This is a remarkable watch, a one-off piece by Parmigiani Fleurier that combines beautiful decorative techniques with a movement combining a minute repeater, a chronograph, a tourbillon and a perpetual calendar. Just one made. The artistic side, with the white gold sculpted carp on a grande feu enamelled dial, is a tribute to sculptor and painter Édouard Marcel Sandoz, who founded the Sandoz Family Foundation. Édouard Marcel, born in 1881, was son of Édouard Constant, the man who founded pharmaceutical giant Novartis (originally named Sandoz SA), now number one for pharmaceutical sales in the world. The Foundation (Sandoz Fondation de Famille) has multiple participations, financed by its ownership of Novartis and Syngenta shares, and in particular in watchmaking, presumably owning Parmigiani Fleurier since 1996 and developing it into a vertically-integrated manufacture by purchasing other manufacturing units with other areas of skill, Atokalpa (movement components, above all balance and springs, Alle), Les Artisans Boitiers (cases, La Chaux-de-Fonds), Elwin (movement wheels and levers, Moutier), Vaucher Manufacture (movements, Fleurier) and Quadrance & Habillage (dials, La Chaux-de-Fonds).
Anyway, Édouard Marcel Sandoz worked in a very naturalistic style, sculpting mainly animals, like the carp sculpted on this dial against a blue water background with green lilies. The hinged caseback is also enamelled, in a lovely geometric pattern, using a technique that creates a relief texture. When this caseback is opened, it reveals a sapphire window providing a view of the finely-finished movement. The case is in white gold, 46.7 mm in diameter and 16.82 mm thick, with a 10-metre water resistance. The watch has a blue alligator strap made by Hermès, with ardillon buckle.
The dial compresses a lot of information into a small space. There are three subdials grouped at the centre of the watch, which show the perpetual calendar information, date at 12 o’clock, day at 3 o’clock, month at 9 o’clock, and leap year cycle on a small counter on the 9 o’clock subdial. The chronograph 30-minute counter is also on the 3 o’clock subdial, with a large central seconds hand showing elapsed time to the nearest one-third of a second. The tourbillon is highlighted in a window towards the base of the dial.
The movement comprises 586 components and 47 jewels, and it runs at 21,600 vph (3 Hertz); the barrel provides a power reserve of 40 hours. It has two cathedral gongs that sound the hours, quarter-hours and minutes on demand. The chimes are activated not with the usual slider on the caseband, but by rotating a knurled ring under the bezel a quarter-turn clockwise.
Price and availability
The price of this watch, Toric Tecnica Carpe by Parmigiani Fleurier, reference PFH435-1207001-HA3141, is HKD 7,215,800 (about €825,000). Just one piece has been made. It is currently (18 June 2015) available in Hong Kong and it’s only available there.
For contact information, see http://www.parmigiani.ch/
Below, the hinged caseback: