Pre SIHH 2019: Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Capitole Rose Gold Brown8 January 2019
The Edouard and Maurice Sandoz Foundation collection is a resource showcasing the genius of watchmaking’s “old masters”. Parmigiani Fleurierwanted to pay tribute to this unique collection of horological works of art by recreating some of these mechanical wonders in its own manufacture. The “unique piece” Toric Capitole Rose Gold Brown, with its sector display and minute repeater. The watch takes its name from the Capitolium in Rome the geometrically spiralling floor tiles of which are reproduced in the pattern of the dial.
“The decoration is so captivating because it is based on the Golden Ratio. Within it, you see Fibonacci’s spirals, reproducing a harmony that is everywhere in nature.“
This is how Michel Parmigiani describes the rose gold dial of the new Toric Capitole. It is hand engraved by a master artisan engraver who has left his lasting mark on the piece. The concentric pattern of the decoration evokes the arrangement of the scales on a pine cone – one of the innumerable examples of the Golden Ratio seen in the natural world.
The captivating dance of the planetary gears continues above the engraved decoration. Parmigiani Fleurier wanted to showcase the sector time display complication, instead of concealing it behind a bezel that would only reveal one numeral at a time.
Inspired by the pocket watch made by Perrin Frères, dating from the early 19th Century, and now owned by the Foundation, the Toric Capitole reprises the unusual sector time display, translating it to a movement made by the Parmigiani Fleurier manufacture. The PF321 calibre features a module dedicated to the sector time display. This module, directly meshed with the hour wheel, incorporates a rotary system comprising three planetary gears with four arms, each end of which bears a numeral to indicate the hour (1 to 12). The time is displayed in a semi-circle on the upper half of the bezel, on a dial comprising 60 minute indexes. The set of discs is driven via a highly complex cam system.
The timepiece’s open case-back reveals the PF321 hand-wound mechanical movement and its minute repeater. Its gongs are known as “cathedral” gongs, a watchmaking term which means they form two sets around the case. This amplifies the acoustic quality compared with a single set, but makes the watchmaker’s work on the housing considerably more complex. The 45mm rose gold case has been forged to ensure the minute repeater chime acoustics are perfect, with the sound wave oscillating at the optimum frequencies inside the case.