SIHH 2014: Parmigiani Toric Résonance 3

Toric Résonance 3

It is not the first time Parmigiani Fleurier has combined a large date with a minute repeater. However, the watchmaker has never before offered instantaneous rotation of such a colossal date on this calibre. With numerals of an unprecedented size, it may be more accurate to say that this astonishing piece features an "oversized date" rather than a "large date".

Aside from the aesthetic considerations and the need for immediate readability, the impetus behind the project came from a watchmaking challenge. The discs on the date mechanism are the same size as the dial and, despite being cut to an incredible fineness, they provide immense inertia – a very rare thing in watchmaking. This means they require huge amounts of energy to activate them and even more to stop them dead following the instantaneous jump, without them rebounding under the effect of the forces exerted.

Every night at midnight, the Toric's white gold case plays host to an extraordinary little feat based on a double cam system. The first cam accumulates energy through continuous friction over time. This arms the large lever continuously, releasing it every 24 hours onto a 31-tooth wheel. The second cam plays the crucial role of a brake, by controlling a spring-mounted lever. This device keeps the large date discs permanently immobile, releasing them for just a fraction of a second every 24 hours to allow the instantaneous jump.

The piece has been designed to draw all attention to the huge date. The watchword is simplicity. Simplicity and classicism in unprecedented proportions on the Toric case, with an extended middle for a flatter, more streamlined look. Simplicity is also the theme on the dial, which features an exceptionally pure hand-crafted guilloché decoration that serves to further enhance the depth of the date and its eye-shaped window.

The quest for harmony was meticulous in the extreme, right down to the curves of the Parmigiani Fleurier logo, which have been redesigned to preserve the delicate balance of the whole. Indeed, the use of unusual dimensions means the observer's eye is more easily disturbed – both through being unaccustomed and also due to the magnification of faults – and printed letters that look beautiful at 2 millimetres would not necessarily appear equally so at four times the size. Each numeral on the date discs is unique. The three numerals common to the tens and units are not interchangeable, and each printed numeral has been designed to produce a harmonious marriage in each of the month's date configurations.

The finishing work on this piece, which is produced entirely in the Parmigiani Fleurier workshops, is known as "absolute", in accordance with its prestigious character. The decoration on the movement, even where it is hidden from view, is the fruit of countless hours of dedicated work.

The Toric Résonance 3 represents a modern take on the large date concept: The desire to combine a complex mechanism with incredibly simple surface operation (a simple press of the crown), and the challenge of maximising the size of the date within the mechanical and aesthetic constraints imposed.

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