Watches and Wonders 2022: On The Quest For Essentials

With the launch of the Tonda PF collection in 2021, Parmigiani Fleurier rewrote watchmaking tradition and embarked upon a quest for purity, both in the collection’s refined aesthetics and its technical sophistication. Appealing to an exclusive and savvy audience of watch connoisseurs, the Tonda PF renounces ostentation in favor of intelligent design principles as well as shapes and proportions informed by the Golden Ratio. The Tonda PF joined the existing Tonda GT collection, which has captured the attention of consumers with its sportier, everyday yet still luxurious aesthetics.

At Watches and Wonders 2022 in Geneva, Parmigiani Fleurier introduces a world’s first complication in the Tonda PF series, the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante, alongside four other highly sophisticated new timepieces. From the Tonda PF collection come the Tonda PF Skeleton and the Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon, while the Tonda GT family welcomes the Tonda GT Chronograph with new colored subdials. While distinctive in their identities, the two collections share a number of visual commonalities, including the knurled bezel and teardrop-shaped lugs that Michel Parmigiani created at the foundation of his brand for some of the very first wristwatches to bear his name. The grain d’orge guilloché motif that adorns the wide, meticulously proportioned dials is another striking visual element that is emblematic of Parmigiani Fleurier watches, particularly those hailing from the Tonda families, and distinguishes them as timepieces for those who prefer to look outside the mainstream.

Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante: A world premiere that celebrates the return to travel and connecting with those who are far away

At the forefront of the Parmigiani Fleurier 2022 releases is a watch with a world premiere complication, the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante — a dual-time watch that operates with the sublime user-friendliness of a chronograph. The watch features two superimposed hour hands, one in rhodium-plated gold, the other in rose gold. Pressing a pusher at 8 o’clock moves the upper rhodium-plated gold hand forward in one-hour jumps to indicate the wearer’s local time, while the lower rose gold hand remains stationary to continue displaying the “home time” or reference time. Pressing the rose-gold pushbutton integrated into the watch’s crown instantly returns the rhodium-plated hand back to its original position — in the manner of a split-seconds chronograph hand — back atop the rose gold hand when the second time zone display is no longer required, as in when a traveler wearing the watch returns home. This highly useful complication distinguishes the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante as an ideal watch for savvy globetrotters.

The barleycorn guilloché pattern enhances the “Milano blue” dial and harmonizes elegantly with the sandblasted minutes track on its periphery. The overall refined visual effect is particularly striking under lighting at certain angles, which highlight the interaction between shiny and matte surfaces as well as the finely knurled details of the bezel, which has been forged from a single piece of platinum.

Like a tailor training his practiced eye on every fold of fabric, the watchmakers at Parmigiani Fleurier have left no detail of the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante ignored: both sartorial and architectural in its approach to design, the Maison has ensured that the silhouette of the case is perfectly structured, with the lugs on the steel case middle flowing seamlessly into the bracelet’s side links. This subtle yet quintessential detail completes the watch’s solidly sophisticated character.

Tonda PF Skeleton: Mechanical purity with subtle details

The art of skeletonization in watchmaking is generally a process by which an existing movement is opened up, with pieces carved out to reveal only the most essential components as a visual treat for the connoisseur’s eye. For the two new Tonda PF Skeleton models — one in 18k rose gold and one in stainless steel and platinum — Parmigiani Fleurier took a different approach, one that reflects its core values of purity and restraint with an uncompromising eye for detail. The new PF777 caliber was designed to reveal its organic life while preserving its balance and volume.

Its artistic openworking has been carefully executed to make the best of both solid parts and open voids, allowing light to pour into the heart of the self-winding movement and illuminate its meticulously hand-chamfered latticework. The mysteries of the mechanism are thus laid bare for the connoisseur’s eye.

Visible through the transparent caseback, the oscillating weight is artistically crafted in 22ct rose gold and blends in fully with the movement’s airy overall structure, comprised of 187 components. Also openworked is the barrel, whose spring is wound by the dynamic motions of the wearer’s wrist and whose structure allows for the steady contracting and relaxing of the mainspring, which drives the balance at 28,800 vibrations per hour, to be viewed.

The 40 mm-diameter case and graphite-colored, openworked dial also display the uncompromising aesthetic and chromatic codes that guide the Parmigiani Fleurier brand, with alternating sandblasted and satin-brushed surfaces and suspended hour markers. The Tonda PF Skeleton perfectly perpetuates the aesthetic of the Tonda PF collection, which is at the same time complex and minimalist. The two openworked hands glide over the large dial opening, which retains only a chapter ring to facilitate the reading of the time. The knurled and polished bezel catches light beautifully and the supple, smooth-flowing bracelet adds solidity and contemporary appeal to the quintessentially pared down design.

Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon: The peak of discretion

A complication reinterpreted in keeping with the spirit of the brand, the Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon plays on paradoxes, embodying a highly sophisticated complication matched with the utmost aesthetic simplicity and refinement. With its pure lines, this creation embodies the stylistic vision of Parmigiani Fleurier and elevates it to another level with a discreet yet strong added value.

