September 10, 2020
With Watches & Wonders Shanghai 2020 in full swing, one common theme among many of the releases seems to be the combination of rose gold cases with blue dials. Parmigiani has thrown its hat into this particular ring with a renewed take on the Tondagraph GT chronograph, introducing this currently trending colorway alongside some substantial mechanical updates. The limited edition Parmigiani Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue acts as a testbed for the brand’s next generation manufacture integrated chronograph movement, with an in-house production philosophy that covers every component but the sapphire crystal, hands, and rubber strap.
Looking from the outside of the Parmigiani Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue, not much has changed. The lines of the 42mm case, with the distinctive half-fluted bezel and semi-integrated attached lugs flowing into the chronograph pushers, remain intact from previous versions. The use of 18k rose gold does change things up, however, and from initial impressions seems to emphasize the more vintage inspired elements of the design. A sapphire display back shows off the new movement within, while the overall case maintains a sporty 100 meter water resistance.
Like the case, the dial of the Parmigiani Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue cleaves very close to previous models in the line, but here a few small differences begin to shine through. Parmigiani continues its penchant for experimenting with dial textures here with a “clou triangulaire” guilloché pattern that nicely emphasizes the new navy blue tone. The other major clue to the revisions here comes with the reshuffling of the subdials compared to previous Tondagraph GT models. While the big date display remains at 12, the idiosyncratic double-ended running seconds hand gets shuffled to 6 o’clock, which aids visual symmetry across the dial slightly.
Without a doubt, the real centerpiece of the Parmigiani Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue lies behind the caseback. The new in-house PF071 automatic chronograph movement is an evolution of the PF316 first introduced by the brand in 2016, and offers enthusiasts a checklist of desired options in a chronograph movement. With the PF071, Parmigiani remains one of only a handful of brands to currently produce a fully in-house integrated automatic chronograph movement, along with fully integrating the big date complication as opposed to the more common separate module. On top of that exclusivity, the PF071 is COSC chronometer certified for accuracy, uses a single central column wheel instead of the simpler and more common cam-lever actuation system, features a vertical clutch, and secures the balance with a shock resistant cross-through bridge. A 36,000 bph beat rate also adds a silky smooth hand sweep without compromising the 65 hour power reserve. The hand finishing takes a clean, monochrome approach, with sweeping sculptured “angel wing” bridges beneath the skeletonized 22k gold rotor.
In keeping with the rest of the Tondagraph GT line, the Parmigiani Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue is mounted on either a semi-integrated bracelet or a rubber strap. The translation to rose gold for the line’s intricate and mostly polished bracelet is certainly eye-catching and finely finished, but potentially leaves the watch feeling monolithic or overwhelming on the average wrist. Also worth noting is the relatively dramatic increase in price for the bracelet, with MSRP with the bracelet jumping $24,500 above strap-equipped examples. The blue rubber strap, on the other hand, seems to do a far better job of breaking up the visual weight of the overall package. The tone looks to be a shade darker than the dial in initial images, while the textured central section continues the dial’s raised triangular pattern. It’s a clever bit of visual continuity.
The updates to the outside of the Parmigiani Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue may be minimal, but the new movement within looks to be a genuinely impressive piece of modern horology. The Parmigiani Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue is limited to only 25 examples and is available for preorder now through authorized dealers at a starting MSRP of $41,000. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.