Esquire Middle East
The eye of the beholder
PARMIGIANI FLEURIER’S new Tonda PF collection is a purist’s delight
AParmigiani Fleurier timepiece is unlikely to be your first watch. However, because of the brand’s history, high quality of watchmaking, iconic design hallmarks and attention to detail, it will be one that immediately catches the eye of any watch aficionado.
A case in point is the revered Swiss watchmaker’s all-new collection, the Tonda PF. Released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Parmigiani Fleurier brand, the new addition to the Tonda family is built around the maison’s most iconic in-house movements, running a wide gamut of complications and culminating in a limited edition, all-platinum, award-winning split-seconds chronograph.
Ultimately, the Tonda PF is an extension to the Tonda collection, which at 40-42mm is a sportier profile that showcases the manufacturer’s prowess in producing fine timepieces with an integrated bracelet.
It features a clean design with subtle details such as the fluted bezel, Grain d’orge guilloché dial, and a myriad of polishing styles that accentuate the quality of the maison.
Aesthetically, the collection offers a mature—and almost sartorial—approach to watchmaking, where cloth is replaced by metal and weaving by dial pattern. The silhouette of the pieces’ design echo those of a Neapolitan or Sicilian tailors, where fluidity, proportions and taste play a key role. Like any jacket that originates in those institutions of male elegance, the Tonda PF is tailored to withstand the passing of time and trends, and remain relevant.
The collection’s hands are newly designed to be slim, long and almost entirely openworked. Notably, they are also made of solid gold. The bezel—a direct link to the Tonda collection— features a sleek, polished part and another that’s been knurled by hand, and is crafted out of solid platinum 950 for the steel models. Rather than using the same steel as the rest of the case and bracelet, Parmigiani Fleurier elected to work with this highly precious metal, not for the sake of exclusivity, but because it plays better with the light and gives a more artisanal feeling once polished by hand.
The case band on all four references of the Tonda PF line deserves closer examination.
It is not straight, but slightly bassiné (wider near the bezel and narrower on the wrist), which provides the overall design with a sense of increased slimness. The surface is horizontalsatin-finished all around as is the upper surface of the lugs.
The range of references within the Tonda PF collection are connected by a range of distinct design cues. The PF logo appears at 12 o’clock, nestled in a vertical, oval, double-edged appliqué with extensive finishings. The standout Grain d’orge guilloché dial pattern is a triumph of intricate detailing—any smaller and it
would be invisible, any larger and it would be obtrusive, therefore defeating the collection’s purpose of being refined and dedicated to exclusivity and modern timelessness.
The range includes the Tonda PF Microrotor, a slim, pared-down, high-end twohander with platinum micro-rotor; the Tonda PF Chronograph—with an almost flush dial and an integrated high frequency chronograph movement; and the Tonda PF Annual Calendar (shown above in Rose Gold) that carries a retrograde date which demonstrates how discretely indications can be integrated into a pared-down design. All three models are available in steel with platinum hand-knurled bezel or entirely crafted in 18ct rose gold.
At the top of the range, Parmigiani Fleurier is grooming a limited series of the Tonda PF Split-seconds Chronograph. Fitting for a 25th Anniversary, its 25 pieces feature a dial, case and bracelet made of platinum 950, whose high frequency, openworked, award-winning splitseconds chronograph movement is built out of solid gold. Any watch aficionado would approve.