This Toric Tourbillon belongs to the first series of watches to be released by Parmigiani Fleurier after the brand was established in 1996 by master restorer Michel Parmigiani. The watch is distinguished by its impressive finishing – from the sharp Côtes de Genève to the subtle bevelling – highlighting the skill needed to assemble and finish this high complication.
From Restoration to Creation
Michel Parmigiani is widely recognised as one of the foremost restorers of vintage clocks and watches.
In 1976, in the midst of the Quartz Crisis, he opened his own workshop, where he most notably brought back to life several pieces which now sit in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva, building his appreciation and understanding for traditional watchmaking.
Interestingly, it was in the Parmigiani workshop that Kari Voutilainen first began his own watchmaking journey, restoring vintage masterpieces for nearly 10 years, from 1990 to 1999. It was there that he learned “everything they don’t teach you at watchmaking school”, Voutilainen once commented.
Alongside restoring historic pieces, Parmigiani also began to branch out, attempting more original creations such as minute repeaters, perpetual calendars, and other pieces. In 1996, he established his own manufacture, in Fleurier. Backed by the Sandoz Family Foundation – whose collection of watches and clocks were restored by Parmigiani – he was afforded greater creative freedom through this financial backing, with the foundation also acquiring dial, movement, and case makers to allow for greater freedom and in-house production. Over the 25 years since the brand was created, there have been two distinct design periods – the Toric collection, and the more modern Kalpa and Tonda series.