October 16, 2021: A one-of-a-kind expression of a traveler's watch, the Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Hemispheres Retrograde Steel Blue is a statement of rarity and taste. The blue guilloché dial and unique complication defy time and shed the background noise of the world. Modern, practical and sophisticated, it speaks to those who understand what refinement means, and who expect more from a dual time zone watch.
As Parmigiani Fleurier celebrates the 25th anniversary of its creation, a new interpretation of the brand's dual time zone watch comes to life. The Toric Hemispheres Retrograde Steel Blue features a 42.8 mm steel case, with the Toric's collection signature hand-knurled bezel and a deep blue guilloché dial. Its motif is called “pomme de pin”, or “pinecone”, a testament to Parmigiani Fleurier's attachment to the natural laws of beauty.
The guilloché pattern has been etched into the metal by a rose-engine, which is a hand-operated machine dedicated to dial engraving. Its in-house caliber features an asymmetrical retrograde date and a second time zone with fully independent hours and minutes, making it the perfect elegant traveler's watch.
In the Details
The Toric Hemispheres Retrograde Steel Blue is the sum of its details. The various levels of the Toric's steel case create a gentle stepped slope along polished layers. The pinecone guilloché radiates along complex lines, captures the light and highlights the deep blue dial shade. The new, thinly openworked hour and minute hands accentuate their javelin shape.
The slight difference in size between the crowns. The grain d'orge guilloché on the 22ct solid gold rotor. The exquisite finishings, beveling and graining on the PF317 movement. This timepiece is a testament to the ingenuity, elegance and sense of contemporary watchmaking of Parmigiani Fleurier.
True to the fundamentals of design composed by founder Michel Parmigiani and the inspiration he draws from the Golden Ratio, the Toric collection is rooted in the classical canons of beauty as defined by classical Greek culture. The knurling on its bezel, applied by cold-working steel into a grooved pattern, stems from the flanks of Doric columns. The outline of its lugs is based on the ratios provided by the Fibonacci sequence, which drives the growth and shape of living creatures. The guilloché patterns on the dial and rotor originate in Parmigiani Fleurier's core imagery, based on the observation of nature.
The dial's layout follows the fundamental laws of symmetry, up to a point. Upon closer examination, it is organized along slightly off-centered lines. Its crowns, its movement, its date, and the size of its subdials all rely on a non-classical blueprint. And so does the way it accomplishes its secondary function: the display of a second time zone.
In the Shapes
The size, angles and position of its crowns give it away: the Toric Hemispheres Retrograde Steel Blue rests on an unconventional positioning of the movement. It is comprised of a base movement, which keeps and tells time with central hands, and provides power to a complication module. The latter is larger and encloses the base movement in an off-centered position.
This explains the idiosyncratic angle of the main, larger crown, located at 3:30. The second, slightly smaller crown at 2 o'clock, drives the second time zone module, and is also placed at an unusual angle. The Toric Hemispheres Retrograde Steel Blue case is indeed an exercise in asymmetry. It may seem round from above, but its flanks are steeped, narrower near the arm and wider near the bezel. This makes the 42.8 mm polished steel case a better, more comfortable fit on the wrist.
The self-winding Caliber PF317 features two understated yet highly sophisticated complications. One is its retrograde date display. Instead of accomplishing one complete circle after another, it travels from 1 to 31 along a 240 degrees arc, then leaps backwards to restart its course. This jump is instantaneous and reflects the level of accomplished watchmaking that went into developing this function. The other rare feature of Caliber PF317 is the specifics of its second time zone.
Most GMT timepieces have two different hour hands and one single minute hand. Some go as far as displaying distant hours and minutes in a separate subdial for better readability but fail to give the minute hand real independence. The Toric Hemispheres Retrograde features hour and minute hands located in a subdial at 12 o'clock, which are entirely autonomous from the central, main time display. This allows the accurate display of time zones such as Iran (UTC + 3:30), the UTC + 8:45 and UTC + 10:30 areas of Australia, but mostly that of India and its 1.3 billion inhabitants, all of which live on the UTC + 5:30 time zone. Because contemporary elegance is also about inclusion, and Parmigiani Fleurier watchmaking is about being thorough.
TORIC HEMISPHERES RETROGRADE STEEL BLUE
Product Technical Specifications
RSP: 20,000 CHF
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, retrograde date, day/night, second time zone
PF317 – AUTOMATIC WINDING MANUFACTURE MOVEMENT WITH SECOND TIME ZONE
Power reserve: 50 hours
Frequency: 28,8600 Vph (4 Hz)
No. of components: 316
Diameter: 35.6 mm
Thickness: 5.4 mm
Decoration: Côtes de Genève, beveled bridges
Oscillating weight: 22ct solid gold – Grain d’Orge guilloché
Polished stainless steel
Diameter: 42.8 mm
Thickness: 11.9 mm
Crown: Ø 5.5 mm & 6 mm
Glass: anti-reflective sapphire
Case back: sapphire glass
Engraving on case back: serial number & “HEMISPHERES RETROGRADE”
Water resistance: 30 m
Finishing: Pomme de Pin guilloché
Indices: hand-applied rhodium-plated appliqués, 18ct gold counter appliqué at 12 o’clock
Javelin-shaped with luminescent coating
Hermès Indigo Blue alligator strap
Closure: stainless steel folding buckle
Taking its name from its founder, watchmaker and restorer Michel Parmigiani, the fine watchmaking brand was founded in 1996 in Fleurier, in the Swiss valley of Val-de-Travers. With its own watchmaking center ensuring its independence, the brand has both full control over the production process and unique creative freedom. For over twenty years, the Parmigiani Fleurier signature has resided within timepieces that command the utmost respect, in harmony with watchmaking traditions. They are the labor of a lifetime – that of Michel Parmigiani, the talented individuals who assist him, and the special relationship between the Manufacture and the masterpieces of the past, enabling it to invent a bold future.