A long time ago English watchmakers Vardon and Stedman produced an oval-shaped pocket watch with telescopic hands designed to be properly sized (in length) no matter what part of the dial they were pointing to. You see, back then people cared about stuff like proper hand size (ahem…) on dials. Parmigiani apparently acquired the piece and restored it in 1997. The complicated mechanism, while not new, was very unique and they called it a pantograph (pantographe). The idea of hands that follow and match the contours of a dial is very cool, and in 2011 Parmigiani produced a limited edition watch with a pantograph complication.
For 2013, the Pantographe is back as part of a new watch collection from Parmigiani with lovely oval cases called the “Ovale” collection. The star of the collection is the Ovale Pantographe, and it is a non-limited and updated version of the model from 2011. Not only is the Ovale Pantographe attractive, but we think that Parmigiani really has something special and unique for their product family with this watch. It is an emotional and complex feature that strikes just the right cord with high-end watch lovers.
According to Parmigiani it took them a few years to perfect the telescopic hands system. With computer modeling it proved easier to understand the right gearing to ensure that the hands properly followed the case. It makes the historic “non-computerized” work of those who produced the original pocket watch that much more impressive. The hands themselves are produced from titanium, using what Parmigiani describes as “the most modern laser cutting technique.” Note the large cap over the center of the dial where the hands meet. Inside are necessary gears for the extension and contraction of the hour and minute hands.
The blued titanium hands are lovely to look at and elegant in their design. The overall impression is one that calls your attention as most people have never seen a watch dial like this. Matched to the elegant case, this watch satisfies both the desires of watch nerds as well as the needs of a fashionable elite – a difficult thing to achieve for sure.