Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Qualité Fleurier (and what this quality label stands for)

When a simple time-and-date watch can become a piece of haute-horlogerie.

| By Xavier Markl | 5 min read |
Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Qualite Fleurier

Designed back in 1996 by Michel Parmigiani, the Toric made a comeback a few months ago with the Toric Chronometer. Displaying time and date only, it is much more than a traditional three-hander. And this year it has been fitted with a tasteful guilloché dial and has been submitted – with success – to the demanding Qualité Fleurier criteria. A good reason to go hands-on with this superbly crafted dress watch.

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Qualite Fleurier

The Parmigiani Toric Qualité Fleurier (QF) bears the signature features of the collection. Its case features a stepped bezel that alternates gadroons and knurling, a time-consuming artisanal technique that consists in creating notches in the metal with a wheel leaving its imprint. Fashioned out of pink or white gold, it measures 40.8mm in diameter. With its reasonable 9.5mm thickness, it sits snugly on the wrist thanks to the softly curved lugs.

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At the heart of the Parmigiani Toric Qualité Fleurier is the automatic calibre PF331-QF. This 11’’’ ½ movement operates at 28,800 vibrations per hour. Its two barrels are coupled in series and can store up to 55 hours of power reserve. As always with Parmigiani Fleurier and in line with the Qualité Fleurier criteria, it is superbly finished. The bridges are finely bevelled and decorated with Geneva stripes. The engraved solid rotor is emblazoned with the PF initials. Another requirement of the quality label, its precision is certified by the COSC (more info below). Comprising 220 parts, it is visible through the sapphire caseback.

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Qualite Fleurier

The Toric QF is presented with a superb ‘Grain de Riz’ (rice grain) hand-guilloché dial creating a sense of depth with superb reflections. It is enhanced with elegant javelin hands and gold applied numerals. The date is shown through a large aperture at 6 o’clock, just below the Qualité Fleurier caption. The Parmigiani Toric Qualité Fleurier is worn on a superb Hermès alligator strap with pin buckle.

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Qualite Fleurier

Designing a fine dress watch is not an easy task. Fine workmanship, meticulous attention to detail and the mastery of traditional crafts are evident with the Parmigiani Toric Qualité Fleurier. The watch is sophisticated yet understated and elegant. Its new hand-guilloché dial is simply exquisite. Last but not least, the Qualité Fleurier stamp is a meaningful accolade (see below). Price is set at CHF 24,500 in white or pink gold.

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Qualite Fleurier

The Qualité Fleurier Certification

There is no single definition of quality. Among the various criteria that can be considered, some are related to the watch design while others are directly connected to the performances of each piece produced. Naturally, quality starts with a good design, from the beginning of product development, and shall be then controlled throughout the entire production. The interest of the Qualité Fleurier Certification is that it encompasses comprehensive criteria and stages of testing to guarantee a technical conception, a high-quality finishing and a control of the precision and robustness of each watch at the same time

The label was created in the early 2000s by the three high-end Fleurier manufacturers (Parmigiani Fleurier, Chopard and Bovet). Back then, the holistic character was truly innovative, and still today, this certification is one of the most rigorous in the watch industry.

Origin – 100% Swiss made

In a few words, a watch is considered ‘Swiss Made’ if its movement is Swiss, cased up in Switzerland and if the Swiss components account for at least 60% of its value. This is a very minimum standard – to say the least.

With the Qualité Fleurier, the watch (more precisely the watch head without the bracelet and buckle) must be 100% Swiss made. The parts and the material itself must be processed in Switzerland with the exception of rolling, drawing, and wire drawing. In short, all components must be ‘indigenous’ with the exception of the hairspring that must be finished in Switzerland but whose metal can be worked into a spring abroad.

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Qualite Fleurier

Technical and aesthetic criteria

The movement of Qualité Fleurier watches must have an exclusive finish. The general principles include the quality of the material, the decoration and the manufacturing method. The visible parts of the plate and bridges and the main recesses must be decorated. The functional zones of the steel parts must be polished. No burrs must be visible. The shaped parts must be bevelled, polished, and when technically possible, have lines drawn out with file strokes.

Chronofiable test

Carried out by the Laboratoire Dubois, the Chronofiable test is widely used across the industry to approve the overall design and quality of watches. It focuses on durability and reliability, simulating several months of wear, testing the reactions to magnetic fields and water-resistance. Its testing procedures damage watches, they cannot be carried out on the whole production.

Chronofiable tests are carried out by Laboratoire Dubois. Ageing cycles involve indirect shocks as well as temperature and humidity variations

Cosc-certified precision

All Qualité Fleurier watches must have successfully passed the battery of test imposed by the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres). The basic level of precision to be reached is an accuracy within -3 and +6 seconds per day over a period of 16 days (in a range of functioning positions and at varying temperatures).

Fleury test

All Qualité Fleurier watches undergo a test on a Fleury test simulator. The 24-hour procedure recreates movements of a wearer and tests the watch precision in this context. The watch’s precision is controlled with tolerances of between 0 and +5 seconds per day.

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2 responses

  1. Nice watch. I was wondering what ‘Qualite Fleurier’ meant; thanks for that. Shame for Parmigiani that the hairspring is the exception to the rule, as I think they make their own at their Vaucher movement house.

    Saw that Prince Charles wore a gold Toric to the royal wedding, so that should give Parmigiani some more exposure. They deserve it.

  2. I have to say, I am not convinced. This “quality” label includes 24 hours of testing? That does not fill me with confidence. And as for the COSC definition of superlative chronometer, I think that is getting really old. Only one of my mechanical watches performs worse. I know, I know, it is about more than the combined and/or self-cancelling inadequacies in relation to the individual wearing characteristics of a user, but still.
    Slapping the Fleurier Qualite on the dial is crass.
    All this smacks very much of trying too hard in the marketing department due to either
    1. A lack of sales/return on investment/unrealistic investor return projections
    2. A lack of taste on the part of the company.
    3. A target market of Americans. (which I very much suspect with the “Parmigiani” appelation.)
    It is a real pity, since there seems to be real panache and precision going on here.

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