case back. Of course, it meets the exacting standards of accuracy and reliability that the Parmigiani manufacture requires.
Offsetting the gold case, dials are available in black opaline or a white grained version, created by hand-brushing the surface of the dial with a silver powder mixture. The dials are animated by two slender Javelin hands, a date window, a subtle minute track around the circumference, and Arabic numerals with classic proportions. The overall effect is one of timeless sophistication, with a modern edge, an ethos that many watches strive for but few achieve to this degree.
Naturally, a watch with such an interesting backstory comes with an annotated notebook detailing the sources of inspiration that led to its creation. Available in printed form only by purchasing the watch itself, it takes the reader "on a journey through the worlds of technology, mathematics, art and the mysterious beauty of nature" as well as fine watchmaking. Sketches, handwritten notes, quotes and more from Michel Parmigiani himself make it a desirable object in its own right. This is truly top-shelf timekeeping.