Monochrome Watches
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The Return of the Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Collection

Michel Parmigiani's first watch is revisited in tune with the brand's recent aesthetic mandates of understatement and sophistication.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 6 min read |

Since Guido Terreni was appointed CEO of Parmigiani, the brand has focused exclusively on developing the Tonda PF collection. While it is a beautiful, well-consolidated and dapper luxury sports collection, many of the brand’s beloved models were put on hold or phased out of production. The good news for admirers of Michel Parmigiani’s exquisite portfolio watches is that his foundation watch, the Toric, is being revived. Two models, the Toric Petite Seconde 40mm and the Toric Chronographe Rattrapante 42mm, celebrate the revival of this classic, but the watch has undergone Terreni’s vision of sartorial refinement. This means that in the future, the Toric will be positioned as the brand’s dress watch, and will only be available in precious platinum or gold cases, with manual-winding gold movements, gold dials, gold hands and indices. 

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Memory Time
Michel Parmigiani’s first “Parmigiani Fleurier”, the Toric Memory Time (Credits: Antiquorum)

Master watchmaker and restorer Michel Parmigiani unveiled his first watch in 1996 for the fledgeling Parmigiani Fleurier brand. Christened the Toric, the beautifully proportioned dress watch was packed with references to classical architecture and designed using the Golden Ratio (also known as Phi, in honour of the Greek sculptor Phidias, who applied this ratio to create his sculptures). With its knurling on the bezel, the Toric evoked the fluted Doric columns of Ancient Greece. Although it was revisited over the years, the innate elegance and refinement of the Toric never waned. One of the last Toric models released was in 2020 to celebrate Michel Parmigiani’s 70th birthday.

Pre-SIHH 2019 - Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronometre Slate Dial
A recent example of a PF Toric watch

As ambassadors of the new collection, the Toric Petite Seconde and Toric Chronographe Rattrapante bear the insignia knurled bezel of the original Toric but mark a new chapter in the watch’s history. The cases have been modernised, obliterating protrusions or aggressive angles to create a fluid, soft profile extending to the strap.

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The minimalist aesthetics governing the dial mark a clear rupture with earlier Toric models. Gone are the Arabic numerals, the javelin hands and the guilloché decoration of former Toric watches, replaced, respectively, with tiny rose or white gold applied indices, gold delta-shaped hands and grained gold dials. In fact, if it weren’t for the more prominent knurling on the bezel and the straight lugs on a more traditional case, you might be forgiven for confusing the minimalist dial of the Toric with a Tonda PF model. The new oval PF cartouche is also incorporated on the dial at noon.

The gold dials are grained by hand to produce the refined matte texture. The graining is achieved using a special mixture of cream of tartar, crushed sea salt and silver mixed with water to create a paste. After applying the paste, the dial is polished with special brushes to create a grained surface that disperses the light. Another characteristic of the new Toric dials is that they are not flat but bevelled, making the edges dip slightly to rest against the inner face of the case.

The Toric Petite Seconde 40mm

Available in two iterations – one with a sandy gold dial and the second with a soft almond-green gold dial – the Parmigiani Toric Small Seconds has a 40.6mm polished rose gold or platinum case with a slim height of just 8.8mm and a relatively large 6mm crown. Fitted with anti-reflective sapphire crystals front and back, the watch is water-resistant to 50 metres. Obviously, the identity card of the new Toric is the signature knurling on the bezel.

Discretion is the operative word here, and the dials are stripped of any superfluous indications. A narrow chapter ring on the periphery houses the small hand-applied gold indices, while the central area of the dial features the oval cartouche at noon counterbalanced by the recessed small seconds counter at 6 o’clock with four discreet applied markers and a slim hand.

Far more demonstrative, the PF780 manual-winding manufacture movement is protected by wide 18k rose gold bridges, which reveal the two barrels and the regulating organ. The gold bridges are decorated with Côtes de Fleurier and hand-bevelled edges alternating with the sandblasted gold plate. With a thickness of just 3.15mm, the movement beats at 28,800vph and delivers a 60-hour power reserve.

The rose gold Toric Petite Seconde is paired with a green hand-stitched alligator leather strap with a rose gold pin buckle and retails for CHF 49,500; the platinum version comes with a beige alligator strap with a platinum pin buckle and retails for CHF 56,500.

Quick facts: 40.6mm diameter x 8.8mm thickness – polished 18k rose gold or platinum, knurled bezel – 50m water-resistance – gold hand-grained dial, bevelled –  gold hands and applied indices – small seconds at 6 o’clock – calibre PF780 – in-house, manual-winding – rose gold bridges and base plate – 28.4mm x 3.15mm – 157 components, 27 jewels – 28,800vph – 60h power reserve – hand-stitched alligator strap with rose gold or platinum pin buckle – ref. PFC940-2010001-300181 rose gold, CHF 49,500 – ref. PFC940-2010004-300181 platinum, CHF 56,500

The Toric Chronographe Rattrapante 42mm

In 2016, to coincide with Parmigiani Fleurier’s 20th anniversary, the brand released its first integrated chronograph movement (calibre PF361) with a split-seconds function. Hailed as a remarkably sophisticated double column-wheel chronograph, the main plate and bridges were crafted in solid rose gold. Following its debut onboard the Tonda Chronor, the celebrated movement emigrated to the Tonda PF collection in 2021, appearing in a heavyweight platinum case.

For the launch of the new Toric collection, Parmigiani is releasing a 30-piece edition of the Toric Chronographe Rattrapante. Powered by the same PF361 split-second movement, the 18k rose gold case of the new Toric family flaunts its signature knurled bezel. With a 42.5mm diameter and 14.4mm thickness, the polished case is protected on both sides by anti-reflective sapphire crystals and is water-resistant to 50 metres. Instead of the teardrop-shaped pushers of the Tonda PF models, the Toric has round pushers.

Similar to the Toric Small Seconds, the dial is grained and bevelled but has a warm coffee colour with applied rose gold indices and rose gold hour and minute hands. Once again, understatement is at work on the dial. The three sub-dials – 30-minute elapsed times at 3, running seconds at 6, and 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock – feature the same coffee colour as the dial and have a thin gold circular frame. To distinguish the functions, the central chronograph hand and the hands of the chronograph counters are made of steel and gold-plated. In contrast, the central rattrapante hand is rhodium-plated.

Compared to the discretion of the dial, the movement is a lavish mechanical display protected by rose gold bridges. The intricate web of curved openworked gold bridges emanates from the centre of the balance wheel. The finishings are top-tier: the bridges display satin-finished surfaces and hand-bevelled and polished edges; the sinks and screw heads are polished; the mainplate is decorated with a frosted finish, and the steel parts are finished with straight graining. Beating at a high frequency of 5Hz, the movement delivers 65 hours of power reserve and reveals the twin column wheels.

The Toric Split Seconds Chronograph comes with a brown hand-stitched alligator strap and a rose gold pin buckle. It is a limited edition of 30 pieces and retails for CHF 135,000.

Quick facts: 42.5mm diameter x 14.4mm thickness – polished 18k rose gold, knurled bezel – round chronograph pushers – 50m water-resistance – gold hand-grained coffee-coloured dial – applied gold indices – rose gold hour and minute hands – 3 sub-dials – calibre PF361 – in-house, manual-winding integrated split-seconds chronograph with 2 column wheels – rose gold openworked bridges – 254 components, 35 jewels – 30.6mm x 7.35mm – 36,000vph – 65h power reserve – brown hand-stitched alligator strap with rose gold pin buckle – ref. PFH951-2010001-300181 – CHF 135,000

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