The new timepiece is noble in both material and spirit, providing an undeniably authentic expression of the brand’s identity in its all-platinum interpretation, which features both a case and dial made of sandblasted full 950 platinum. Concealed beneath the precious metal is the Calibre PF517, developed in-house within the interconnected, expert ateliers of the Parmigiani Watchmaking Center, which is equipped with a flying tourbillon and boasts automatic winding via a platinum micro-rotor.

Magnified by the light that highlights the subtle details of its monochromatic casing, the watch’s circular dial opening draws the viewer’s gaze to the rotating flying tourbillon, initiating a visual journey into the watch’s organic heart. The rest of the dial shows only essential elements, with no trace of anything superfluous.

Clad in its platinum armour and secured to the wrist by a minimalist platinum bracelet, this ideally proportioned 42 mm-diameter watch is fitted with a screwed-in crown guaranteeing water-resistance to 100 meters. Its sapphire crystal caseback offers another visual journey, showcasing several of the 207 parts that make up its mechanical, self-winding calibre.

Designed, produced and assembled by the artisans of the Parmigiani Fleurier watchmaking division, this 32 mm diameter PF517 movement – accurate, durable and finished to the pinnacle of haute horlogerie standards (bevelling, circular graining and Côtes de Genève) – gives life to a timepiece that is accomplished in every respect. Elegant and sleek at just 8.6 mm thick, the Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon reflects the spirit of the Maison’s 25th anniversary as a full platinum limited edition, following in the footsteps of the Tonda PF Split-Seconds Chronograph launched in September 2021. Its status within the select circle of iconic timepieces is accentuated by its immediately identifiable finely knurled and polished platinum bezel. This exclusive creation, which embodies a discreet yet powerful spirit of luxury, is issued in a 25-piece limited edition.

Tonda GT Chronograph: The power of subtle colors

The Tonda GT Chronograph returns to the forefront with functions and colors that lend it a sporty tone while remaining in the realm of complications. It appears in two versions: 18ct rose gold with chronograph and big date functions; and steel with chronograph and annual calendar functions.

Just as in architecture, the golden ratio dictates the ideal proportions and requires watchmakers to constantly reinvent the volumes and positioning of the elements composing a timepiece. This is the condition that ensures that creations remain just as desirable over time as on the first day of their appearance. In both cases, the color choices for the chronograph counters, in Quantum Grey or Granata, provide a discreet yet very distinctive presence on the expansive dial while at the same time offering exemplary balance in the overall dial display.

With its substantial 42 mm case, the Tonda GT Chronograph in 18ct rose gold houses an integrated, self-winding chronograph calibre operating at a rate of 5 Hertz, (36,000 vibrations per hour) beneath the silver-toned guilloché dial with its “triangular hobnail” motif. Short-time measurements are displayed on the “Quantum Grey” or “Granata” subdials, judiciously positioned to harmoniously occupy the space along with the central big date display with its twin apertures at 12 o’clock.

Visible through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback, this top-quality mechanical movement made up of 331 components boasts a 65-hour power reserve; among its highlights are a sandblasted 22ct gold oscillating weight and a column wheel to drive the chronograph. Finished to the highest standards of Haute Horlogerie, this movement also enables short-time measurements of up to 12 hours with 1/10th of a second precision thanks to the high frequency of its regulating organ.

This statement-making chronograph is water-resistant to 100 meters and equipped with the distinctive finely knurled and polished bezel of the Tonda families. It is mounted on a deep red or grey rubber strap matching the color of the subdials and secured to the wrist with an 18ct rose gold folding clasp.

The same “Quantum Grey” and “Granata” color scheme that harmonizes the counters and the rubber strap also decorates the Tonda GT Chronograph in stainless steel, which features an annual calendar and offers the same classic knurled bezel framing the silver-toned guilloché dial in a “triangular hobnail” pattern.  This 42 mm diameter chronograph is water-resistant to 100 meters and features modern lines with subdials in one or the other of the two highlighted colors, classically arranged along the 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock axis and topped by the double date window at 12 o’clock. It is equipped with an in-house, self-winding chronograph calibre operating at a frequency of 4 Hertz (28,800 vibrations per hour).

The movement is also endowed with an annual calendar, a useful additional complication that is easily adjustable. This sophisticated mechanism is comprised of 443 components, including a 22ct rose-gold oscillating weight, and enables the wearer of the timepiece the luxury of not having to reset the watch at the end of any month other than February. The integrated annual calendar mechanism compensates for the length of all 30-day and 31-day months, with all month-to-month transitions happening automatically until the 28th of February. On the first day of March, the calendar can be manually adjusted to change the date from February 29th to March 1st.

In both the rose gold and steel versions of the Tonda GT Chronograph, the intangible values prevailing at Parmigiani Fleurier give absolute priority to beauty. Above and beyond the functions, color combinations and the overall quality points of the watch exterior, the Tonda GT Chronograph skilfully reaffirms the credo guiding Parmigiani Fleurier in the details of execution that transform a sporty-spirited watch into a sophisticated Haute Horlogerie creation.

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