Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde Slate was launched at SIHH 2019. It is the third version of the 2017’s GPHG winner. So a year ago, plus or minus a few days, I had the pleasure to have it in my hands. This multi complications timepiece stand out in elegance and exceptional decorations and finishes: case, dial and movement. There is no detail left untouched by beauty.
Review Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde Slate
Parmigiani Fleurier presents its Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde Slate as the ultimate traveller’s timepiece. Now, you don’t need to be an avid traveller to enjoy this piece, but it offers the great advantage of the second time zone. If you have friends, relatives or business partners on the other side of the globe, this piece comes handy. Especially since it permits half-hour or quarter-hour difference to be paired with full hour times set from the Greenwich Meridian. That is not an easy detail to implement. At launch, Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde won the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2017, in the “TRAVEL TIME” category. Please enjoy the brand’s video below (courtesy of Parmigiani Fleurier).
The inspiration for the Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde Slate comes from a restored two-timezones pocket watch. The timepiece used two independent movements inside. But for Michel Parmigiani, casing two movements was not a solution. So he built a single calibre that controls two time zones, each accurate to the nearest minute.
A subtle but decorated case
Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde Slate comes in an 18k rose gold case measuring 42.8 mm. The case size is relatively small for the series of complication presented. The case is a balanced combination of elegance and voluptuous curves.
The 3 parts construction presents a polished finish. The bezel received an extra coin edge pattern. The fluted detail not only increases the case’s beauty but makes a great introduction of the complex dial.
The watch is fitted with two crowns having Ø 5.5 mm (the 2 o’clock) and respectively Ø 6 mm (at 4 o’clock) in diameter. The 4 o’clock crown is used to wind the movement and to set the date and the local time (central hands). Just like a regular timepiece. The 2 o’clock crown is used only to set the second time zone.
The case back reveals the most part of the Calibre PF317, respectively, the circular area with the rotor weight.
Off-centre time display
Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde Slate presents a gorgeous and complicated dial. A first look gets the viewer confused: local time in centre, a second time zone hour at 12 o’clock, small seconds, retrograde date, local time Day/Night indicator and a second timezone Day/Night indicator.
The slate dial is lovely adorned with a concentric guilloché pattern. The decoration is interrupted by the various indications present on the dial.
The main (local) time display uses light, open-worked, javelin hands with generous luminescent adorned tips. As hour indexes, Parmigiani Fleurier uses rose gold gilded appliques. The minutes are displayed using a printed register.
The second timezone (above) display of the Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde Slate is placed on the top position, at 12 o’clock, in a matt sub-dial. Two baton hands hoover over a printed register with even Arabic numerals. The day/night indication bites a piece from the second time zone dial.
On the lower side of the dial, the retrograde date makes a month-long, 240° journey from 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock. At 6 o’clock, another sub-dial shows the running second and the day/night momentum of the local time zone.
Calibre PF317 – keep the right two times on your wrist
As a Parmigiani Fleurier watch, the Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde Slate is nothing less than fabulous when it comes to the beauty of the movement. Fitted with Calibre PF317, the watch features some cool horological gimmicks: instant and extremely fast retrograde date, stop-seconds for the time set, two timezones independently set and two day/night indications.
The energy-hungry complications are fed from the double series-mounted barrel. In this way, the isochronism and rate regularity are improved. The 4Hz movement offers a good 50 hours power reserve. More than enough for an automatic piece.
Calibre PF317 received a lot of attention by decoration. The watchmaker’s side received a Côtes de Genève finish and the Parmigiani Fleurier gilded logo. The visible side of the movement received a predominant perlage (circular graining). The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève and bevelled bridges.
The 22k gold rotor received a beautiful guilloché. The Parmigiani Fleurier logo is displayed in an oval medallion.
Two timezones, one wristwatch
The Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde Slate is an extraordinary piece: visually and technically. Exceptional executed finishes adorn the ingenious complications. Even if you don’t need the second time zone per se, you can enjoy this piece only for its beauty.
The weight of gold can be easily felt at this size. But it imposes no issue for a wrist acquainted with daily watch wear. Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde Slate feels good on the wrist. It tends to attract the view of fellow collectors. I have encountered it in the wild and the owner got a bit uncomfortable with my large grin and obsessive look (if you are asking yourself: yes, I am one of those wrist perverts looking to the wrist of people more than… usual/normal). It does look good, regardless if at yours or another’s wrist.
Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde Slate Technical Specifications and Price
- Winding: Self-winding
- Power reserve: 50 hours
- Frequency: 4 Hz – 28,800 Vib/h
- Dimensions: 15 ¾”’ – Ø 35.6 mm
- Thickness: 5.45 mm
- Components: 316
- Jewels: 28
- Barrel(s): 2 series-coupled barrels
- Decoration: “Côtes de Genève” decoration, bevelled bridges
- Hours, Minutes
- Small seconds
- Retrograde date
- Second timezone
- Shape: Round, in 3 sections
- Dimensions: Ø 42.8 mm
- Material: 18 ct rose gold
- Finish: Polished
- Water resistance: 30 m
- Case-back: Sapphire
- Crystal: Anti-reflective sapphire
- Crown: Ø 5.5 mm & Ø 6 mm
- Engraving on case-back: Individual number
- Finish: “Rice-grain” guilloché
- Colour: Slate
- Indices: Rose gold gilded
- Hands: Javelin-shaped
- Brand: Hermès
- Material: Alligator
- Colour: Tan
- Type: Folding buckle
- Material: 18 ct rose gold
- Recommended retail price: € 31’000.- (tax included)