A couple of weeks ago, during the last SIHH 2012 trade show in Geneva, Switzerland, the relatively young Swiss watchmaking company Parmigiani has presented a number of rather unusual timekeepers that were inspired by vintage pocket watches from 19th century. Besides the enigmatic Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Minute Repeater, the brand has also presented a beautiful Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Ovale limited edition automatic wristwatch.
While the Toric Minute Repeater, as the name implies, featured a “minute repeater” complication, which is often considered to be one of the most difficult to accomplish, this new Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Ovale comes with a function which is as flashy as it is simple.
As you can see on the picture above, the new Toric Ovale features a pair of “telescopic” hands that slowly expand and contract as they travel around the oval-shaped dial.
The Swiss watchmaker borrowed the idea from the British watchmakers Vardon and Stedman who, back in the 19th century have created a pocket watch with the same design. Carefully restored by Parmigiani’s artisans, the watch is, too, owned by the Sandoz Family Foundation and is currently on display at the Musee d’Horlogerie in Le Locle, Switzerland.
The timekeeper is animated by an in-house PF caliber 111 self-winding movement. Comprising 269 hand-crafted parts, the caliber also has a simple calendar, as well as power reserve indicator: a very useful feature for a movement that stores enough power to keep running for as long as 8 days!
The dial of the piece is treated with precious Grand Feu enamel that takes a lot of skilled labor and serves as a perfect background for its pair of hands that are crafted from blued titanium. The four Arabic numerals, as well as the hour markers and the scale of the power reserve gauge, are, too, painted in the same shade of blue.
Perhaps, the only problem of this watch is its immense size. Official specs say that it is more than 52 millimeters long and almost 38 millimeters high, which make it quite a beast. Well, that’s what you get when you are inspired by a pocket watch: these never supposed to be small.
According to Parmigiani’s press release, the Swiss company plans to limit the timekeeper’s production to only 60 pieces: 30 of them will be delivered in white gold cases and the rest will feature rose gold bodies.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Photos: Parmigiani Fleurier
Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Ovale automatic watch specification
Price: $95,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, PF caliber 111, in-house, adjusted in five positions, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 28
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Movement decoration: Diagonal Geneva Stripes, PF seal, beveled edges, decorated by hand
Functions: Hours, minutes, date, power reserve
Power reserve: 192 hours (8 days)
Case material: Rose gold or White gold
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Oval
Bezel shape: Oval
Case size: 52.20 mm x 37.80 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: White, Grand Feu enamel
Numerals: Arabic, blue
Hour markers: Blue
Hands: Titanium, blued, telescopic
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire