The Parmigiani Toric Qualité Fleurier
This Chronometer Watch Is a Literal Piece of Art That Was Rigorously Tested for Accuracy
Within the Swiss watch industry, there are a handful of certifications and seals that evaluate high-end watches, perhaps the best-known of which is the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) that tests for accuracy and performance. There’s also the Geneva Seal, which certifies watches featuring traditional finishing hallmarks of Geneva watchmaking. Then, there’s the Fleurier Quality Foundation, founded in 2001., whose aim is to evaluate watches both for both high-end finishing and exceptional movement performance.
Parmigiani Fleurier was one of the founding members of the organization (along with Bovet and Chopard), and now one of its models is getting its own Fleurier Quality Foundation-approved model. The resulting Toric Qualité Fleurier is essentially an upgrade on the Toric Chronomètre, with beautiful, hand-turned new “barleycorn” guilloche dial, as well as applied rose gold numerals that look absolutely stunning.
To meet the Fleurier Quality Foundation’s standard, though, there are a few stipulations that must be met. The watch, for instance, needs to be 100% designed, produced, assembled and tested in Switzerland, where the legal standards for stamping watches with the “Swiss Made” label are significantly more lax, while only traditional materials may be used (in other words, no plastics or composites). Additionally, the watch must meet the COSC’s standard for accuracy. The FQF then goes a bit further than the COSC, and tests the watch’s accuracy by subjecting it to shocks, water and magnetism, as well as an “aging cycle” that puts stress on the watch and is supposedly equivalent to six months of wear. Finally, the watch is tested on the “Fleuritest,” a machine that simulates everyday movements like jogging or vigorously digging through a backpack.
The result is a watch with a durable, accurate and proven movement and also an absurdly high level of finishing and craftsmanship, inside and out. Naturally, this doesn’t come cheap: the Toric Qualité Fleurier will retail for $24,500 when it eventually hits boutiques.