The Toric Hémisphères Retrograde now features a second time zone

Michel Parmigiani is a master of restoring watches. He worked for several of the finest Swiss watchmakers through the Seventies and Eighties on one-off restoration jobs of their wristwatches, clocks and automatons. In 1996, he set up an eponymous company, Parmigiani Fleurier, allowing him to create and manufacture watches, rather than just restore them.

Parmigiani Fleurier has been on a quest ever since to vertically integrate its manufacturing process – in non-watch-geek speak, that means it aimed to gradually acquire the know-how and capacity to manufacture all the components required to produce these watches in-house rather than rely on external suppliers.

The result is that Parmigiani can claim a high degree of control over the quality of its watch manufacturing process. An example of watches executed at this level of finesse is this new Toric Hémisphères Retrograde wristwatch.

Its aesthetics are beyond reproach. The 48mm rose gold case with a knurled bezel frames an elegant dial that’s a class act in itself. The Toric collection first debuted in 1996, back when Michel founded the brand, and that knurled bezel is an element which is a throwback to the one that was found in the original collection.

On the dial, you’ll notice a second time zone, a complication that’s a massive hit with globetrotters. It allows those who wear it to tell the home time and the local time in the city that they are travelling to in a single glance. It also features a retrograde date function across a 240-degree arc on the dial.

The second time zone can be read off the dial at 12 o’clock and adjusted using the crown at 2 o’clock. The home time, or main time, can be read off the centrally mounted hands. A useful day/night indicator next to the sub-dial at 12 o’clock for the second time zone, as well as another one next to the small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock for the main time, can avoid those absent-minded moments during a business trip when you skype call your family only to realise that it’s past midnight back home.

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Hemispheres Retrograde

Turn the watch over, and through the sapphire caseback you’ll see the automatic winding movement with a 50-hour power reserve that’s decorated with the impeccable Côte de Genève motif. On top of the movement and just below the sapphire case is the 22carat winding rotor that also features a guilloché motif.

Paired with Hermès black leather straps, this timepiece that’s priced at $29,500, is a steal. Michel and team have created a winner.