The Edouard and Maurice Sandoz Foundation collection is a resource showcasing the genius of watchmaking’s “old masters”. Parmigiani Fleurier wanted 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 Parmigiani Toric Capitole Rose Gold Brown, with its sector display and minute repeater, is one of these exceptional timepieces. The watch takes its name from the Capitolium in Rome – the religious and political heart of Ancient Rome – the geometrically spiralling floor tiles of which are reproduced in the pattern of the dial.
THE HAND-ENGRAVED 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.
SECTOR TIME INDICATOR
Inspired by the pocket watch made by Perrin Frères (Neuchâtel) 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 MINUTE REPEATER
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 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.
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 centre ensuring its independence, the brand has both full control over the production process and unique creative freedom. For twenty years, the Parmigiani Fleurier signature has resided within timepieces that command the utmost respect, in harmony with watchmaking traditions. They are the labour 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.
- Winding: Manual
- Power reserve: 40 hours
- Frequency: 2.5 Hz – 18,000 Vib/h
- Dimensions: 15 ”’ – Ø 34 mm
- Thickness: 8.5 mm
- Components: 386
- Jewels: 33
- Decoration: “Côtes de Genève” decoration, bevelled bridges
- Hours, Minutes
- Passing hours
- Sector time display
- Material: Rose gold
- Decoration: Concentric pattern created by a master artisan engraver
- Finish: ‘Railway’ minute track applied by hand
- Hands: Brown planetary discs with white inscription
- Shape: Round
- Dimensions: Ø 45 mm
- Thickness: 12.1 mm
- Material: 18 ct rose gold
- Finish: Polished
- Crown: Ø 7 mm
- Case-back: Sapphire
- Engraving on case-back: “MODELE UNIQUE” and “REPETITION MINUTES”
- Water resistance: 30 m
- Crystal: Anti-reflective sapphire
- Material: Alligator
- Colour: Tan
- Brand: Hermès
- Type: Ardillon
- Material: Rose gold