The new Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Minute Repeater looks like a thoroughly executed tribute to the early XIX century Perrin Freres pocket watch that the Swiss brand recently restored for the Edouard and Maurice Sandoz Foundation (EMSF.) As you will see on the picture below, the pocket watch in question could be just another 200-year-old artifact, if not its peculiar face.
Instead of the usual round dial with a pair of hands that simply point at respective numerals on the hour and minute tracks, that beautifully crafted timekeeper featured a unique half-moon-style aperture that displayed 12 hour markers positioned on a short arc from around 9:30 to 2:30.
The mechanism included three planetary gears with four arms, each bearing its corresponding Arabic numeral from “1” to “12.” As you can gather from the pictures, each hand successively traveled the arc in precisely 60 minutes and then was replaced with the next hand in line.
Since Parmigiani’s watchmakers restored the watch almost from scratch, they got acquainted with the intricate mechanism from the 19th century and decided to re-introduce it as an add-on module for their Caliber PF321 movement using the 21st century technology.
To make the watch even more complicated, they further equipped it with a Minute Repeater module with cathedral chimes.
The new timekeeper is presented in polished 18-carat white gold case. Being around 45 millimeters in diameter and almost 13 millimeters in height, the watch looks rather bulky, but that was probably done on purpose, since the timekeeper’s dimensions were clearly inspired by the pocket watch.
Although the styling cues were, too, partly outsourced from the Perrin Freres watch, with its knurled bezel and the geometric pattern on the dial, the Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Minute Repeater seems to be closer to the heavy and imposing Art-Deco than to playful and florid baroque.
It is not clear, how many pieces Parmigiani is going to build and how much money will ask for each of them, but I am positively sure that, with time, the beautiful gadget will become a highly sought-after collector’s item. The only thing that worries me a little is the water resistance rating of just 1 ATM: given how precious the timekeeper’s guts are, I think I would feel a lot more secure if they were better protected from the elements.
On the video below, you can see the Minute Repeater in action. It also gives you a good view of how beautifully the movement is finished (but that’s something to be expected when we talk about Parmigiani Fleurier: it is sort of their trademark.) Enjoy!
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: N/A
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Parmigiani Fleurier
Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Minute Repeater specification
Movement: Caliber PF321, in-house, with unique “cathedral gong” minute repeater and “sector display” complication modules, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 33
Movement frequency: 18,000 vph
Movement decoration: Hand-bevelled main plate and bridges, fluted cathedral chimes
Functions: Sector time display (hours and minutes,) minute repeater
Power reserve: 45 hours
Case material: 18-carat white gold
Size: 45.00 mm
Case height: 12.90 mm
Dial: White mother-of-pearl, covered with a hand-engraved solid gold cover
Hour markers: Applied
Water resistance: 10 meters
Strap: Hermes alligator leather strap with polished 18-carat white gold ardillon buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective