back to top

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Swiss Parmigiani easily impressed the aBlogtoWatch team at SIHH 2016 when they passively debuted before our eyes their brand new in-house-made and totally integrated split-seconds chronograph movement known as the caliber PF361. Announced on the date of the brand’s 20th anniversary after being launched in 1996, featuring the personality of watchmaker Michel Parmigiani, the new-for-2016 Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire watch is a wonderful offering that will inspire interest even in those who haven’t previously taken the time to acquaint themselves with the brand.

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Producing an in-house-made integrated chronograph is a distinct challenge. Until now, Parmigiani chronograph watches (even when in-house-made) used a module system that puts a chronograph functionality module on a base movement. With the PF361, Parmigiani has a single movement system, that includes the chronograph and other components such as the regulation system and gear train in a single mechanism.

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

On top of that, the movement is also a split-seconds (rattrapante) chronograph. This gives the user an additional 60-second timing opportunity while the main chronograph continues running. Producing a split-seconds chronograph requires a lot of very specialized watchmaker attention and, according to many, is more difficult to assemble that a perpetual calendar. The chronograph uses column wheels as well as a vertical (versus horizontal) clutch system.

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Produced from 317 parts, the beautiful movement is meant to be mostly skeletonized, offering an extremely rich view into its architecture from the rear of the watch. The movement is an ample 30.6mm wide and quite thick, at 8.5mm. This extra size is a trade-off, for sure, given that a watch with the movement will be inherently thick, but with that said, the user is rewarded with brilliant features and aesthetic design.

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

With a power reserve of 65 hours, the PF361 operates at 5Hz! Yes, this 36,000bph movement is a “high-beat” offering superior chronograph precision and accuracy over time. Not that you need to spend this much on a 5Hz movement (the Zenith El Primero is going to be your best “budget” option for that), but you rarely see such a dedication to performance in movements at this price level.

Advertisement

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Just knowing that the first versions of the PF361 movement will use all 18k gold bridges probably alludes to the watch’s over-$100,000 price. With that said, given all that you receive in the Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, it is actually an impressive value (relatively speaking, that is). In addition to the time, 5Hz operation, and integrated split-seconds chronograph, the movement also has a big date indicator. This 20th anniversary model set will have a manually-wound movement, but Parmigiani has confirmed that next year in 2017, an automatic (self-winding) version of the PF361 movement will be debuted.

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

I think this beautiful new movement is set to add a new level of prestige to the Parmigiani brand which has yet to have something ultra compelling for more conservative/traditional watch collectors used to spending something in the $100,000 price category. I think that the 50 pieces Parmigiani will produce for this limited edition anniversary set will be appreciated quite quickly.

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

The Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire watch itself is a well-conceived evolution on the Tonda collection which also needed a bit of a design boost for some watch collectors. The combination of size with unique design elements makes this one of the best Tonda cases I’ve put on my wrist. The new more ample proportions (which aren’t “massive,” either) lend themselves well the curvy style of the case designs.

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Offered in either 18k white or 18k rose gold, the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire case is 42.1mm wide and 14.6mm thick. The large “tear drop”-shaped lugs are particularly cool and a new design element carries this same visual feature onto the strap buckle. I also want to point out how nicely the lugs angle in which gives the entire case a sort of cool tonneau-shaped look which seems to add extra masculinity to the design.

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

For the Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire dials, Parmigiani goes pretty classic with a grand feu enamel white dial or a deep “royal blue” dial – both of which look handsome, if not very classic given what we normally see from the brand. The Tonda-style hands are coated with lume and appear to be taken from a sport watch (good idea because legibility is excellent). The rest of the dial is all about giving a mostly traditional look – as though Parmigiani were doing their best A. Lange & Söhne impressions (which, mind you, isn’t a bad thing).

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Watch With New Integrated Split-Seconds Chronograph Movement Hands-On Hands-On

Finally, you see classiness mixed with “movement porn” and a bit of that avant-garde style which makes the aesthetic design of Parmigiani timepieces unique – all in one well-refined product collection. This makes the 2016 limited edition Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire watch collection quite a success in our humble opinions. Each of the four versions of the Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire watch (each of the two dial options, in either 18k white or rose gold case) is limited to 25 pieces with a price of $135,000. parmigiani.ch

Watch Brands

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 4510131824

  • Such a disparity between the beautiful delicateness of the movement and the ho-hum printed dial. The movement looks like a Gothic cathedral; the dial looks like a blueprint.

  • IanE

    Stunner – I’ve not been a great fan of many of their designs, but they are certainly getting there. If only I had the cash to splash (mind you I’d probably go for a De Bethune in that case!).

  • iamcalledryan

    A pretty fancy piece of kit. This is one of the best looking manual chrono’s with vertical clutch – not to mention the 5Hz and two column wheels, one for start/stop/reset, the other for split no doubt.

    • Someone will come out with four column wheels…just you wait.

  • First Parmigiani watch that I really like–the dial is a bit too flat though–it could use some more applied elements. Also, kudos for the lume on a dress watch, not everyone has bionic night vision.

  • DanW94

    I like the double window big date feature. Would like to see that on more watches. Interesting how they put the Tachymetre scale on the inside ring. Can’t recall ever seeing it like that.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    If I could I would turn the strap round and walk about showing off the movement, I would. The face is just sooooo boring.

  • Marius

    Why get a Lange Datograph look alike, when you can simply fly over to Dresden and get the original. Plus, next to the Lange boutique you can buy the most delicious stollen cake made in Germany.

    • Richard Baptist

      Good point

  • Like others here, I’m usually not a fan of the dial side view of PF pieces (but the backs are always gorgeous) and while this one is very ALS like, I like it a lot. My favorite PF watch by far. And 5 Hz with a decent power reserve too! At first I was concerned that the thick movement would make for a very thick watch but 14.6 is very reasonable for a chronograph with big date. The strap needs to be fitted (curved ends, etc.). Hopefully the one shown was just an off the shelf strap and not the final pairing. Otherwise, just a great watch. And for once I like the hands on a PF watch. Well done! Too bad it costs more than a car.

    • iamcalledryan

      Speaking of Hz, check out their “senfine” prototype. It’s reviewed on another popular watch blog and delivers a massive 16Hz using a crazy Genequand escapement.

      • Somewhat like the Ulysee Nardin Anchor escapement which also has a “hinge” but with a different approach of course. Interesting, thanks for the heads up.

        • iamcalledryan

          It’s like a mix between the anchor, the GP constant force, and the tuning fork escapement.

      • DanW94

        A 70 day power reserve also….not too shabby.

        • iamcalledryan

          That’s what you get when you can cram dozens of teeth onto your escapewheel!

          • DanW94

            Along with the silicon regulation system which greatly reduces friction. Would the extremely low amplitude (it’s like 16 degrees!) contribute to an increase in power? I would think the small arc would reduce drag and be more efficient. It’s cool to see that balance swing at such a low arc, it looks like it has the caffeine jitters….

          • iamcalledryan

            Lol, it does doesn’t it?

            The low arc will mean that a loweramount of power is needed to provide the balance wheel with an impulse, but if a regular lever and escape wheel was used that would actually dramatically reduce reserve life.

            What increases it is the fact that the arc and the two prongs make such tiny movements, that they can receive tiny impulses from very small escape teeth and therefore the escape wheel is fitted with a huge number of teeth. So even though the balance wheel is running at 16Hz, there are something like 100 escape teeth versus a typical 15 or so. Therefore, the escape wheel will rotate at a slower rate than a regular lever escape wheel, and THAT is how the reserve life is extended across the movement. It means you can use smaller gearing ratios from the mainspring.

      • Ulysses31

        It looks like an incredible invention, and exactly the sort of thing I think the whole industry should be reaching for – more accuracy, longer power reserve – things that make owning a mechanical watch more practical.

        • iamcalledryan

          Agreed – IMO there have already been a number of amazing technical inventions in high frequency escapements over the last few years. They just don’t get the same reception in the real world as some of the simpler-to-explain innovations.

          You have the Mikro-range at TAG some of which do not even have balance wheels allowing for 1000Hz!, and their tourbillon rotates once every 5 seconds, the Breguet 10Hz with magnetic pivots, the deBethune Resonique acoustic regulator that is currently still in development but they created a working prototype that reached 926Hz and has the potential to achieve 20kHz! That is very nearly at basic quartz Hz.

    • commentator bob

      It takes a lot of cheddar (in Italy one could probably say parmigiano) to buy a Parmigiani.

      Speaking of cars, in the last picture the dial seems to have a rather bad “orange peel” effect. Something that would not be acceptable anywhere on the body of a car in this price range.

      • Hard to say (and you might be right) but this could be a ceiling reflection on the crystal. I say this as the orange peel only shows up in the one photo and the dial does not appear to have it in the same locations in the other shots. Cheers.

    • Boogur T. Wang

      The handwork does look to be amazing. Chamfered (? Rounded) edges are beautiful.

  • funNactive

    Way too flat – the sub dials are just printed. I do like the seconds hand style half moon dual pointer. I have no use for a tachymeter on any watch.

  • JimBob

    For this much money, I expect more than a faux retrograde register.

  • Nelson

    I always like their extended lugs that stretch down to the crown. The case and the movement are better but overall, I still like Parmigiani Tonda Fleurier 1950 better as the dial is more beautiful.

  • Ulysses31

    Gold and blue, a lovely combination. While i’m not usually a fan of their designs, they’ve done a great job of the dial this time. It could do with more dimension and depth but it’s an improvement. The tear-drop motif is still overused (that buckle looks like a manufacturing defect) but it seems they’ve reigned in the more objectionable elements, resulting in a very handsome timepiece. I wish the hands were all the same colour though.

  • Omegaboy

    The dial is wonderful. Beautiful blue and nicely laid out. The back, though, is clunky, the curved ‘lattice work’ bridges hide too much.

  • Sevenmack

    Beautiful dial and movement design. Not a fan of the gold. But still beautiful.

  • frauss

    They sure didn’t skimp on the gold with this one. It looks like they were shooting for the ALS basket but missed.

  • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

    They are heading in the right direction. Would be good to have some photos of the white gold and the white dial versions too.