March 29, 2022
by Bilal Khan
Going into Watches & Wonders 2022, Parmigiani is launching three new pieces in its Tonda PF collection. Certainly the first Parmigiani collection to have crossed over into a broader segment of the watch collecting community, the Tonda PF now gets a skeletonized model, a flying tourbillon, and a GMT Rattrapante travel watch that oozes style (and is my personal favorite of the entire Tonda PF collection).
I’ll start with the biggie, the Parmigiani Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante. Yes, a GMT Rattrapante. The mechanism ordinarily used with chronographs is repurposed in a clever way to create this travel watch. To begin, the rhodium-plated gold hour hand and rose gold GMT hand are superimposable but before I get into the mechanism can I just add how much I appreciate the attention to detail that goes into doing rhodium-plated gold hour and minutes hands? You just don’t see that anymore.
Getting back to the mechanism, the GMT hand moves forward one hour with each activation of the pusher at 8 o’clock, but things get interesting with the rose gold pusher integrated into the crown. For all the times you’re not traveling or don’t need the use of the second time zone, activating this pusher will reposition the GMT hand to be hidden underneath the hour hand just the way a split-seconds chronograph hand would in a classic rattrapante. Pretty neat, yeah?
The rest of the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante is pretty straightforward. A steel case measuring 40mm-wide and 10.7mm-thick with a hand-knurled platinum bezel, the Tonda PF is all about the elegant curves. The pusher at 8 o’clock blends in beautifully with the curves of the case and echoes the signature Parmigiani teardrop lugs. On the dial, you can see Milano blue guilloché with rhodium-plated 18k gold hands and indices. And naturally, the integrated bracelet pulls the whole package together. Oh, and the water-resistance of 60m isn’t terrible, either.
Turning the case over shows the calibre PF051 movement, which I believe adds the GMT Rattrapante mechanism to the base in-house manufacture PF703 micro-rotor movement that was debuted with the inaugural Tonda PF last year. Finished with a solid 22k rose gold micro-rotor, Geneva stripes, and perlage throughout the PF051 measures a slim 4.9mm-thick. Operating at 21,600 vph, it has a 48-hour power reserve.
Moving on to the Tonda PF Skeleton. This is one that I’m going to wait until I see in the metal to render a real verdict on it (or anything open-worked, really). It’s no secret that Audemars Piguet is the big dog in this admittedly niche category. The Royal Oak Openworked pieces are utterly magnificent, but Vacheron, Bulgari, even Czapek have released some incredibly impressive open-worked/skeletonized watches in recent years. Now, Parmigiani is offering two Tonda PF Skeleton watches aimed right at those consumers, as well.
Parmigiani is taking its own approach to creating an open-worked dial by not shedding as much excess as possible and leaving only the bare bones of the movement. Rather, it claims that revealing the “organic life of the movement and its architecture while preserving its balance and volume” was the mission here, which I take to mean that they didn’t want giant gaps of open space. Whatever the intention, the result is an impressively done open-worked dial with hand-chamfered latticework and several sumptuous curves that I cannot wait to see in the metal. Done in all graphite with sand-blasted and satin-finished open-worked bridges and beveled edges throughout, I do think the steel model looks a bit more natural than its rose gold counterpart.
The case measures 40mm-wide and just 8.5mm-thick with an impressive 100m of water resistance. From the case back, you can see the skeletonized 22k rose gold rotor of the PF777 movement, which operates at 28,800 vph and has a 60-hour power reserve.
Finally, we have the Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon, a monochromatic platinum halo piece that is limited to 25 pieces. We’ve seen flying tourbillons within the Tonda family in the past, but the case and bracelet design of the Tonda PF easily places this one right at the top in terms of pure horological lust. In addition to the case and bracelet, the dial is also solid platinum with the interesting visual choice to have rhodium-plated gold hands which create a monochromatic look to the dial. Of course, the flying tourbillon carriage at 7 o’clock is the main attraction and it certainly delivers.
From the caseback, you can see the PF517, which is finished with bevelling, circular graining, Geneva stripes, etc… The PF517 is composed of 207 parts and operates at 21,600 vph with a 48-hour power reserve. It also has a platinum micro-rotor (if there wasn’t enough platinum for you here). The case measures 42mm-wide and 8.6mm-thick with 100m of water resistance. Rare, precious, and beautiful, this is how you do a halo watch.
These new Parmigiani Tonda PF watches add to the existing collection and I have a feeling the collection will continue to expand. Prices are as follows: the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante is priced at 26,000 CHF, the Tonda PF Skeleton in steel is priced at 59,000 CHF and the solid rose gold model is priced at 88,000 CHF, finally the limited edition platinum Tonda PF Flying Skeleton is priced at 140,000 CHF. You can learn more at parmigiani.com.