Wonder how it Wanders?

If you ever saw the inside of a watch and were impressed by its complexity, perhaps you haven’t heard of Parmigiani’s latest minute repeater. For true watch lovers this is a special treat indeed! It is a masterpiece of the past brought to life with a new, elegant look.

The Calibre PF 321 contains many of its predecessor’s characteristics. Namely, it was created as a restoration of the glorious Wandering Hours timepiece, witch dates back to 1800. Both encompass a complicated set of three hands which circle around a central pivot. Four Arabic numerals are attached at the tip of each hand and function in a way that the one carrying the number of the present hour is showing the minutes as well. When that hour runs its course, it is then replaced with the next number. The dial window is in the form of a half-moon aperture and there you see the 60 minutes presented in 13 five-minute subdivisions – which, when you think of it, might seem a bit confusing at first.

The picture of the inside of the Wandering Hours is a bit minute but I hope you get the idea. This pocket watch has been praised as one of the nine most important watches in history by John Biggs, a watch connoisseur and author of a forthcoming book about watches for Dial Press. The watch deserved its place among these nine “big ones” due to the fact that it was the first “digital” watch – it showed hours using numerals instead of hands.

With such an intricate design, the minute repeater will certainly come in handy, especially in the dark. Also, for all its complexity, the watch doesn’t look complicated at all. Its Swiss designer, Perrin Freres, decided to decorate the covered dial window with a geometrical hand-made engravings. The case consists of three parts and is 45 mm in diameter and 12.9 mm thick and is engraved with A LA VIEILLE RUSSIE – NEW-YORK 2011on the case-back. As for the materials used, Parmigiani is famous for making luxurious timepieces which truly are worn as a sign of prestige and their choice of materials is aligned with this idea. The visible portion of the dial is white mother-of-pearl, the strap is Hermes alligator skin while the case and buckle are 18 ct white gold. The snake-like blued steel cathedral chimes can be seen through the sapphire crystal caseback.

Anyway, the Parmigiani restoration will have its well deserved place at the “Mechanical Wonders” exhibition in New York through November 26 among other, no less exhilarating pieces that will also be displayed. With these fine objects of art Parmigiani really sets itself as the yardstick of devotion to perfection and love of sumptuousness.


  1. Uros says:

    What a magnificent watch! I wonder how much is it? This article really convinced me it would be worth whatever the price.

Leave a Reply
(You do not need to be registered to comment this article)

9 + 7 =