The world's slimmest ultra-thin flying tourbillon
The quintessential expression of watchmaking expertise, the ultra-thin tourbillon features on Parmigiani Fleurier's iconic model: the Tonda 1950. The name of this piece is a tribute to Michel Parmigiani, with the number representing the year he was born; its design marks a return to Parmigiani Fleurier's fundamental visual identity, which it highlights with its pure lines; and its mechanical complexity demonstrates the brand's Haute Horlogerie expertise.
To save on space, Parmigiani Fleurier created a "flying" tourbillon whose cage is mounted only on a lower support bridge. A highly sophisticated ball bearing replaces the mounting function, without adding to the thickness of the movement. Flush with the surface and therefore visible in the foreground, the cage appears to float weightlessly in front of the ultra-thin movement. The tourbillon dances before the eyes to produce a captivating, almost hypnotic visual effect.
The tourbillon cage is usually made from steel, a strong metal which is easy to work. In using titanium, Parmigiani Fleurier is aware to have chosen a flammable material which is very complex to machine at such small dimensions. However, titanium enables the brand to produce the world's lightest tourbillon cage. Its very low weight and inertia enable rotational movement with no loss of torque.
The Tonda 1950 Tourbillon is the aesthetic essence of Parmigiani Fleurier as it clearly showcases all the brand's signature codes. The thin, slender profile with the two emblematic lugs; the cut round crown; the delta-shaped hands, the tourbillon at 7:08, which is the time of Michel Parmigiani's birth.
Tourbillon automatic movement
The micro-rotor in 950 platinum which winds the calibre is the component that determines the thinness of the PF517 movement. It is directly integrated in the main plate, without adding to the thickness. The watch designers of the Parmigiani Fleurier watchmaking centre managed to integrate the micro-rotor, the barrel, the tourbillon cage and the time-setting mechanism on the same main plate – all while keeping the time display at the centre. This technical feat is achieved thanks to the independent manufacture
Hours, minutes, 60 seconds tourbillon