September 22, 2019
by Rob Nudds
The Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Lune watch has been given a facelift. Two years after hitting the shelves, the popular unisex model has been given two new skins — one aimed at a male audience, the other at female clientele (at least according to the Associated Press shots). Originally launched at SIHH, these new models are now making their way into the world. One of the new iterations sees a rose gold case topped with a diamond bezel framing a Mother of Pearl dial sporting a repositioned date window and a more traditional moon-phase indicator in the upper left-hand quadrant.
The other piece — an altogether surlier affair — is also in rose gold, but has a slate-gray dial in place of the MoP and the brand’s regular moon-phase indicator showing both hemispheres. In this, the “men’s” model, the triple date window is centered at 3 o’clock, as opposed to being centered on 4 o’clock on the “women’s” piece. The moon-phase indicator for both models is now at 10 o’clock, marking a significant change from the original model’s layout.
These positionings of the moon-phase indicator and date windows are entirely new for both pieces. Previous members of this collection had the date window at 6 o’clock and the lunar function at 12. In my opinion, the new layout adds a great deal of visual interest to these watches and imbues them with a sense of maturity that the simpler, and admittedly much cleaner, forerunner did not possess.
While both the slate dial (reference PFC284-1000200) and the Mother of Pearl variant (reference PFC284-1063300) measure 39mm across, the slate version looks much larger thanks to its noticeably slimmer bezel and much plainer dial. The textural inclusions of the Mother of Pearl, and the contrast of the blue and gold moon disc against the dial, case, and bright red strap combine to huddle his watch’s elements together resulting in a much more compact appearance.
Both pieces are powered by the caliber PF708, which is to thank for these pieces’ slimline profile. Thanks, in large part, to Parmigiani’s typical reliance on a platinum microrotor, the self-winding movement is just 4mm-thick. A 48-hour power reserve is achieved by dropping the train count to a more old-fashioned 21,600vph, which is fine for a dress watch of this style. The finishing of Parmigiani movements is always very good, and the PF708 does not disappoint. Côtes de Genève and beveled edges on the bridges, along with some very neat gilded engravings, go a long way to elevating this simple-looking caliber.
Its one drawback, in my opinion, is a direct consequence of its supreme slimness. As with many slimline calibers, the winding work feels and sounds a little raspy to me. This sensory gripe has no bearing on the watch’s operation, it’s just something that stands out (when I have my hyper-critical hat on), and not something I would want to put up with at this price point.
At just 9.6mm-thick on the wrist, both of these new Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Lune watches provide stylish and streamlined options that are, thanks in part to their surprisingly wide, tapering straps, quite versatile. The price of the slate dial reference PFC284-1000200 is $26,900 USD, while the 1.82 carats of diamond weight on reference PFC284-1063300 bumps up the retail to $34,400 USD. Both models are available on rose gold bracelets for an additional charge. Learn more about these watches and the brand at parmigiani.com.