PARMIGIANI @ Toric Quaestor Labyrinthe

PARMIGIANI has dedicated its latest haute horlogerie creation to a profoundly symbolic cultural theme. According to its origins in Greek mythology, the labyrinth was initially invented by the architect Daedalus in order to incarcerate the Minotaur. Over time, it has taken on a great number of meanings in different cultures, but its mysterious nature has continued to fascinate. Because, even if you solve the labyrinth's riddles, it is about more than finding the right path – the labyrinth's true value lies in the quest itself. Under its subtle shades of jade green, the Toric Quaestor Labyrinthe contains a minute repeater which uses several special design features to produce an exceptionally pure melody. Firstly, the movement is integrated into the case with greater stability thanks to an additional fixing point. Located just below the chime, a small piece links the pawl of the chime to the case, thereby ensuring that it is perfectly fixed and allowing the sound to reverberate without any interference from the vibrations. Secondly, this movement has a flywheel, which is a major innovation. Apart from ensuring a constant supply of energy to the spring, this device allows the minute repeater to operate without any mechanical humming. While previous devices functioned with the jerks of a toothed wheel, the flywheel ensures total mechanical silence, leaving only the sound of the melodious chime each time it is struck. Finally, the generously-sized platinum case is specially designed to provide perfect acoustics which allow the sound waves to oscillate at the best frequencies. The dial on this piece consists of two layers which make up the labyrinth. The bottom layer is a disc of extremely precious Burmese jade, onto which an openworked white gold plate is superimposed to form the branching passages of the labyrinth. This plate is first machined using CNC machines, before undergoing a finishing process, which itself represents more than 35 hours of work. Each segment length or contour in the labyrinth is bevelled by hand. Fifty-two internal angles further emphasise the depth and beauty of the maze. The labyrinth as it is represented here is a structure in which we lose ourselves. Once inside, all sense of direction, notion of time, and of the outside world seem to vanish in order to achieve sometimes a calm state of contemplation. The labyrinth is before anything a search for the self.