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Parmigiani Fleurier

Toric Rattrapante Limited to 10 pieces CHF 52 500

DETAILS

In the early days of this brand under the direction of its founder Michel Parmigiani, a famous watch and clock restorer, the brand mainly offered collector-oriented watches. They are characterized by a special aura, which we prefer to call ‘museum spirit’ and which was cultivated in the brand’s collection thanks to Michel Parmigiani’s fine esthetic sense. His background as a restorer brought a collector’s approach to the design of the brand’s watches, which played an important role in the design of the early collection.

The museum spirit is most clearly expressed in the early Torus collection, which was given the new name Toric around the year 2000. This is reflected in the design of this Toric Rattrapante, particularly in the ribbed decoration of the bezel. The multi-level architecture of the case with the bezel, caseband and caseback creates a symmetrical profile when viewed from the side, while from the front the stepped shape of the bezel is emphasized by two rings with finely crafted ribs. The wide bezel required for this design also allowed the brand to follow the trend for large watches that emerged and gained momentum in the late 1990s, as it enabled a harmonious design with calibers that had previously been developed with the aim of producing smaller watches.

Chronographs with split seconds are one of the most complex classical complications and one of the rarest. The extreme complexity of the split-seconds chronograph mechanism, with a plethora of levers, flat springs and two column wheels programming the chronographic functions, is in itself a nightmare to manufacture, finish, assemble and adjust the caliber and watch as a whole. The rarity of such a watch is largely determined by this fact, but there is still the prejudice that such a watch should not be very expensive in the perception of the buyer – after all, it is ‘only’ a chronograph. Although, in our opinion, it should be priced much higher compared to the tourbillon and the perpetual calendar, if we consider the popular complications. For this reason, split-seconds chronographs are a niche market. The narrowness of the niche, on the other hand, is a great advantage for the collector who wants to own a really great watch, especially if it is undervalued and has good prospects of rising prices.

REASONS TO BUY

In our opinion, this Toric Rattrapante Ref. C03960 Limited Edition 10 deserves special attention. Let's start with the fact that the Toric Rattrapante rarely appears on the secondary market - so it's always a noteworthy event. The split-seconds chronograph (rattrapante in French) is one of the most complex classic single complications, more complex than the tourbillon and the perpetual calendar, especially in the traditional version, which is controlled by a double column wheel. The Vénus 179 fitted in this watch is a classic caliber that is highly valued by collectors and experts. The large screw balance, the complex mesh of wheels and steel parts make its appearance irresistible and breathtaking. According to our research, the early case number indicates that this is one of the earliest Vénus 179 Toric Rattrapantes produced by Parmigiani Fleurier and the earliest Toric Rattrapante to have surfaced on the secondary market to date, making this watch even more attractive.

ABOUT THIS WATCH

According to Stepan Sarpaneva, who worked for Parmigiani Fleurier in the late 1990s, Parmigiani Fleurier has been producing split-seconds chronographs since 1997. There are several small limited editions and sometimes unique pieces. This Ref. C03960 in a limited edition of 10 pieces in white gold with a white dial appears to be the first, earliest version of the Toric Rattrapante according to the available data, as this example is marked with the early case number 2943. A further indication of the extreme attractiveness and rarity of this limited edition is the fact that it is one of two known editions without a 12-hour counter.

Apart from this watch, only a few other versions are known:

• Unique piece, Ref. C03861, case no. 4560, 40 mm, in white gold without 12-hour counter, with Roman numerals XII and VI (the Toric Rattrapante normally appears with the Arabic Breguet 12 (version with three counters) and the Arabic Breguet numerals 12 and 6 (version with two counters);

• Limited edition of 10 pieces, reference unknown, 40 mm rose gold case with black dial, 12-hour counter and white tachymeter scale;

• Limited edition of 10 pieces, Ref. C03940, 40 mm rose gold case with black dial, 12-hour counter and blue tachymeter scale (watch with case number 6593 known);- Limited edition of 10 pieces, Ref. C03960, 40 mm white gold case with salmon-colored dial, 12-hour counter and red tachymeter scale (watches with case numbers 6558, 6563, 6564 known);

• Limited edition of 10 pieces, reference unknown, 40 mm white gold case with black dial and silver counters (“Reverse Panda"), including a 12-hour counter, blue outline of the oval cartouche and blue tachymeter scale;

• Limited edition of 10 pieces, Ref. PF004138, 40 mm platinum case with salmon-colored dial, 12-hour counter and red tachymeter scale.

All of these editions, including the earliest Ref. C03960 (this watch), are equipped with the Parmigiani Fleurier caliber PF271, based on the Vénus 179, which originated from the Jaquet-Baume (now La Joux-Perret) movement factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds, which reworked and reissued the classic Vénus movements in the late 1990s. According to Stepan Sarpaneva, who was involved in the production of the Toric Rattrapante from 1997 to 1999 together with another Finnish watchmaker, Kari Woutelainen, they put a lot of work into reworking the movements to bring their technical condition and appearance up to haute horlogerie standards. A closer look at the caliber PF271 confirms this: It has a beautiful design and a high-quality finish on all parts. Overall, the caliber PF271 of this watch leaves an excellent impression. The finishing includes perlage on mainplate, Côtes de Geneve decoration on the bridges, circular brushing, solarization, straight grinding, ball-polished shafts and pins, flat-polished screw heads, the traditional chamfering of the mainplate, bridges and steel parts of the split chronograph mechanism.

Currently, Parmigiani Fleurier does not use the PF271, which is based on the Vénus 179 caliber, but the new Toric Rattrapante, which will be launched in 2024, uses a completely in-house hand-wound caliber PF361 - in our opinion, it is in no way inferior to the 'oldie but a goodie' Toric Rattrapante in terms of attractiveness.

SPECIFICATION

RefC03960
D=40mm
GlassSapfire glass
FunctionsSplit-seconds chronograph, hours, minutes, seconds
DialWhite
Case materialWhite gold
Yearc. 2000
MovementManual-winding
CaliberPF27101
Color of BraceletBlack

CONDITION REPORT

Box:Yes
Papers:Yes

DELIVERY & RETURNS

We offer worldwide delivery on all of our watches.

If ordering from Switzerland or Europe, your watch will be sent the same working week. The courier will depend on the value of the watch, with all watches delivered the next working week.

If ordering from outside Europe, delivery will depend on the choice of courier and destination.

You can cancel your order without giving any reason, within 14 days from the day the watch has been delivered to you.

WARRANTY

All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough mechanical inspections, including being ultrasonically cleaned, serviced and resealed if appropriate and tested for at least four days, to ensure they meet our highest timekeeping standards.

Our pre-owned and vintage watches, unless stated otherwise, are covered by a full or a limited twenty-four month warranty. For example, due to their age, some vintage watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when they were new.

All of our new watches are covered by the warranty from the original manufacturer. Please contact us for further information.

Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information.

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