At SIHH 2017, Parmigiani round case replica watches released an interesting and subtle “new” watch with the Toric Chronometre. It is actually a modernized interpretation of the first watch that Michel Parmigiani designed in 1996. The 2017 Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronometre is a bit larger, but in many ways is said to be a very faithful manifestation of Mr. Parmigiani’s original vision from the mid-1990s. Don’t forget that the brand began as a function of Michel’s vision, combined with the monetary support of his “patron,” the Sandoz family.
Given the penchant for whimsy and flair that I’ve come to appreciate from Parmigiani, the Toric Chronometre is a resolutely sober watch. It does very much feel like a product of the 1990s. By that, I mean a very sensible and to-the-point dial mixed with some light aesthetic flair, as well as the style of most of the work in the case. In many instances, this is a formula for a rather nice watch. These days, however, where “brand identification” is very important, this is not always what a consumer is looking for.
Brand identification, as I refer to it here, is the notion that you can recognize the company that made a product just by seeing the shape or design of that product. Many watchmakers either explicitly or implicitly ask themselves whether or not they can recognize their own products when seeing them on someone’s wrist from across the room. If the answer is “yes,” then a brand has achieved a high degree of brand identification, if the answer is no, then often times brands are left with products that do not have “brand” appeal. Though this is really a larger topic for another conversation.
With the distinctive look of most Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronometre fake timepieces, I asked myself how much the 2017 Parmigiani Toric Chronometre looks like a Parmgiani of today. The case does, for sure, though it needs a close inspection to identify. The dial is a qualified “yes,” since it uses brand elements such as fonts and other aesthetic touches, but is at the end of the day a rather straightforward time+date dial with Arabic hour numerals. That being said, the legibility is very good.
Mr. Parmigiani himself is typically found speaking about architecture – a great passion of his. The Parmigiani Toric Chronometre (like many Parmigiani watches) is, among other things, inspired by ancient Greek architecture. The case itself is remarkably complicated in form, even though it looks simple from a distance. The bezel, case middle, and lugs are each their own distinct visual elements and have been rather harmoniously blended together. It is actually among the nicer “simple” round-case watches out there. I have to say that while Parmigiani’s dial design appeal is a bit of a mixed bag, the brand’s cases are mostly very appealing to me.
At 40.8mm wide Parmigiani replica watches for sale (and 9.5mm thick), the Parmigiani Toric Chronometre wears comfortably and modestly as a modern dress-style watch. As stated, the intricate details of the case such as the knurled bezel and side profile need a closer inspection to be fully appreciated. I think it serves as a very nice frame for the functional dial.