IN ASSOCIATION WITH Ineichen AUCTIONEERS AND
Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants
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A very rare, charismatic and impressive rose gold tourbillon wristwatch of the Swiss haute horlogerie brand Parmigiani Fleurier, founded in 1996 by the famous watch and clock restorer Michel Parmigiani, with financial help from the Sandoz Foundation. Estimated production period: 2000–2005. Case made of 18k rose gold, diameter 40mm, 11mm thick, sapphire caseback. Open-worked dial, Parmigiani Fleurier blued steel ‘javelin’ hour and minute hands. Caliber PF280 (280.01), manually-wound, power reserve up to 72 hours. Functions – indication of hours and minutes, tourbillon at 6 o’clock. Parmigiani Fleurier dark brown leather strap, Parmigiani Fleurier Toric 18k rose gold pin buckle.
The Toric Tourbillon would be an attractive purchase for the collector wishing to obtain a very rare, charismatic and impressive tourbillon wristwatch from Parmigiani Fleurier, a world-famous haute horlogerie brand. Early in its history, the brand built a reputation for museum-class collector’s watches, and this watch seems to be made to reaffirm that status. A sophisticated tourbillon complication is complemented by high-end traditional finishing and decoration, which gives the feeling of the watch as a museum piece, are typical quality of the best Parmigiani Fleurier watches. Undoubtedly, this is one of the finest pages in the history of the brand.
Currently, we are seeing a significant increase in the interest of collectors in watches created by independent watchmakers and small creative brands. For many such brands, including Parmigiani Fleurier, the early period of their activity should be recognised as especially interesting from the point of view of collecting. As a rule, during this period the founders of a brand implement their own concepts, thought out in advance and often unique. Their subsequent activities show an increase in the importance of such factors as customer requests, which, though inevitable, often leads to a significant correction of the original concept, to the point of completely abandoning it. In the early days of Parmigiani Fleurier, this brand, led by its founder Michel Parmigiani, predominantly offered collectible watches. They were characterised by a special aura, which we prefer to call ‘museum spirit’, cultivated in the collection thanks to the efforts of company founder Michel Parmigiani. His restorer’s background predetermined a collector’s approach to the design of the brand’s watches, which played a significant role in the formation of the early collection.
A sophisticated tourbillon complication is complemented by high-end traditional finishing and decoration, which gives the feeling of the watch as a museum piece, are typical quality of the best Parmigiani Fleurier watches.
The museum spirit is most clearly expressed in the inaugural Torus collection, which around the year 2000 received the new name Toric. The museum spirit inherent in the early Torus/Toric models surfaces in the design of this watch most notably in the finish of the bezel and rim of the caseback. It is very important to note the high-class execution of the caseback, which from the very beginning was a reflection and confirmation of the high positioning of the Parmigiani Fleurier collection. The multi-tiered architecture of the bezel and rim of the caseback creates a symmetrical case profile when viewed from the side, while when viewed from the front, the bezel’s stepped shape is emphasised by two rings with finely made ribbing. In addition, the wide bezel required in this design let the brand follow the trend of large watches that emerged and gained momentum in the late 1990s as it allowed for a harmonious design using calibers previously developed with the aim of producing smaller watches.
The Toric Tourbillon was released around 2000. The earliest examples we have found are marked with the case number 41xx, which corresponds to this period. It was the first tourbillon wristwatch produced by the young brand, founded only four years earlier. Michel Parmigiani’s concept of ‘museum spirit’ watches seems to have been embodied in this model, production of which was limited only by the brand’s capacity. It looks like a special exhibition piece with an open-worked dial, designed to showcase the tourbillon at its best. The Toric Tourbillon was produced only in rose gold or platinum, while jewellery models with baguette diamonds are very rare – sometimes the brand produced unique pieces from private orders with an engraved caliber on the dial side.
Like many other early models in the brand’s collection, the Toric Tourbillon was equipped with a movement from a third-party supplier. In this case it was Girard-Perregaux with its famous ‘three bridges’ GP9900 caliber. The Parmigiani Fleurier used the movement-blanks, without being transformed into the iconic three gold bridge design, so it’s hard to see the Girard-Perregaux origins in the Toric Tourbillon without a hint. A feature of the caliber GP9900, inherited by the caliber PF280, is the reversible setting of the hands, since in the classic arrangement the hands would have been on the back of the movement. For this reason, the hour hand is set above the minute hand, and not vice versa as is observed in most watches.
The PF280 caliber benefits a lot from this arrangement. It allows for an incredibly attractive design with a large barrel bridge at the top and good space for the tourbillon at the bottom. Polished chamfers separate these two zones with an ornate curved line. The layout is perfectly symmetrical, accentuated by the vertical côtes de Genève finish. The exquisite polishing of the tourbillon parts and tourbillon bridge, and the beautiful large jewel in the gold chaton of the tourbillon bridge, are reflected symmetrically in the upper part of the dial, where the shaft of the winding barrel is set in a large jewel in the gold chaton, fixed with three screws. This watch looks like a real museum piece and is sure to become an adornment of any prominent watch collection.
|Case||Rose gold 18k 750/1000 case with a double coin edged bezel, crown with a blue cabochon at 3 o'clock & a sapphire caseback|
|Strap||Brown Alligator strap signt "Parmigiani Fleurier" 18k rose gold pin buckle|
|Dial||Rhodium plated geneva striped dial with a open worked tourbillon at 6 o'clock, blued Parmigiani Fleurier syle hands|
|Movement||Rhodium plated, hand wound, geneva striped & perlaged movement with a tourbillon complication|
|Case:||Very good, only small signs of wear|
|Strap:||Very good, small signs of wear|
|Movement:||Very good, all functions working properly.|
|Amplitude (Dial on top/Lift angle 52):||Approx 310°|
|Accuracy (Dial on top):||Approx +4 sec/day|
|Extract from archives:||Yes|
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